Monday, November 30, 2009

New & recent reads for tweens, and the Share Literacy program

With Christmas on the way it may seem difficult to find time to read, but the longer nights and colder weather make this a perfect time to curl up with a good book when you're not making out that Christmas list. Here are some new fiction and fantasy titles for tween readers, filled with adventure and exciting characters. Look for these books using the World Catalog and search boxes here on BookBag. There is also information and a link to the Share Literacy program, which provides reading materials for at-risk readers and their families.

Al Capone Shines My Shoes, by Gennifer Chlodenko (Dial Books) Historical Fiction. On Alcatraz Island in 1935, 12-year-old Moose Flanagan, son of a prison guard, finds a note in his laundry from inmate number 85 -- notorious gangster Al Capone. In the previous book Al Capone Does My Shirts, the famous thug supposedly pulled some strings to get Moose's autistic sister, Natalie, admitted into a special San Francisco boarding school. Now the mobster wants a favor in return ... and Moose is scared. Packed with schemes, shenanigans, and historically accurate details of life on Alcatraz, this is a fun and fascinating read.

The Islands of the Blessed, by Nancy Farmer (Atheneum Books) Fantasy. In this final book of the Sea of Trolls trilogy, apprentice bard Jack joins moody shield maiden Thorgil and the town Bard on a quest to put an enraged spirit from the sea to rest -- before it destroys their village. The trio must journey to Notland, the domain of the fin folk, and they meet with many enemies and adventures along the way. This exciting tale is filled with fantastic characters like mermaids, hobgoblins, and sea hags, and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing -- and reading long past lights-out.

The Lost Conspiracy, by Frances Hardinge (HarperCollins) Fantasy. Hathin and her sister Arilou live in a coastal village with their people, an outcast tribe called the Lace who bejewel their teeth, smile constantly, and worship a trio of restless volcanoes on their island home, Gullstruck. After a representative of the Lost -- people who are able to disconnect their senses from their bodies and observe anything on the island -- comes to determine whether Arilou might be one of them, a tragedy sets the sisters against a whole host of enemies ... and on the run. If you like books that invent amazing worlds and societies and make you feel as though you're living in them -- well, welcome to Gullstruck.

Everything for a Dog, by Ann B. Martin (Felwel and Friends) Fiction. Fans of the book A Dog's Life, the story of a stray puppy named Squirrel, may have wondered what became of Squirrel's brother Bone after the two of them were separated. In Everything for a Dog, Bone is rescued, but that's just the beginning of his story of finding -- and losing -- a whole series of homes. Bone narrates chapters that alternate with the stories of two boys, Charlie and Henry, whose paths are about to cross with his in a most unexpected way. This touching tale is sure to satisfy animal lovers and fans of dog stories like Shiloh.

The Share Literacy program

Share Literacy promotes the development of reading and thinking skills. The California-based national program partners with agencies serving poverty-level and low-income families, after-school programs, and organizations providing ESL and adult literacy instruction. Over the past seven years, with the help of grants from several foundations and many individual donors, Share Literacy has served more than 150,000 disadvantaged children in the U.S.

Program goals:

• Improve literacy skills
• Encourage the development of higher-level thinking skills
• Ensure that every child participating in a Share Literacy program takes home at least one book to keep
• Improve parental knowledge and involvement in the development of their children's literacy
• Promote tolerance and understanding by using multicultural literature designed to teach problem-solving and commonality of human experience
• Improve teachers' instructional skills in the areas of early literacy and literacy training

The Share Literacy program provides books and training materials, plus professional development services, at cost. It relies on donations and grants to cover these costs to enable the program to continue and expand. Share Literacy chapters around the nation are administered by volunteers; 100% of contributions goes towards professional development training and materials for teachers and Home Literacy kits for children. To find out more about the program, visit the Share Literacy website.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Helping struggling readers / Lectura de ayuda en español

Reading is a tool that can open a world of possibilities. Studies suggest, however, that nearly forty percent of children have difficulty learning to read. Below is one recent look at literacy problems in the New York City school system, and links to suggested reading guides from the Reading Rockets program of WETA educational television in Washington, D.C. Below that, there's also a link for reading help guides in Spanish. Search for library materials in the World Catalog search box to the left above, or purchase books using the link here on BookBag.

