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Sometimes It Just Takes the Right Book

Diary of a Wimpy KidA friend sent me the following story about his son, and gave me permission to share:

"Matthew is a good reader but hadn’t caught the bug for reading for fun despite his mom's and my best efforts. He would do his homework and whatever else we made him do but he wouldn’t seek it out on his own. We read to him but pleasure reading wasn’t his thing.

The worm turned last week when he went to the school book fair. He used his own money and bought two books (The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, both by Jeff Kinney) at the fair.   

When I picked him up at his after school program, he wasn’t running around and playing as normal. Instead, he was over in a corner reading his book.

On the drive home, he was strangely quiet. I looked around in the back seat and he was reading his book.

If Matthew has been good, we let him watch Survivor on Thursday nights -- during the commercials, he would pull his book out and read.

On Friday morning, my wife said he took his hand crank flashlight with him so that he could read while they waited for the bus.

He is close to finishing the second book. 

We are working on finding some similar follow-on books to keep the momentum going."

Is that a great story, or what? Here we have parents who have wanted their son to enjoy books, and have kept reading to him, but they had to wait until, on his own, he found the right books, in order for that spark to light.

So, does anyone have suggestions for follow-on books that Matthew might like, after enjoying the Wimpy Kid books? I suggested the Owly books by Andy Runton. Of course Matthew will want to pick for himself - after he had such good luck with his recent purchases - but we could perhaps offer some ideas. Thoughts?

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.