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Reluctant 7 year old boy reader (2nd Grade)


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Initial post: Oct 8, 2008 3:30:04 PM PDT
Onyx says:
My son is a surprisingly (to me anyway) good reader, but I just found out he hates to do it. States everything he reads is "boring". I know he likes wildlife books and books with a "a lot of pictures", but he's supposed to be reading chapter books at this time so.... He does enjoy listening to others read...I've been reading "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" and he's loved that. I tried Captain Underpants no go... tried other 'funny' books.... but they don't seem to capture his interest. Any suggests?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2008 3:50:02 PM PDT
Donnetta says:
My kids are 5 and 7. My 7yr old is also in 2nd grade, is a great reader ut doesnt like to read. BUT, i have noticed he will read star wars books on his own. He also liked the Franny K Stein series.As for Captain Underpants, my kids dont like them either. Have u tried the magic tree house? Maybe even Harry Potter?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2008 4:26:01 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2008 5:25:20 PM PDT
Joanne Froh says:
As an author of a children's book, I've never responded to a post before, as it seems to be a bit too self-serving. However, I'd like to suggest you try my book, "Imagine This!" It is a non-traditional poetry book that has an amazing ability to pull in reluctant readers (especially boys) with elaborate pen and ink drawings and strong, action-oriented text. These are short poems that speak directly to children, putting their own fantasies into words that rhyme and flow to a beat like music --something they absolutely adore. Finding a lost treasure, being able to fly, encountering wild animals, and swinging on a rope swing are just a few of the topics covered. Over the years, I've given lots of presentations to elementary school children, and inevitably, it is the 7-10 year old boys who really "get" this book and clamor for more. I hope you'll give it a try.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2008 5:43:20 PM PDT
Perhaps he would like books by Bill Wallace like Beauty (about a horse)...or Wilson Rawls' Where the Red Fern Grows (about dogs)...or books by Gary Paulsen...Phyllis Naylor wrote 2 or 3 books about a dog named Shiloh. If he's analytical, David Macaulay writes nonfiction books about how things work. They may be a little old for him, but they have really cool drawings :)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2008 9:56:12 PM PDT
Professor says:
If your son likes to be read to, I don't think you have much to worry about. Just keep reading to him! This will expand his vocabulary as much as any reading he can do on his own.

Also, since he does enjoy being read to, you can always try the age-old technique for getting him to read on his own: Start reading a chapter book to him that he enjoys, something really exciting. Stop abruptly at the most exciting spot, and say you forgot to make an important phone call or put the laundry in the dryer or something like that. Point to the page and say: "Just read from right there. I'll be right back." Then take your sweet time, but do come back. 20 minutes later. Repeat as needed.

If he likes to read books with pictures (and who doesn't?), perhaps you can try the Geronimo Stilton books, which are chapter books with plenty of pictures, humor, and funny fonts and letters on every page.

Also, there might be a subject that is not "boring" to him, something that he will want to read about. Sea monsters? Houdini? World records? Tunnel construction? Dragons? Time travel? Often, kids are not aware of all the different types of books out there, and assume that the books that they can read by themselves are all pretty much the same old, same old.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2008 10:15:36 PM PDT
I just read How to Be a Pirate by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (edited by Cressida Cowell) and it was very funny, yet charming. Apparently it is the sequel to How to Train your Dragon. There is also a picture book called Hiccup, the Viking who was Seasick. Even though "Pirate" is a chapter book, the drawings are particularly engaging, line done, as if a child had done them.

I also remember loving treasure island, kidnapped, the call of the wild and white fang around that age...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 5:38:00 AM PDT
I agree with the person above who recommended Star Wars books. My son loved them at this age! They have so many new ones out now. I would also humbly suggest that if your son likes dogs, try my new series, Penny and Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting. It is about two dogs who are pet detectives, it has lots of pictures, as well as lots of narrative. The school children love it.

But whatever you do, I applaud you for being proactive about your son's reading. Whatever you can get him interested in now, will follow him for a lifetime. I know, my son is now 14 and still loves everything Star Wars- and also gobbles up everything science fiction.
Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 7:22:00 AM PDT
Hi Onyx,

I have the perfect book for you. It's a new book series called "Strange Town Volume One: The Woods Behind Trevor Malone"s House" Three 11 yr old boys uncover an mystery which is brewing in there own back yard. It's light, funny, moves along fast, it's kinda like reading a movie! Perfect for boys! Good luck.

Joe

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 8:15:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2008 8:16:29 AM PDT
Hi, my 8 year old absolutely loves the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. They're fun and exciting. The chapters are only a few pages - the books themselves are not that long, but they are fun and exciting and best of all educational. I think the series is up to book 39 now. Hope this helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 10:23:39 AM PDT
Tom says:
Onyx,

Find out what he likes. For example, If he likes action/adventure books, I recommend The Adventures of Archie Reynolds by Gifford Bailey.

