Do Kids Read Anymore?
If you hand a middle-grade child a book, a video game, a tablet, or the remote to the TV, which will they pick? It’s totally dependent on the child, but the book might often come last.
My parents and my grandmother read to us when we were young, giving us a jumpstart on our love for reading. Later, I was such a voracious reader (as a grade-schooler) that I’d hide under the covers with a flashlight past my bedtime. I wanted to read one more chapter—or even one more page.
So what’s the solution for parents? Technology is everywhere. My two-year-old granddaughter is more fascinated with a smart phone, tablet or computer screen than by a book. I’m thankful her parents read to her and don’t park her in front of the TV.
I read to my kids and worked hard to find books that would intrigue them. We read the entire Narnia series, then followed it by watching The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. They didn’t watch the movie first because I wanted them to create those characters in their minds and imagine what they might look and sound like.
The key is to find things children are interested in. For my daughter, it was horse or animal books, or mysteries (the newer Nancy Drew Files). For my son, it was stories with adventure, mystery, or airplanes.
Now, I also write kids’ books, as I felt God leading me down this path. I try to bring animals, adventure, a touch of mystery, friendships and struggles kids can relate to, and sprinkle it with a touch of values that parents will love and kids might not even realize they’re getting.
So read to the child in your life. Find out what interests them and encourage the love of reading. You and they will be glad you did!
Miralee is a lay-counselor, accredited through the American Association of Christian Counselors, and speaks at women’s groups, libraries, and churches about her writing journey. When she started writing fiction Miralee believed that she’d always stay with women’s contemporary, but has since branched out to historical romance. She has fourteen books in print, including the best-selling Blowing on Dandelions published by David C Cook, book one in the Love Blossoms in Oregon series. Miralee recently expanded to a new genre—middle-grade horse novels with a strong emphasis on friendship and family values. The first, A Horse for Kate, released in March of 2015, with three more soon to come.