Know your kids
When you know your reader, you can grow your reader.
I get asked, 'what should my child read next? all the time, and I love it because parents are working hard to grow their readers. It is tricky for kids to find books they will enjoy, and matching a child with a book has become a hobby of mine. Finding the right book for each child gives me joy; I am smiling now just thinking about it.
I have been intrigued by how to find a good book, and over time I have discovered how to ask the right questions to get to know kids and uncover their reading personality types.
This is how 'Know Your Kids' came to be. I write book reviews based on reading personality types so a parent or reader can tell if it is the right book. I have found this far more effective than looking for popular book choices or reviews that retell the story.
I love growing kids into readers for life - the look on a child's face when a book has touched their heart to me is priceless. I think this comes from my struggle to find reading.
While my sister had her head stuck in The Secret Seven, I just didn't get it. But when I eventually found reading, that was it: hook, line, and sinker.
I love the power of reading and how it changed my life. Throughout school but especially during my time at university, I always wondered how people knew so much about the world - I soon realised it was because they read and decided to take my friends up on their book recommendations and make up for the lost time.
I found teaching by accident while taking a year off, and I never looked back. I have been a primary school teacher, then an Assistant head, and a Literacy Consultant who teaches teachers. Over the last 25 years, getting children to read has always been where my heart lies. Happy, well-rounded, successful kids - for me, it always comes back to reading - it is the key to everything.
Now I get a kick out of growing a reader. I try to give every child a chance to find reading, to discover that books can be 'their thing,' to help kids grasp that they can find a book they love and experience for themselves how reading can make a massive, gigantic, ginormous difference to their life. I am so excited that I can share my knowledge of children's books with you. (I often stay up late reading and then regret it the next day!)