Why Cant U Teach Me 2 Read? by Beth Fertig (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux). Yamilka, Alejandro, and Antonio are old enough to vote, but they can't read. In Why Cant U Teach Me 2 Read?, Beth Fertig profiles these three young New Yorkers as they enter the world without basic literacy, following them for two years as they sue the city for extra help, get private tutoring, and make first-ever bookstore purchases.

So who is to blame for letting them fall through this massive educational crack? That's not an easy question. To start with, Fertig's subjects are among the fewer than 5 percent of kids with "hard-wiring problems" that make it extremely difficult to learn how to read (as opposed to the 20 to 25 percent of kids with "garden variety" reading problems). Fertig smartly pulls together shelves of research and animates data and theory with lively classroom scenes and interviews. She walks us through the "reading wars" between competing literacy pedagogies, but unfortunately none has a good solution for learners like Yamilka, who can't hear that "book" and "cook" rhyme.

Are digital technologies to blame? Nope. In spite of the book's title, text messaging actually helps Antonio with reading and writing. Other tempting culprits: Mayor Bloomberg and the technocrats who engineered the city's recent educational overhaul, as well as No Child Left Behind and the never-ending assessments that are used "in lieu of curriculum and teaching," as one school official grouses. But Antonio and Yamilka often blow off their tutoring sessions, and their brains stubbornly refuse to create the neural pathways necessary for fluent reading. By the end, it's unclear whether we should celebrate or cry: After 1,500 hours of tutoring, for which the city paid $120,000, 25-year-old Yamilka can finally read compound words like "boyfriend." (review by Anne Trubek in the Sep/Oct issue of Mother Jones magazine.)

Helping struggling readers, from

Did you know that learning to read is a challenge for almost 40 percent of kids? The good news is that with early help, most reading problems can be prevented. The bad news is that 44 percent of parents who notice their child having trouble wait a year or more before getting help. Unfortunately, the older a child is, the more difficult it is to teach him or her to read. The window of opportunity closes early for most kids. If a child can't read well by the end of third grade, odds are that he or she will never catch up. And the effects of falling behind and feeling like a failure can be devastating. Click below to find information on:

FAQs – Find answers to real questions from real parents about reading and learning disabilities

Why They Struggle – Learn why some kids struggle with reading
Target the Problem! – Pinpoint the problem a struggling reader is having and discover ways to help
Assessment Process – Find out how to get your child evaluated

Parent as Advocate – Why you need to toughen up and stand up for your child
Finding Help – Where to get extra help for your struggling reader
Self-Esteem and Reading Difficulties – What else suffers when kids struggle in school and what they can do to help themselves

Early identification is crucial. If you suspect a problem, don't hesitate. Learn about reading difficulties, get your child assessed, find out what you can do to help your struggling reader, and don't give up.

Related articles

Seeking Help for a Struggling Reader: Seven Steps for Teachers
, byJoanne Meier and Karen Freck: Children come to our classrooms from so many different ability levels and backgrounds. As a teacher, it's important to recognize and know what to do to help a struggling reader.

About Reading Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Reading Difficulties by Kathryn Drummond. Reading difficulties likely occur on a continuum, meaning that there is a wide range of students who experience reading difficulties. There are those students who are diagnosed with a learning disability. There is also an even larger group of students who do not have diagnoses but who need targeted reading assistance.

Waiting Rarely Works: Late Bloomers Usually Just Wilt,
by American Federation of Teachers. A look at three pivotal studies clearly shows that Late bloomers are rare and that skill deficits are almost always what prevent children from blooming as readers.

Seeking Help for a Struggling Reader: 8 Steps for Parents, by Reading Rockets. What should you do if you think your child is having trouble with reading? Sometimes children just need more time, but sometimes they need extra help. Trust your instincts. You know your child best. If you think there's a problem, there probably is.

