We have the great pleasure of having author, Tim Shoemaker, guest blog for us. Who better to address the reluctant reader than the author of tween and teen adventure stories? His books would make any kid want to jump into the literary world of suspense and intrigue.
You will be blessed!
Lori and Becky
P.S. Tim’s new book Below the Surface was just released this month! Your tween-aged boys will love it!
Giving characters the ability to time travel has been used by writers in countless stories over the generations. The thought of time travel intrigues people. Some imagine it as a way to make a fortune. For others, going back in time would give them a chance to right some wrongs, fix some mistakes, or simply do better.
Me? If I could go back, just for one day, I’d relive one of those magic days when my kids were eight, nine, ten, eleven, or twelve years old. There isn’t enough space to tell you all we’d do during that day, but I can tell you exactly what I’d do once they were in bed for the night.
I’d read to them. An adventure. Suspense.
There’s nothing like kicking back with a good book and reading aloud when your kids are lying in bed. Glancing up and seeing them smiling. Or wide-eyed. Sometimes staring at the ceiling like they’re in their own world. But you know exactly where they are… they’re right there in the story.
Reading was difficult for my youngest son. Painful. But I read to him. And of course his vocabulary expanded and comprehension soared nearly as much as it would if he’d have been reading on his own. He learned to love stories. And reading got easier for him. He’s grown now—and just finished his paramedic schooling. The textbooks he devoured would have been difficult for me to read.
Reading to my reluctant reader paid off in more than one way.
Tips for Reading With Your Reluctant Reader
1. Find a book that you will enjoy. If you’re bored to tears, you’ll probably quit and everybody loses. Good fiction for tweens should hold your attention, too.
2. Remember “one size fits all” doesn’t apply to books. If your kids are too spread out age-wise, pick different books and read to them separately.
3. Be careful about turning every story into curriculum. A well-written story will naturally teach the kids important life lessons. Give kids time to process and figure some lessons out for themselves before jumping in and pointing them out.
4. Break the rules. When they beg you to read a little more, don’t remind them of how they need their sleep because they have a big day at school tomorrow. Not exactly a comforting thought at bedtime. Instead, smile and nod. “Okay, one more chapter.”
We can’t time travel. We don’t get a do-over or another swing at bat. But you have today. And hopefully a whole lot of tomorrows to do things you’ll never regret. Why not make one of those things reading to your kids?
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Tim Shoemaker is the author of eleven books and speaks at conferences and schools around the country. He has been happily married for over thirty years to Cheryl, his high school sweetheart. He has three grown sons, two daughter-in-laws, and three grandkids. He has worked with youth on a volunteer basis for over twenty years and is active in church leadership. His fiction series for middle grade readers works for girls, but was written to hold the attention of boys. Check out Code of Silence, Back Before Dark, and Below the Surface. You can find Tim at http://www.timshoemakersmashedtomatoes.com