Raising Readers – One Books at a Time!

Bookshelf pic

I have loved books for as long as I can remember! My Mom actually used books as bribery to potty train me when I was 2 (OK, that is moderately embarrassing!) We would walk to the store together and I would get to pick out a brand new Golden Book! Even today I can be easily bribed with books…just sayin’!

Though I love all books, Children’s Books have my heart. There is something magical about Children’s Literature. I started my own library of kids books well before I had my own kids. It wasn’t even that I was putting books away for when I one day had kids of my own…I was buying them for myself because I love them so much!

I always knew that it would be a goal of mine to raise children who loved books and reading as much as I do. I am happy to report that we are well on our way to having 3 little bookworms! They may not have reached full book hoarder status yet like their mother…but they are young yet 😉

SO…How DO you raise a reader???

 Be a Reader Yourself

Let your kids see  you reading! Let them see the joy you get from getting lost in a book!! I know we are all so busy and it is so hard to carve out time to sit and read, but even if it is just for 15 minutes it is so great for you and it sends such an awesome message to your kids! When your kids see you pick up a book and read for pleasure it is sending a message to them that reading is something fun and enjoyable.

Read Aloud

This may be my very favorite tip. Read aloud to your kids. Not just your young children. All of your children. So many parents stop reading aloud to their children when their kids learn to read on their own. Don’t do it! Keep on reading aloud to them. Even if it is just for a little bit before bed, reading aloud is such a wonderful experience for both parent and kiddo. We start every single day with a read aloud. My kids and I agree…it is our favorite part of the day. They absolutely LOVE having me read to them and I LOVE getting to experience so many amazing books with my kids. My oldest is almost 12 and she still absolutely loves getting to sit with her brother and sister and hear Mama read books. We have experienced so many awesome stories!

Talk about Books

My almost 12 year old could talk your ear off about Percy Jackson…or any Rick Riordan book for that matter. She gets so excited to tell us about the characters in her books and what is happening and what she THINKS will happen next. She loves to compare the books to the movies…and tell you exactly why the makers of the movie got it totally wrong at certain parts. I LOVE it! I love seeing that excitement. It tells me she is not only loving what she is reading…but she is absorbing and comprehending what she is reading.

Ask them questions about what they are reading…not just as a test to see that they are retaining information…but show them that you are genuinely interested in what they are interested in. Let them ask YOU questions about what you are reading…you don’t have to give a play by play of the steamy scenes in your romance novel or the gory details of your murder mystery…but letting them know what your book is about and why you like it is a great way to connect with them over reading. My kids are constantly asking me about my books. They are so curious about the types of books I read and why I like them!

Have Easy Access to Books

In the words of the great Dr. Seuss…”Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” If books are easily accessibly then they will be picked up and read. Our home is full of books. They are everywhere. We have shelves, baskets, bins, cubbies…you name it…we’ve stuffed it with books!! Now this isn’t to say that you have to spend a gazillion dollars on books and shelves…you can have easy access to books without spending a cent! Take advantage of your local library!! We are so lucky to have access to not only one library, but several libraries within our county. If I have a book I am looking for chances are one of the libraries has it! Its such an amazing resource. There are sites online as well where you can get access to free books to read. Amazon often has free or very inexpensive books to download for your Kindle as well!

Another tip that I have learned that has helped immensely in my house is to display your books with the covers facing out. We have recently purchased some picture ledges to display our books on…without fail the kids gravitate toward the books that they see on that shelf. It can be a book that we have had in our bookshelf for years…but once they see its cover they are drawn to it! Seeing those beautiful book covers entices kids (and mamas!) to pick it up and flip through it!

bookshelf pic
This is one of my favorite places to display our books!

Embrace ALL Types of Reading Materials

This may not be a hugely popular opinion among reading professionals…but I don’t stress over reading levels. If my kids have a topic they are interested in reading about I will gather anything and everything I can get my hands on regardless of reading level. Through my years as a consultant with Usborne Books & More I have had so many parents refuse a book for their child because it is “too easy”. That bums me out big time! If you have a child that loves horses…let them read about horses!! It’s OK if it is below their reading level…they are reading…and you know what? They are ENJOYING it because it is a topic that interests them!