Lectura de ayuda en español es un sitio Web bilingüe que provee información, actividades y consejos sobre cómo ayudar a sus niños a que aprendan a leer y tengan éxito en la escuela. Desarrollado por el proyecto Reading Rockets, Colorín Colorado resalta información práctica para los padres de habla hispana, contiene hermosas ilustraciones de David Díaz, el ilustrador ganador del Premio Caldecott, además de videoclips de celebridades tales como la que fuera nuestra querida Celia Cruz, y actividades que giran alrededor de canciones y rimas en el lenguaje español para desarrollar habilidades.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New fall books for young readers

Reading about the arts is a great way to inspire younger kids. Here from the Athens (Georgia) Regional Library is a selection of new books coming this fall about jazz, dance, and street theater -- and some non-fiction, too, with a book about the ocean floor and a real French artist with a very unique talent kids will find hilarious ... or ickky! Use the World Catalog search box to find library copies, or buy them using the box on BookBag.

New books about music, dance and theater

Stompin' at the Savoy
, by Bebe Moore Campbell (Philomel Books) Fiction. Mindy is so nervous about her jazz dance recital that she's thinking about skipping it. But when a magical talking drum appears outside her window, she follows it--and is transported back in time to "the hoppingest dance club of them all," the Savoy Ballroom in 1920s Harlem. Everyone is on their feet dancing to the music of Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Goodman, and Mindy spots three dancers who look an awful lot like younger versions of her dance-crazy great aunts. This fantastical introduction to the Savoy jazz-club scene gives readers a sense of the energy and joy of jazz.

Disappearing Act, by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow Books) Fiction. After their archaeologist mother fails to return from an expedition and they discover that a mysterious stranger is stalking them, 12-year-old Kevin and his older sister Holly flee to Venice, California. There they hope to "hide in plain sight" by joining the oddball assortment of street performers on the boardwalk, including a watermelon juggler, a fortune teller, a human mannequin, and more. (Luckily, Holly is a talented opera singer.) This quick and unusual read will satisfy fans of colorful characters and plots filled with suspense and surprises.

A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student,
by Valerie Gladstone (Henry Holt) Nonfiction. Renowned African-American dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey founded the American Dance Theater in 1958 and established a school of dance 11 years later. Narrated by 13-year-old Iman Bright, this book shows what it's like to be a student at the Ailey School--where students learn African and Latin dance in addition to ballet and modern styles--today. Packed with photos and in-studio details, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the art of movement.

Fartiste, by Kathlee
n Krull (Simon & Schuster) Fiction. Talk about an unusual talent: real-life Frenchman Joseph Pujol entertained late 19th-century audiences with his musical (and otherwise impressively controlled) farts. Pujol discovered his unique ability to bend his wind to his will when he was just a kid, and later turned to performing in order to support his large family. He could use his rear end to shoot fireworks, blow out a candle, play a tune, or make animal noises (please, kids, don't try this at school). This uproariously funny picture book sticks mostly to the true story of "the man who made his pants dance" and provides further facts about the "fartiste" at the end.

Oye, Celia! by Katie Sciurba (Henry Holt) Fiction. Cuban-born singer Celia Cruz, who died in 2003 at the age of 77, was internationally known as the "Queen of Salsa" (the style of music and dance, not the food!). In this poetic and gorgeously illustrated tribute to the beloved performer, a young girl explains how Celia's music makes her feel. For kids who want to learn more about Celia's life, Booklist magazine recommends Victoria Chambers' Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa or, if you know Spanish, iAzucar! by Ivar Da Coll.

Other new books for kids

Surviving the Applewhites, by Stephanie S. Tolan (HarperCollins) Fiction. Juvenile delinquent Jake Semple is well on his way to a life of crime when he gets one last chance to reform: he's sent to live with the Applewhites, a big, nutty, artistic family who live on a farm in North Carolina with a maniacal goat, a foul-mouthed parrot, and a loveable, pudgy basset hound. Thirteen-year-old E.D. Applewhite--the only sensible member of the family--thinks that her folks are making a huge mistake by agreeing to homeschool Jake, and Jake fully intends wear out his welcome quickly. But when the entire Applewhite clan gets involved in a local production of The Sound of Music, the results are a surprise to everyone.

