Sometimes this Mom on the Run gets it right.
I have a 10-year-old daughter, known here as Sporty Daughter, who is a reluctant reader. She was reading by the end of kindergarten, right on schedule. While her older sister (Crafty Daughter) at 5-6-7 years old devoured books, Highlights Magazine, and the comics, my middle daughter would read in school and at homework time, but never on her own. We tried everything to encourage her to read. We entered what I like to called the Subject Reading Phase — I would look through the Scholastic Book Order form and look for books dealing with subjects that she was interested in. So, we had the Dog phase, the Puppy phase, the Horse phase, the Hannah Montana/Mary Kate and Ashley/any other TV series-related book phase. Basically I tried everything I could to encourage and cajole her to read. In spite of everything I did all she wanted to do was reread the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Rose Parks.
In desperation and as a result of issues of focus at school, we had her tested by an educational psychologist. The two mornings of testing was very rigorous for an 8-year-old, but we needed answers that the school could not provide for us. In many school systems a child has to be extremely below or above average for staff to do anything. Those in the middle percentiles are a forgotten group…I will expand on my frustrations on this subject in another post.
With a diagnosis of mild ADHD, she entered 4th grade and within in one month of taking medication (a low dose) she was reading books like we had never seen before. She found the Alice series of books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. She met and exceeded her reading goals that year. We were so proud of her. This summer I looked around for another series for her to read. She was drifting back to rereading the Alice books and I wanted to find something else for her.
One day I found the preteen section at Borders. I saw a book about the Beacon Street Girls. The books deal with normal girls in a modern day school dealing with problems of school work, divorce, bullying. All topics of interest to preteen girls who are just beginning to see the great big world outside the cozy confines of childhood. The books are appropriate for ages 9 through 13.
My daughter started the first book three days ago and has not put it down. She is excited to read and I am excited to have found something fun and worthwhile for her to read. For more information on this series, see: