Monday, June 14, 2010

What Do You Get a 7 Year Old...

who's a reluctant reader?

It's tricky, sometimes, to find something they're interested in that isn't too babyish, or too difficult. Here's what I came up with for my somewhat reluctant boy for his 7th birthday:

Since he loves all things Pokemon, I found this activity book. It's full of puzzles -- crosswords, word finds, secret codes to crack, that sort of thing. It's reading masquerading as something else and he was excited to get it. It will come in very handy on our vacation in a couple weeks.

Some people love Dav Pilkey, others hate him. I once heard a librarian make a disgusted noise over the number of Dav Pilkey books kids were checking out of the library. I, on the other hand, am thrilled that my son wants to read his books and am willing to put up with a certain amount of corny humor and pee pee jokes. Ricky Ricotta, it should be noted, is light on the pee pee humor. It's more of a comic-book style book, highly graphic (by which I mean the action is illustrated pretty thoroughly) and written in larger text at a level that falls between Henry and Mudge and Magic Tree House.

Ricky Ricotta is geared for 1st and 2nd graders and is like brain candy for my son. I wanted something he could read to himself (he is very big on this now -- reading to himself silently), something I knew he could read with no external support, and Ricky Ricotta fits the bill perfectly.

For a step up in reading level and pee pee jokes, he got a Captain Underpants. These are really 3rd-5th grade level books, and for boys they appeal because of the plentiful illustrations and the bathroom humor. Yes, it's full of wedgies and boogers, but don't make the mistake of thinking these books are pure dumb -- the language level in them will surprise you. My son thinks they're hilarious, but can't read them without some help. He was quite happy to get another one as a gift.

This last one was a shot in the dark for me: I am completely unfamiliar with this series, but thought it looked like something I could read to my son. It's billed as "laugh-out-loud," which I am taking with a grain of salt. I'll review it later after I see how it plays with my son.

The search for high-quality, high-interest reading material continues....

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