Keeping Kids Reading: How to Raise Avid Readers in the Video Age.
Updated and Revised
This is my personal favorite of all of the books that I've written, because it is the one that is most filled with the voices of my students. My goal was to figure out the reading paths that avid readers followed. Do girls who read teenage romances go on to read Danielle Steel? Or do they branch out to more complex literature? How about boys who read only science fiction? What do they read by the time they are in high school?
I think you'll be interested, and surprised, by some of the answers. I identify a number of reading paths that my students took, as well as certain reading "hooks" that drew them into books. For example, humor was almost a universal hook. If you're looking for a book to give a child, and you're not sure what kind of reading the child likes, you're safest getting a book that is comic. It's why authors like Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling are so widely loved.
I also spend some time talking about how to get kids writing, as writing and reading are so closely intertwined. It's interesting to me that just as certain children prefer certain kinds of books (relationship, good versus evil, etc.) children also have their own style of writing. Kids who are very visual, for example, are much more likely to use imagery and description in their writing, while kids who are very verbal are likely to use irony and dislogue.
As always, I would love to hear any comments or suggestions. It's an exciting time to be looking at books for kids, as--with the availability of e-books--the field seems to be rapidly changing.