It’s in the news all the time lately: kids aren’t reading! Books are dead! Is it the literary death spiral?
Newly appointed U.S. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, author Jon Scieszka thinks we can avoid the death spiral. In this article from the Washington Post, he says we should “give children freedom to choose what they want to read rather than what adults think they should read” and expand the definition of reading to include “nonfiction, graphic novels, comic books, magazines, online, audio books—I think all that works. It all helps turn kids into readers.”
Recorded Books’ audiobooks and Playaways—including lots of exciting nonfiction titles and books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which incorporate graphic novel elements—are a great way to get kids interested in reading. Scieszka says he’s a “fan of stupid reading,” and recognizes that as long as kids are reading something, it’s a good thing. He says fun is the ticket to reading, a philosophy we think is great.
Scieszka has even started his own project, a website called Guysread that aims to encourage boys to read more. Because they develop later, see mostly female role models as readers, and are often introduced to reading with books that don’t interest them, many boys don’t consider themselves readers. GuysRead suggests books and authors that readers of all ages—girls too—will appreciate for their humor and familiar themes. Many of the books, including Bud, Not Buddy, The Spiderwick Chronicles books, Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventures, titles by Gary Paulsen, Joey Pigza books, and titles from Chris Crutcher are available on audiobook or Playaway from Recorded Books. Check out the GuysRead list and submit some of your own titles.
Photo by Marty Umans, provided compliments of Jon Scieszka