Ever since he learned to read, Collin has been an avid reader. He will read anything he can get his hands on... even the Wall Street Journal (the only newspaper we get in our home)... and he will talk to me about the articles. "Mom, I read in the WSJ that....."
He began reading the Friend magazine so quickly that he was turning to the Ensign (at 6 years old). I finally subscribed to the New Era for him (he's 9). He blows through that... and then reads the Ensign.
As much as he loves to read fiction, he loves non-fiction. I think he has read every non-fiction book in the school library, or least all the ones on science and World War II (his favorite topics). Although he seems to be branching out; when we went the library last week, he chose a book called "Arizona Historical Land."
I have always had a hard time pulling Collin away from a book when he is supposed to be doing something else. He gets so caught up in books that he completely loses track of time.
Then there is Mary (6). She is a good reader... or I should say "she reads well." She reads dutifully every day for exactly the required amount of time. And that is it. She doesn't get excited to read, and she doesn't ever want to read for fun. Is there something wrong with her?
I have been thinking that she just hasn't found anything she loves to read. At her age, Collin had read every "Magic Tree House" book and loved them (especially the historical parts). He would read a book in one sitting. Mary reads one chapter and puts it away. "Mary, don't you like it?" "Sure I do." "Is it exciting?" "Yes." "Don't you want to find out what happens?" "Tomorrow. I want to go play."
I found some adaptations of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books that she started on (I thought the originals were probably too daunting for a 6 year old). Same story. There have been other books here and there, but nothing has stuck. Her 1st grade teacher read "The Box Car Children" to the class, so I tried to get her to read more of those, but she said she wasn't interested. Huh?
I took the kids to Barnes & Noble yesterday to get forms for their summer reading program (free books anyone?), and told them I would buy each of them a book (which had to be approved by me). This was a rare treat, since we usually just check them out from the library. But I wanted Mary to have a reason to get excited about reading.
Collin got "Johnny Tremain." (One of my favorite books at his age!) Jack picked a little book on how to draw Pokemon characters, which I finally agreed to since he can't read yet. (We have way too many picture books anyway, and he has already moved on to chapter books... I'm reading "James and Giant Peach" to him currently.) And Mary? Well, I spent at least 30 minutes with her trying to find something she wanted. I made suggestion after suggestion and she kept saying she wasn't interested. Nothing I said would convince her these were books she would enjoy. She did like the Ramona Quimby books, so I suggested other books by Beverly Clearly, but she still said no.
I finally gave up, so Mary didn't get a book. She was all upset, but so was I!!!
So, I need your help. Please give me your book recommendations for 7 year old girls... something that will develop Mary's love of reading. (Please no adaptations of TV shows!)