* GASP *
Much to my horror, my youngest child would rather do almost anything (except clean his room) before reading a book. He seems to be okay with websites, cook books, sports pages and Nintendo instructions, but a book? Ick.
THIS is going to be a problem. In his current school there is very little emphasis on reading - or, challenging reading. I don't consider "Captain Underpants" or the "Wimpy Kid" books to be a challenge to a kid in grade 6. I know we have a systemic problem with boys not reading, but I really don't think things have to be dumbed-down or cartoonized to engage them. We just have to outsmart them ;)
In September, Caden enters an academically rigorous program. The expectations are much higher than what he is used to and I really don't want him to fail before he starts. I need to set him up for success.
Over the last couple of months, after speaking with some friends about my fears, I realized it may not be the book - the actual story - but the way it is delivered. He needs something else. Enter audible.com to my rescue! This is a division of Amazon.com where the books are read, in real time.
After explaining my fear to Caden, he agreed it was time to figure out this reading thing and make better book choices. Caden and I clicked into audible.com to find that I had six credits. One credit = one book. I asked Caden to go through and choose five books he thought might be interesting. I would get to choose one for him to read.
His choices included:
The Lightening Thief, Rick Riordan, 10 hours 1 minute
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, 11 hours 14 minutes
Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins, 11 hours 41 minutes
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins, 11 hours 43 minutes
The Red Pyramid: The Kane Chronicles, Book 1, Rick Riordan, 14 hours 32 minutes
I think this is a pretty good start! Maybe a bit ambitious, I'm happy he took our talk seriously.
For the kids, I chose:
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle, 6 hours 8 minutes
Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls, 6 hours 45 minutes
On his "Wish List" which is really not a wish, but part of the summer reading program and mandatory reading for the Middle School curriculum are:
A Tale of Two Cities & Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 28 hours 39 minutes
Lord of the Flies, William Golding, 6 hours 35 minutes
The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton, 5 hours 12 minutes
The Giver, Lois Lowry, 4 hours 41 minutes
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain, 8 hours 33 minutes
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Mark Haddon, 6 hours 6 minutes
We own all of these books (and thousands more). As much as it irks me that we'll spend an additional fortune doubling up our effort, I'm hoping the rewards will be worth the expense. The deal with Caden is that he is to listen to the books with his ear buds AND have the book open and follow along. Who knows? Maybe he'll decide he prefers his own voice as the narrator? At any rate he'll be taking in some extra sensory stimulation and I'm hoping he'll learn to love books!
BONUS: Each book is read in real time so the length is listed. I love this! Now I know how long to expect him to listen - and it helps me choose books for myself and the other kids!
What books do you think I should include on Caden's Wish List?