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Improve Your Child's Reading Website Review

Updated on January 3, 2016
Children need books to read and adventure
Children need books to read and adventure | Source

The weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal (January 4, 2014) had an interesting article about the English Department at The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2011 the school removed classes on Chaucer, Milton and Shakespeare from the requirements for an English/ Humanities degree. The program had approximately 1,400 students and was the largest English department in the nation. In the place of these authors were classes on Gender, Sexuality , Race, Trans-nationalism. The author of this article Heather Mac Donald(fellow at the Manhattan Institute) lamented on how W.E.B. Du Bose would have been stunned by the abandonment of these authors. Du Bose was a black leader in the early 1900's. He talked about how reading the writers of old allowed him to learn and be in the same social circles without being looked down upon. Today's students have no connection or desire to be connected to history. "Here and now", is the mantra of today's society.

As parents we have the responsibility to show children the best literature available. Meghan Cox Gurdon in a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on March 12, 2013 said:

"Books show us the world, and in that sense, too many books for adolescents act like funhouse mirrors, reflecting hideously distorted portrayals of life. Those-of us who have grown up understand that the teen years can be fraught and turbulent-and for some kids, very unhappy-but at the same time we know that in the arc of human life, these years are brief. Today too many novels for teenagers are long on the turbulence and short on a sense of perspective".

A teacher once told me,"If all a child will read is the Goosebumps series then so be it, at least they are reading". What an unsettling thought. I read one of those books. It ended with the nightmare. Poof, that was the end of the story. I assumed it was only a nightmare but there wasn't anything to say otherwise . I guess it was supposed to be real.

Good literature for kids is vital to draw children into the joy of reading. Reading books aloud entertains children, is good for the parent child relationship, and gives children a hunger for the written word. The web site I am about to introduce you to isn't lofty, but it is a place to start.

Books Read Aloud Encourage Reading

Literature Quiz

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James Patterson The Writer

James Patterson, mystery writer extraordinaire, has a website for kids. The point is get kids excited about reading. The first time I heard of James Patterson, despite the fact he has written 100's of books, was when I saw him playing cards on Castle. My husband was so excited he nearly jumped out of his seat. Stephen Cannell writer/ producer of programs like 21 Jump Street, A Team, and author of 16 novels was also around the card table. For cheap dates my husband and I spend time in libraries and bookstores. In 1980 we walked into Tower books one evening within arms reach of Louis L'Amour signing books. Author signings and books are very exciting to me.

At the Works in Pacific Grove, drinking coffee, perusing the bookstore a Nikki Heat novel caught my attention. It was a Nikki Heat novel, by Richard Castle. I turned the book over to see if there was a picture of the writer. Indeed there was; it was a picture of Nathan Fillion, the actor who plays writer Richard Castle on the television program Castle.

Did Fillion write these books? I have no idea. Some speculate James Patterson writes them. Though there is no reason why Fillion couldn't. He has written screen plays. He apparently denies writing the novels. All the books they talk about on the show are for sale on Amazon.

Back to Patterson. He has written hundreds of books. Yesterday while looking at the fly leaf of Worst Case a promotion for a website to help parents find books for their children caught my eye. Patterson's goal is to get children interested in reading. Brilliant idea for a writer to promote the love of reading don't you think?

With a name like this website had to be investigated.

4 stars for

What To Expect On The Site is a useful resource, divided into age groups and categories of books.:

  • Great Illustrated ages 0-8
  • Great Transitions ages 6 and up,
  • Great Page Turners 8 and up
  • Great Advanced reads 10 and up.

Click on the picture of the book you think might interest you. It will take you to a brief summary of each book,along with pictures of the books. Click again and you will see in depth summaries along with summaries by parents and educators This site is easy to use.

James Patterson and others have written articles to help you get your children reading. I especially liked the article on "How To Get Boys To Read". Some of his suggestions worked well in my family.

Patterson is a firm believer kids need to be taught the love of reading. His says, "Reading needs to be taught at home". Schools can't give kids the joy of reading that parents and grandparents can. Reading is hard for many. There seems to be a disconnect between education, reading and the love of learning. As a teacher, mother 3 young men and grandma I have the authority to say, "Time spent reading to your child is time well spent". This is especially true if you have children with learning disabilities. They may not be able to read well, but reading to them opens the world; a whole new world is opened to them in the time it takes you to read a book to them. Reading a book to a child bonds parents to their children. This bond comes from spending time together.

Knowing there is more than the here and now creates a drive to learn. The joy of reading can help kids press through the difficulties of leaning disabilities. Lets turn off the television and computer and explore. Readkiddoread can help you get some ideas on how to fill the time you no longer spend watching television.

