Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This Book Is Doing Its Job!

It's a tricky thing ... keeping boys engaged in, challenged, and excited by reading as they get older and start moving away from the realm of typical picture books.

I've written along these lines before ... earlier this year in my post "Boy + Reading ...". And, recently, author PJ Hoover wrote about the subject in her post "Why Boys Aren't Reading".

For our 7-year old reader, the challenge is in finding books that have the unique ability to help him grow as a reader, but also appeal to his interests and his enjoyment of pictures and illustrations.

Just the right combination of the above equals a much less frustrated little man and a more willing and eager reader.

While he very much enjoys action/adventure and animal-related stories, his true love continues to be anything under the category of Transportation. From rescue vehicles to race cars to semi-trailers to construction machines, he is completely and utterly enamored.

This weekend, he told us that he wanted to buy another vehicle book, and he agreed to do so with his own spending money.

So, after a patience-teaching wait of three days from the time he first started chatting us up about it, we headed to Barnes & Noble. We found the section that included all the vehicle-related books within his age range, and told him to look through the books and decide which one he wanted to purchase.

In the midst of helping little sister pick out a book (because, of course, she had to bring her spending money too!), we looked back to find our son sitting on the floor, surrounded by four open books, pouring over each of them, intently trying to decide which he would be taking home. What a wonderful sight!

He settled on the above-pictured Big Book of Construction Machines, created by Parachute Press and published by the fabulous DK Publishing, Inc. The book has an age range of 7-10 years of age, which means it is perfect for helping him progress in his reading. But, the most wonderful thing is that he can't put it down. He reads it in the car and during moments of downtime; he reads it for school-required reading time; he reads it with his nighttime book-light after we've tucked him in to bed; and, today, he took it to school to show his teacher and friends.

Now that is a book that is doing its job!

24 comments:

Kelly said...

Yay! That's wonderful! I loved the mental picture you gave me of your son pouring over four books in the store wondering which one to choose! I love taking my kids to the bookstore or even the library!

Susan R. Mills said...

My son is eleven, and he just doesn't like to read. When he finds a book he likes, I let him have at it. It's great that your son has found something he enjoys reading.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Oh, you've got to go to Guys Read! Jon Scieszka is behind this website (guysread.com, I think) filled with books for boy readers!

My oldest "boy" loved Jon S.'s books! Um, honestly, he still does (he graduated last year with an English degree ;-)

Cathy C. Hall said...

HaHa! I just realized I put quotation marks around my son! Um, there is no confusion as to whether he is, in fact, a boy :-) I only meant that he is an adult boy now...

(Makes me think of the Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks, which is truly hysterical! Also makes me think I should go to bed before I write something else of a dubious nature!)

Kelly H-Y said...

Kelly! It was the cutest thing! I got such a kick out of it ... I wish I'd had my camera!

Susan! Definitely ... when they find something they like, I say let them go for it!!

Cathy! Thank you so much for the website ... I will definitely head there. You absolutely crack me up, by the way!

Beth Kephart said...

I had a boy like this. And he grew up not to care about machines at all. But for awhile there, it was all Thomas and match cars and planes and trucks.

Corey Schwartz said...

Sounds like my little guy. He's four and only wants books about trucks and cars!

Beth Dunn said...

That is so great, I'll have to look for it. We have the same challenges with our 9 year old. But I did not embrace reading until I was out of college. xoxo

SC

The Things We Carried said...

Oh, I remember how my boys adored BIG driving things. Precious!

Keri Mikulski said...

Yay!! Too cute. :)

Lisa and Laura said...

Very cool! I'm going to need to remember this stuff to keep my little guy engaged in reading in a few years.

MG Higgins said...

That is so cool! How wonderful that he's so enamored with his special book. Hopefully that will translate into more reading later on.

Shelli said...

my son is the same way. loves anyting with wheels

Sarah Laurence said...

Fine review. My son would have loved that book at that age. We used to go watch the Big Dig in Boston like it was theater. Now he's more into maps, hiking and camping. Earthy pursuits?

Amy Tate said...

Oh I relate with this, because we went through the same thing. My Ben is in love with the Goosebump series and the Star Wars Clone Wars but it was after trying many many others. Reading is a learned discipline, and I'm so glad that he's finding his groove!

CC said...

awesome!!! make sure to check out this song/video my co-worker sent me!! :) :)

Kelly H-Y said...

LOVE to read all your comments and hear your stories! Thanks for stopping by!

Karen Lee said...

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Do you have a book coming out with Sylvan Dell? They are awesome to work with.

Kelly H-Y said...

Hi Karen! I wish I did! I got very close a while back. It was such a pleasure working with Donna ... they have a wonderful publishing company!

Pen Pen said...

Ya know, my good friend has a boy who is turning 9 this year-I know I'm putting this out a little early-but she said that when you get boys reading chapter books, you should give them "My Teacher Is An Alien". She said that every boy she's known who's read it, has loved it!

Diane said...

What a wonderful gift to give him and his sister of reading! My daughter would read all day if I let her but my son also 7 does not have as much delight from it. He would much rather read picture books than chapter books. My husband still doesn't really like to read. I think it's part genetic makeup and part finding great books like you did for him.:O)

Danyelle said...

Awesome! *hearts books* *hearts children reading books* Our book room is the favorite room of the house. That's awesome he's found a subject that holds him captive. :D

CC said...

here's that link again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXhhXXsxSfE

Kelly H-Y said...

CC! HE LOVED THAT!!!!! I think we may be investing in that DVD for Christmas! :-) Thanks for re-posting the link!