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books to encourage nearly 7 year old ds to read by himself?

33 replies

elliott · 29/09/2008 21:31

because I think it is high time he started to!
I think he could cope with short chapter books, but am struggling to find things he will willingly read himself. Just bought a Beast Quest which he is enjoying, but keeps asking me to read to him rather than do it himself. He CAN manage it, but obviously its much harder work by himself and some words catch him out.
Any other ideas? He is reasonably typically into boys stuff, with a leanings towards outdoor adventures/animals. I would prefer something more thoughtful than lavatorial (hate horrid henry, and found the Beast Quest a rather suspectly sexist...)

OP posts:
singersgirl · 29/09/2008 21:40

Does he like comics? WE get through lots of comics here, from The Beano to NGKids, The Simpsons and DK Find Out.

Lots of children, when they're first ready to read alone, feel put off by blocks of text. Books with lots of pictures work well, and non-fiction books are great eg we have various 'look inside' type books (castles, Ancient Rome) with flaps and great illustrations and sciency books.

Both mine have really liked Tintin and DS1 also Asterix - lots of pictures, but surprisingly challenging text.

ChasingSquirrels · 29/09/2008 21:40

hum - I was going to suggest horrid henry and captain underpants....
actually, I am anyway - does it matter what YOU would prefer? He has to enjoy reading them, not you.
What about Flat Stanley, Roald Dahl (Fantastic Mr Fox, Danny Champion of the World etc), Dick King Smith, non-fiction books.
What about reading together - he does a page, you do a page?
My ds can and does read to himself, he still loves me to read to him at bedtime though - is your son reading at other times and doesn't want to lose this contact?

ChasingSquirrels · 29/09/2008 21:41

Oh yes comics - ds1 loves his Lego mag (free subscription) and NG Kids (I was really impressed with that, got him a subscription through tesco clubcard points).

mabanana · 29/09/2008 21:42

Yes agree, joke books, books of funny poems, fact books (the See Inside range is great, books about their passions (dinosaurs, cars, Ancient Egypt, dogs, whatever) with lots of pictures and short boxes of information etc are all better introductions to independent reading for many boys than novels.
I think six is very, very young for boys to start reading fiction independently. Even bright boys.

slayerette · 29/09/2008 21:43

I have been reading Famous Five to DS(5) and sometimes he is so desperate to find out what happens next that he will read a page or so himself. He is a little young to cope with it for more than a page, but maybe your DS would enjoy that.

mabanana · 29/09/2008 21:44

And yes, you reading to him is more important IMO than his reading independently. What child would prefer to read alone if it means losing cuddly time at the end of the day drifting off while being read to! I tend to read to my son, then leave him with a pile of books about dinosaurs or joke books, or whatever.

singersgirl · 29/09/2008 21:46

DS2 was 7 in August and is a great reader, but he still spends a lot of his reading time dipping into bits and pieces, rather than reading his current novel. We like the pop-up Perfect Punctuation and Great Grammar series as well - he's been reading the geography one this week.

elliott · 29/09/2008 21:49

I've tried non fiction, again he doesn't really want to READ stuff. The problem with picture books is that he will look at them for ages, but I suspect he is not actually reading them.
ChasingSquirrels, yes you have a point, but it helps if I enjoy them if I'm going to have to read half of them to him anyway! (I was kind of annoyed by the female sidekick role in the Beast Quest story)
tintin and asterix might be worth a try - we have one tintin book that he used to be obsessed by - before he could read at all, so now he might actually want to figure it out. probably a bit too complicated for him at present though.
We do quite a lot of taking in turns. I suspect also that he is often too tired at bedtime and just wants a story, so maybe I need to work at encouraging him to read by himself at other times (when? perhaps we'll stop doing his homework )

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weblette · 29/09/2008 21:50

I'd second the Beano, there's always a scrap in our house to read it first. We also like the Super Powers series by Alex Cliff - they're a little shorter than Beast Quest.

