Does your child groan when they are assigned a book report? Do the begrudgingly flip through the pages of assigned reading? Can you recall the last book that your child read? Was that an assigned book or a choice book? Books are gateways to alternate worlds -- fiction, fantasy and non-fiction alike. Readers escape into the world and lives of the characters. Valuable life lessons are learned through reading. Ultimately, reading is a gateway to an unlimited surplus of information. Yet, so many students either distaste reading or fail to find the time to read. When I meet with a prospective student I always ask, "What was the title of the last book you read?" Many students stutter with an elongated "hmmmmm....uhmmm....." before finally admitting that they can't remember. If they can remember, the title was, more often than not, assigned by a teacher. If students aren't discovering new books that they WANT to read then it's no surprise that they aren't reading.
The next question that I ask is directed towards the parent(s), "What was the last book YOU read?" I very rarely find a parent who can answer this question. It's no surprise to me. Instead of reading, technology drives us to check our phones, flick on the TV, or stare at some other screen variety. The 200 word articles on Social Media do not count as reading. At this point, I like to reference an article by Nicholas Carr entitlted, "Is Google Making us Stupid?" If you haven't read this already, I would definitely recommend it. However, following his theories, it is unlikely that many of you will read it. In essence, Carr identifies that the instant gratification of google quick results and internet articles are causing our attention spans to wane. I've seen it happen. I think that this is a very valid assertion. This is yet another very valid reason to continue fulfilling your New Years Resolution to dedicate 20 minutes per day to reading. I realized, however, that I provide recommended reading lists for students but not parents. Following my logic that if your children see you reading then they will want to read, I figured I should follow up on that so here's a few for you: