Bookshops and libraries have shelves stacked full of beautiful books, but which one is right for your reader? Why aren't the book lists and recommendations successful? And why can't your child find a book they want to read? It is because finding the right book can be a challenge; in fact, the question I get asked the most is, 'what should my kids read next?'
And the answer is different each time because to choose a book your child will love, you need to understand your child's interests and reading needs. You need to find out what kind of reader you have, as what they might want and need to read could be very different from the mainstream, popular bestsellers.
As Betty Rosenburg so perfectly stated 'The first law of reading is never apologise for your reading tastes."
( Reading Advisory Service- Genreflecting).
As parents, we can get caught up in what our child should read rather than what our child will want to read. This is key when choosing the right book for your child.
The first question to ask is what kind of reader do you have? For example, Are they a prolific reader, or a reader who likes short stories and lots of action? Are they a reader who has to connect with characters to enjoy the book? Or do they think reading is not really for them? I like to call these reading personalities.
Over the last 25 years, I have been lucky enough to discuss reading personalities with so many kids, and I have seen the huge difference it can make. Children who can't chose or finish a book or tell me they are not readers with the right book begin to realise that there are books out there for them. But choosing a book is something that needs to be modeled by teachers and parents. It is a skill to practice and refine.
At know your kids, I have put together a short quiz that you can take to discover your child's reading personality. Once armed with this knowledge, you will find choosing books much more straightforward.
The next question to ask is what genre does my child enjoy? What are their interests? What are their favourite stories (this could be a book or a film.) It could be a sport or that they love animals, or it might be detective stories that hook them in.
Then you can use your child's reading personality alongside their favourite genres to find the right book. It narrows down the selection. You can choose books from the right genre with the right length, plot type, and author's style to suit your child's reading needs.
I know this can sound a lot -without reading each book, it can be challenging to work out what genre it belongs to or which reading personality it suits. That is why at know your kids, every review has this information, as well as an overview of the story, to help you quickly find the right book for your reader.
This seems to be more important during the lockdown than ever as many parents find themselves in the position of having to find new books, not the school or class teacher. Remember, if you can get to Know Your Kids as a reader, you will find the right book and grow readers for life.