mabanana · 29/09/2008 21:51

I would really relax about it tbh. He is only six. Lots of six year old boys can't read at all! I think if you push it, you can put them off. Let him look at picture books. My belief is that if children like books and stories and realise they can get information from books, they will go on to enjoy reading in their own time.

avenanap · 29/09/2008 21:52

Joke books are great for boys. He'll sit there and giggle, then read the joke to you so you'll know he understood what he'd been reading.

elliott · 29/09/2008 21:52

hmm, ok, maybe I'm being impatient (it wouldn't be the first time )
Is it really too young for him to be reading a proper book? When can I expect this to happen? I'm really looking forward to him getting his teeth into proper books, and a bit worried that he isn't ever going to be...
Though perhaps I should take heart from the fact that he does like looking through books on his own, even if he's not yet devouring novels...

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Orinoco · 29/09/2008 21:52

Message withdrawn

ChasingSquirrels · 29/09/2008 21:52

keep the bedtime reading, don't pressure him at that time, get comics for other times - seriously recommend NG Kids, full of loads of interesting stuff, and being a mag it isn't just big chunks of text.
Is he reading in everyday life? If you think about it he is probably reading loads.

Twiglett · 29/09/2008 21:53

Right you need

Captain Underpants.. Dave Pilkey (about 8 of them)
Mr Gumm .. Andy Stanton (about 4 of them)
Astrosaurs.. Steve Cole (about 10 of them)

off you go then

ChasingSquirrels · 29/09/2008 21:55

typical age - no idea, as someone said loads of children aren't reading well enough at this age to read chapter books.
my ds will read to himself, but atm it is mainly Horrid Henry - he will read another chapter after I have read one to him, or fact books - which have loads of pictures (similar to comics I suppose), but enough words for him to be reading something.
He has only very occasionally sat in the day and read a book (as opposed to a comic which he will sit and read).

lovecamping · 29/09/2008 21:59

what if you have a 6yr DD who doesnt like reading at all??

NG kids looks great and i'm going to look out for it at WH Smiths. DH would love it too.

what magazines do they do for girls - not barbie or princess please

sorry to hijack yr thread

elliott · 29/09/2008 22:02

Ahh, he would LOVE NGkids (he's massively into wildlife progs).
Thanks Twig - I will get myself down the library. I'll ahve to get all the Beastquests too, since he was pretty excited by it despite my misgivings...

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Cadelaide · 29/09/2008 22:02

DS was a reluctant reader but Captain Underpants got him reading alone at about that age.

It's the comic-book format that does it, my brother got into reading with comics, mainly The Beano.

hullygully · 29/09/2008 22:06

Ricky Ricotta (same guy as Capt Underpants but even easier )

ChasingSquirrels · 29/09/2008 22:07

NG Kids is not all wildlife, the first one ds got had an Indiana Jones spread - this month's has a 3d-space spread (with the glasses to go with it - took me back to my childhood).
Am watching this thread with interest for ideas to read with ds1 - what is this Beastquest? and is just 6 too young?

iheartdusty · 29/09/2008 22:09

Have you had a look in your local library? There are loads of series around for early readers. We like Sprinters, Go Bananas, plus also Viking Vik and his adventures (bit sexist due to Freya the friend whose only role is to moan 'oh, do be careful Vik'). Rita the Rescuer is a huge fave.

elliott · 29/09/2008 22:11

Beastquest = kind of wizards and dragons type of fantasy adventure. not v exciting or sophisticated, but has a nice shiny cover and pictures of monsters which appealed to ds1.

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ChasingSquirrels · 29/09/2008 22:18

will have a look for that, our library van is rather limited.

singersgirl · 29/09/2008 22:25

Ricky Ricotta is much easier than Captain Underpants, also by Dav Pilkey, so gives a feeling of achievement. Mine have both enjoyed Captain Underpants, The Giggler Treatment (and Roddy Doyle's other 2 in the series) and the Mr Gum books. Captain Underpants looks easy because of the comic format but the vocabulary is sometimes quite tough and it's very American, which can be hard on early readers. But boys like it because it is silly and rude.

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