School is coming. Yes it is, as surely as it's almost cool enough to sleep at night now and I'm already too late to get any interesting backpacks. And that means summer ends too, along with its blissfully welcoming reading time—when you can read whatever you want, as much of it as you want, and for God's sake don't log it.
Someone asked me recently what I would recommend to a reluctant reader. And I said, "You've done the Wimpy Kid?"
"Oh yeah, we tore through all of those. Then we tried A Wrinkle in Time, but it was too much, too soon."
I completely know what she meant, I have many times been guilty of pushing something before anyone is ready, mostly because it's something amazing and I want to share it and I get impatient.
But I've been thinking about it. Mostly about the reluctant reader who read all of Wimpy Kid. Because maybe that's not the most reluctant reader after all. Right, all of Wimpy Kid? That's a lot of Wimpy Kid.
I mean, I know that compared to most of us reading this blog, that kid is less likely to go searching for a book to read when there's nothing going on in the house. But at the same time, he still has his ability to love books. And that's really all you want to give a person.
I've been thinking, too, about what I wanted to recommend, which was Horrid Henry. And I didn't, because I thought, Oh, he's probably too old for them, and she'll think I think her son can't really read, and and and…
And I realized that this is entirely the wrong way to approach a so-called reluctant reader. It goes away from love and fun and who-the-heck-cares, no-one-is-watching-and-you-should-read-what-you-like and instead goes to reading levels, and age-appropriateness, and reading logs and all the things that make these allegedly reluctant readers so reluctant in the first place.
I think this is why I shy away from putting reading levels/age levels on these posts. I know they can be helpful, but they can be troubling, too.
So for all those readers out there: it's still summer. Read what you like. Read baby books or Beatrix Potter or Horrid Henry or Gossip Girl or Eat Pray Love or Jackie Collins or Trollope or or or…anything. I really and truly think that this is the way to happiness. And then you take that excellent feeling you get from reading exactly what you want to read, even if it's Frog and Toad and you're in 6th grade, and you bring it with you into September when you go back to school. And, I swear, that happy interested satisfied reading will be like a protective blanket from the whole assigned reading, homework logging, level-assessing mess. It will do you good. I promise.