I love all of Jon Scieszka's books. I could barely make it through The Stinky Cheese Man without uncontrollable laughter. His tips for getting kids to love reading are spot on (although I use the "reluctant reader" label when discussing kids who don't like to read. I should start saying picky readers, although that still has a negative connotation to me.) I think we put so much emphasis on reading for tests, for reports, for prizes, etc., that we suck all the fun out of it for kids. Let them read comic books! Surfing magazines! Graphic novels! MaryKate and Ashley! It's all reading, so encourage them whenever you see them reading. Jon makes lots of great points here that I wish I could share with some elementary teachers. His Time Warp Trio books are hilarious. Who cares if a fifth grader should be reading something harder? Eventually she will. In the meantime, let kids associate reading with pleasure, and worry about Shakespeare and Dickens in a few years.
How to Get Kids to Love Reading
@timeturnerjones, I always ask kids if their parents read nothing but classic literature. No, they're home reading People magazine, but expect their kids to only read highbrow stuff. Getting kids to enjoy reading by any means necessary is my goal:)
So true! Even though I am in college and constantly studying more "advanced" works of literature, I am guilty of rereading books I loved when I was 14 that definitely have a much lower skill level. But who cares? Enjoying it is part of the fun of reading, and if you need to read a lower level to enjoy sometimes (especially at a young age!) that's totally fine.