Let it be known that while my older children enjoy reading, they also hate book suggestions. One in particular is rather reluctant to break out of her norm and read books other than Harry Potter or the Seekers. I haven’t yet been able to talk her or my second daughter into reading my childhood favorites, all the Little House books. Often when I suggest a new title or author, eyes look doubtfully at me. My kids like what they like and they are skeptical about new books.
When summer rolls around and the local libraries have reading programs, we sign up. We read, frequent the library for new stacks of books, and I try to convince them to broaden their literary interests. It’s easier to get them to eat salad than to read a new style of literature. Not only that, there is no incentive from the library program to try a new book. In our current local area, the goals are based on time and pages, not titles or genres. This doesn’t work! My kid swill sit for hours with Harry, Percy, adventurous cats, and Star Wars. They’ll read the same pages over and over and over to meet the time and page goals.
My own frustration with the less-than-motivational library programs inspired a new book challenge. With this Anytime Book Challenge, your children will be inspired and motivated to branch outside the norm and read a wide variety of literature. You can add to this, even! Start with my ideas and then make it your own. There are so many good books to be read and discovered, I hope this list will jump-start curiosity and a renewed interest in new books. One of my favorite ideas is the one to read a book suggested by a friend or family member. It’s a fun way to engage in conversation about books with someone other than Mom, and to get to know the interests of another person. Also fun? A book under 100 pages. See if you can help your child find a classic picture book they haven’t read yet, or a new picture book to add to your list of favorites. *note: one of the options is to read a book from “Mom’s list of titles”. I did this because I have a list of books I’d like my kids to read. Letting them choose from the list allows them some choice still, and ensures they are still going to choose at least one book I want them to read without me saying “you must read The Witch of Blackbird Pond“. If you don’t have a list or don’t want to make one, fill in that option with something else.
The best part is that this can be done anytime, and completed in any amount of time. Set the rewards with your child. A few ideas are: ice cream, burgers (getting In ‘N Out is a treat for us), a new book, going to the movies. Make it fun! I’d love to hear about new titles your children discover and love.
Click on the image below for a printable challenge page!