If he likes books about baseball, I recommend The kid Who Only Hit Homers by Matt Christopher.

If he has other interests, click on my name above and look at my list of best boys books.

Regards,
Tom

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 12:49:36 PM PDT
R. King says:
Onyx, I highly recommend The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. They're chapter books but they're short with lots of illustrations. They're a very good choice for a reluctant reader.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 1:21:36 PM PDT
Sara Rogers says:
My reluctant but good just-turned-8 year old boy reader had a fear of chapter books of any kind! It was the Junie B Jones series that helped him overcome that "chapter book" fear and then this summer he discovered the classic Boxcar children mystery books and has read them none stop...sometimes 2 in one day!! I highly recommend both series.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 1:24:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2008 1:25:12 PM PDT
Jennifer says:
Try the Bone series books. They are by Jeff Smith. Great for the age group and boys in general.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 1:36:48 PM PDT
Hi! I'd suggest Bridge to Terabithia by Kathryn Peterson, Holes by Louis Sachar, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory By Dahl.
Also in my elementary reading class I'm in now, we were just starting funny upper elementary authors like Gordon Korman, Robert Newton Peck " Soup" collection (these are real life short stories that are funny, for example playing cowboys and Indians and tieing up his Aunt and learning that's not a good idea), John Scieszka, but when I'm in a class and all else fails I read Chris Van Allsburg and have them find his trademark white dog, Charlotte's Web, or The Velveteen Rabbit.

Hope this helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 1:42:44 PM PDT
I have a seven year old boy that will not read a chapter book, but is being heavily enticed by "The Spiderwick Chronicles".
We read them to him, but make him start the first page.

He loves these books so much i cant believe it.

give those a try.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 2:30:16 PM PDT
E. Streeter says:
Try "The Chronicles of Prydain," a five part series by Lloyd Alexander. I have never fully been able to get into "Harry Potter", the "Chronicles of Narnia" or other popular fantasy novels, but as a child I could not but these five books by Alexander down.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 3:11:11 PM PDT
Try Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel.
He'll love the Er-ick and Ben-Ben characters. It's perfect for reluctant readers and it fits his current favorites: Lots of wildlife in it (they're camping) and pictures on every single page.
I hear often from young readers who now keep sketch journals -- because they want to -- because of this book.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 3:38:12 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 6:06:09 PM PDT
Kate says:
My 8 year old son, a slow-to-warm-up-to-reading fellow, started reading an hour a day when his buddy told him about the Magic Tree House books. I wish I'd known about them when his older brother was his age. It is hard to find books that interest young boys, but this series seems to do just that. His older brother loved anything by Roald Dahl. Try Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 7:02:27 PM PDT
A very cute and funny series of beginning chapter books my 6 year old ( and even my 7 & 8 ) year old enjoys is : "Roscoe Riley Rules" by Katherine Applegate. Each book starts with Roscoe in the time out corner - and he wants to tell us why he is there. Each story has a rule as a sub title that obviously has been broken - but he has never heard that rule before - so he didn't know. For example : book 1 - Never glue your friends to chairs. He is Junie B.ish in nature and quite comical. The books are about 80 pages. Easy enough to read or to take turns with - but enough to enjoy and feel successful at reading a "big" book.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 7:24:10 PM PDT
Geronimo Stilton is a popular series with both 2nd grade boys and girls. Its about a mouse who is an editor of a newspaper. The illustrations and funky text really captures and keeps their attention. Great lessons for writing also- like the "wow" words we want them to use. Lots of books in the series -that take place all over the world. Believe it will be on tv in the next year or two -it originates in Italy. Sure to become even more popular!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2008 7:46:44 PM PDT
Try the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osbourne. They are fun, exciting and have historical facts. My son read every one in second grade and we wait for the next ones to come out with baited breath. the are also on the AR list for most schools. I would compromise with him and allow him to pick out something he liked however he had to read his chapter books. he is in third grade reading 5th grade books now and I have to pull the books out of his hands at night to get him to go to bed. he reads all types now.
Gail

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 10, 2008 12:19:49 AM PDT
Boys tend to fact based instead of story based. I don't have specific title suggestions but I know younger boys usually enjoy fact books more than stories. So books about sharks or dinosaurs, stuff like that to start. Unless his teacher is pushing I wouldn't worry that he is not reading chapter books as long as he is reading. Also, try a magazine like National Geographic Kids or a sports magazine for kids to get him to read more. Lastly, try taking turns reading instead of just reading to him, that way he won't get too bored and is still getting practice.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 10, 2008 9:44:55 AM PDT
Wayward says:
Maybe some nonfiction books that are longer would appeal to him and satisfy his teacher...you can peruse the library together.
Fiction books that might pique his interest: Louis Sachar Sideways Stories from Wayside school or Marvin Redpost. Maybe a good mystery, like Encyclopedia Brown.
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  143
Total posts:  154
Initial post:  Oct 8, 2008
Latest post:  Nov 10, 2012

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