If you have a child who loves comic books or graphic novels…let them read them! They are great choices for a reluctant reader!

If you have a child who is a non-fiction buff…let them read non-fiction! Some of my kids favorite books are non-fiction!

If you have a child who still loves to read picture books…bust out those picture books! Picture books are some of my very favorite books and are filled with amazing writing!! We often stop reading picture books once our kids have begun reading chapter books, but we are missing out on some seriously amazing reading material!


These are just a few simple ways that we have created an atmosphere of reading in our home. How are you raising readers at your house?



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Get Lost in a Book This Summer! 3 Great Reads for the Adventure Lover!

Book Recommendation, Middle Grade, Book Review, Thisby Thestoop, The Explorer, Arlo Finch


Summer is the perfect time to get out and take some family adventures! Trips to the beach, hikes in the mountains, camping trips…whatever your idea of adventure is, summer is a great time to get out and explore! Summer is also one of my favorite times to get lost in a good book…ok, pretty much any time is a good time to get lost in a good book…but summer reading is just the best!!

I have 3 awesome books for you that are full of excitement and adventure! These were 3 of our favorite family read alouds this year and I can’t wait for you to check them out! These are all middle grade books but were enjoyed immensely by all 3 of my kiddos…ages 7, 9, and 11…and their Mama…her age is irrelevant to this post ! 😉

First up is The Explorer by Katherine Rundell. This book kept us on the edge of our seats from beginning to end! The book begins with a young boy named Fred on a plane with 3 other children. They are heading to England from Manaus. The pilot stops breathing and the plane crashes. Fred awakens to find that the pilot has died and that he and the 3 other children are alone in the jungle. Rundell writes in such a way that you actually feel as if you are trapped in the jungle with the kids. Fred, Con, Lila, and Max have to fight to survive in the jungle…how will they ever get home…and are they actually alone?


The next book that you must read is called Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire by John August. This is the first book in a brand new series. I read this book by myself first and I loved it so much that I am currently re-reading it aloud to my kids. This book is fabulous! If you love a good mystery, wrapped up with amazing adventure, with a splash of the supernatural…this is the book for you! Arlo Finch is brand new to the town of Pine Mountain. It doesn’t take long before he realizes that this small town is far from ordinary. From the ghost dog in his uncles front yard to the mysterious purple goo that makes bell sounds when it moves…Pine Mountain definitely holds some secrets. August is a master storyteller…a great read aloud for all ages! The second book in the series is due to arrive in Spring of 2019 and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. The second installment is called Arlo Finch in the Lake of the Moon and is due out in February of 2019!


The last book I have chosen is a brand new release called Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain by Zac Gorman. Again, we were hooked from the very first pages. Thisby Thestoop is the Gamekeeper for the dungeon of Black Mountain. She is in charge of all of the creatures that reside in Black Mountain…some not so scary creatures…and other creatures that you wouldn’t want to run into in the day time let alone at night. The day of the official royal inspection arrives and suddenly Thisby finds herself on an adventure deep within the darkest part of the dungeons. She is in charge of escorting the Princess Iphigenia out of the dungeon after she has become separated from her twin brother and all of her guards. Thisby must keep the princess safe from all of the beasts, attempt to find this missing Prince Ingo, and save her precious dungeon from the threat of creatures even worse than the ones she cares for! Not only is this book edge-of-your-seat entertaining, but is is also a hysterical and heartwarming tale of bravery and friendship! It is a fabulously well written and gorgeously illustrated book that I know you will love. Just a word of warning…if you have a younger reader who is sensitive to scary things and monsters you  may want to pre-read the book ahead of time. The book can be scary at times and does have a few scary illustrations! My youngest is 7 years old and he didn’t have any issues with the scariness…but I did want to mention it just in case!!


I hope that the adventure lovers in your life will enjoy these awesome books!!


Do you have any favorite adventure books that I can add to my reading list this summer??

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