Helping Your Kids to Love Reading

Chris Schluep on November 29, 2018
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My kids are good readers. I give most of the credit for their enjoyment of reading to Amazon Senior Editor Seira Wilson, who has provided great book recommendations over the past eight years.

I also credit comics (especially the late Stan Lee's Spider-Man) for keeping them reading. When my sons seemed to be migrating toward television, movies, and video games, a binge week spent watching the entire Spider-Man oeuvre sent them back to comics, which served as a reverse gateway back to books.

They are still watching television and playing video games, but at least they're also reading. The oldest has just finished the first Harry Potter book, but it wasn't long ago that he was plowing through series by Dave Pilkey (actually, he still is) and Jeff Kinney (ditto). Now my youngest is reading those series, too. The best part is watching them read because it is a joy, not because they have to. 

We recommend lots of books on this blog, but we tend to stay in our lanes. When I recommend kids books, I tend to do it for friends. But I started putting together a list of books I've recommended, which I'll share here. All of the books are illustrated, but I think that helps at a certain age. My hope is that it will help other parents to turn their kids into happy readers, too.


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Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 13 by Jeff Kinney - This has been the go-to series for reluctant readers for more than a decade now.

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Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #5) by Dav Pilkey - Pilkey is the author of the Captain Underpants series, but he has also created this series, which I suspect my kids enjoy more then the oriiginal.

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Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment by James Patterson - When it comes to encouraging young readers, James Patterson is a champion. He is truly passionate about this mission, and Patterson has created a series of chapter books for kids. Max Einstein's mission is to solve the world's most difficult problems using her impressive genius and science.

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The Comic Book Story of Baseball: The Heroes, Hustlers, and History-Making Swings (and Misses) of America's National Pastime by Alex Irvine - This book is not specifically geared toward kids, but my kids really enjoyed it. This is one that parents can enjoy, too.

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Kate's Really Good at Hockey by Christina Frey and Howard Shapiro - Kate dreams big hockey dreams but gets sent to spend the summer with her grandma. Sports will draw kids in, but the story will keep them there.

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The Bad Guys in Superbad (The Bad Guys #8) by Aaron Blabey - Looking for another popular series? Try these books about bad guys who want to be heroes.

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How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee - One of the effects of reading so many comics and graphic novels is that kids start wanting to write and draw them themselves. So in honor of Stan Lee, here's his book on drawing comics. If your kids are interested, there are many versions of blank comic books for kids, which encourage kids to draw and write.



Finally, I mentioned how Seira Wilson's recommendations have fed my kids' love of books for years. She is the main source of recommendations here.




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