Good Resource

Perusing the lists of books suggested on this site I saw some old favorites and best loved classics like Catwings, Nate the Great.The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow, and To Kill A Mocking Bird.

There are lots of other book titles that are completely new. This isn't a perfect website. There are no Madeleine L'Engle books, but it's sure a good resource.

The web-site for your local library is a good resource. If your library isn't so good go to the Livermore Public Library they have amazing ideas for activities to do with kids.

Books for little kids are easy to review, young adult books are more time intensive to review, but most vital. If your child doesn't like to read. Read the book you want to review allowed. You can edit anything you want out as you read. Don't think you read well enough to read to your children? You can fake it with small children and benefit them just as much as if you read the words. How? Look at the pictures in the book and tell what's happening. Also there is a magical thing about poor readers reading. Practice really does help. The more you read the easier it gets.

J.R.R. Tolkien originally intended The Hobbit to be read allowed. Children are sponges, when you read a book they are reading and discuss it with them, you build common interests and ways to interact with your kids which, is not a easy, but so valuable.

Remember; check out for ideas of books to read.

As I was wondering around the library the other day I found a written list of books broken down into age groups laying on the shelf. Amazing to find something in writing. Your local librarian is a good resource too.

Hopefully this will be helpful. Happy reading!



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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i will visit this site and see whether my son is interested in reading the stories, thanks

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Flourish, That is a dynamic idea. I hope this is helpful-Judy

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      I'm thrilled to learn about this website. I've always encouraged reading with my daughter, and she has become an avid lover of books. (She's a young teen now, but I've been reading to her since she was 6 months old.) Over the past year, we developed a fun way to incorporate books into summer vacations and Christmas. We call it "the 7 books of Christmas" (or summer vacation). She suggests a couple of recent books that she's found nearly impossible to get through the local library or her classroom. I then research them and add some "stretch" titles that she'd never select. This ensures a bit of diversity. I purchase them from Amazon using my credit card reward points (so they're essentially free) then keep her in the dark about what I bought. I wrap them individually in gift paper and she opens them one at a time, only upon having finished the previous one. She loves the mystery of our little game. Then, when she's done, we donate the books to her classroom so others can benefit. I'll definitely check out that site for assembling my next list.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      KoffeeKlatchGals, read away. Thanks for visiting. I photographed my grandson (17 months)sitting in his chair next to grandpa. They are both wearing blue shirts and reading. I think the boy is on his way to being a reader.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I haven't heard of this website until now. It sounds like a winner. I love James Patterson and agree wholeheartedly that kids need to be taught to love reading. I will definitely be checking it out. Up, useful, interesting.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I am still trying to find out who actually writes the Nikki Heat novels.

    • hisandhers profile image

      hisandhers 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I'm so happy that you inadvertently discovered this site through Castle! I think it's so neat the writers of the show chose to include real-life authors to make Castle seem more like an authentic, real-life writer.

      Any website that will encourage kids to read is a great idea. I'm so glad so many people are getting so much out of it. Great hub!

    • profile image

      Vickiw 5 years ago

      Reading is very important. It always astounds me that children who are very weak with reading skills seem to be able to follow whatever is needed on the computer though. This sounds like a great help for them, and probably more acceptable than a classroom. Just as the standard if reading is declining, so our own ability to keep up with them on technology is also not too wonderful. Is this the new illiteracy?

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Lipnancy, You are welcom

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I too love James Patterson as an author. Thanks for educating us about this cause.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      MsDora thanks for visiting. If it is true that violent video games cause children to do violent things then getting kids away from the games is very important.

      Michelle- AC books are a super way of doing that.

      algarveview- Thanks for visiting. Special thanks for voting.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      God Bless flexible 5th grade teachers. My oldest son's 5th grade teacher kept about 300 books in his class. He changed them out every quarter. My son could read whenever his work was well done and complete. That was one of his best years at school.

      My niece had a 5th grade teacher who penalized kids who read above their grade level. Niece nearly died 20 years later and her own child got that teacher for 1st grade.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Anything that encourages children to read is a good idea. When my oldest son was in 5th grade he refused to read from the assigned books. His teacher had the foresight to say he could read any book he wanted as long as he read the whole thing. I picked a Sci-Fi book for him and he's been reading ever since!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Yes, I looked at the site, and I like it. Thanks for the introduction. Something different from repetitive video games and such.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for writing this hub. Most kids today just want to be on the computer, so why not just let them read while on the computer?

      Great hub.

      Voted up!

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hello, Tirelesstraveler, I haven't heard about this website before, but it sounds like a wonderful idea, since I think reading it's so important for kids. I always loved to read and I hope that my children do to. I'll check out the website. Very useful information. Voting up, useful and sharing! Have a wonderful day!


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