Bettina Valentino and the Picasso Club,
by Niki Daily (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Fiction. Fifth-grader Bettina Valentino adores art--the kind of art that "jumps off the wall and hits you in the eye like a wound-up ninja"--but persnickety Miss Pyle, her school's art teacher, cramps her style. When a daring new teacher replaces Miss Pyle, Bettina is thrilled. Now her class gets
to learn about artists who rebelled against the norm, and "Mr. Popart" (the new teacher's nickname) even lets them paint on the walls! But some parents aren't happy with Mr. Popart's unconventional ideas, and it's up to Bettina and her friends to keep him from getting fired.

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel
, by Nikki Grimes (G.P. Putnam's Sons) Fiction. Smart, confident, and friendly Dyamonde Daniel is getting used to her new school, but she hasn't made a best friend yet. She certainly doesn't expect to become friends with the other new kid, a really grumpy boy named Free (whom Dyamonde secretly refers to as "Rude Boy"). But when Free's surly attitude frightens one of the younger kids, Dyamonde takes him to task...and the two of them discover that they actually have a lot in common. Kids who like plucky girl characters such as Sharon Draper's Sassy (Little Sister is Not My Name) will want to get to know Dyamonde Daniel and her new friend, Free.

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea, by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin) Nonfiction. There are a lot of weird and wonderful creatures living in the ocean, and this book offers an up-close-and-personal introduction to more than 50 of them! In addition to stunning collage illustrations of lizardfish, hairy anglers, giant squid, bizarre species of jellyfish, and more, Down, Down, Down provides fascinating factual information about life from the ocean's surface all the way down to its deep, deep floor. Junior scientists, budding artists, and fans of books like The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, the DK Guide to the Oceans, or Sharks and Other Sea Monsters will be hooked.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,
by Grace Lin (Little, Brown) Fantasy. Young Minli and her parents live in China's valley of Fruitless Mountain and, although they all work very hard, are terribly poor. Enchanted by the folktales that her father tells every night and weary of her mother's bitter complaining, Minli--aided by a talking goldfish, a dragon who cannot fly, and others--embarks on a long journey to find the mythical Old Man of the Moon and change her family's fortune. While Minli's grand and exciting adventure is distinctively Chinese, it will thrill fans of other quests with girl heroes, such as The Wizard of Oz or Isobelle Carmody's Gateway trilogy (which starts with Night Gate).

Pharoah's Boat, by David Weitzman (Houghton Mifflin) Nonfiction. Thousands of years ago, subjects of the Pharaoh Cheops carefully constructed an enormous and majestic boat for their ruler's journey into the afterlife...and then they just as carefully took it apart and buried it with him. Modern archaeologists discovered the disassembled boat while excavating the Pharaoh's tomb, and this amazing, beautifully illustrated book shows how Egyptologist Ahmed Youssef Moustafa--in an effort that spanned many years--finally solved the riddle of how to put it back together.

Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom, by Eric Wight (Simon & Schuster) Graphic Novel. Franklin Lorenzo Piccolini--aka "Frankie Pickle"--loves to imagine himself as an adventurer like Indiana Jones or a superhero like Batman. He doesn't love housecleaning. When his exasperated mom gives up and tells him that, as long as he can deal with the consequences, he doesn't have to clean his room anymore, Frankie is overjoyed. Little does he know how the filth surrounding him will take on a terrifying life (and a really strong smell) of its own... If you like the hilarious, wacky adventures of Captain Underpants or space-pirate Sardine (of Sardine in Outer Space), you'll love Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Learning numbers, big and small

Learning to count can be a fun experience. All you need are items to count, a fun counting book or two, and a lot of enthusiasm! Your child will quickly catch on and will be counting everything in sight in no time at all. Here are some suggested counting books old and new by Elizabeth Yetter at

Counting Books

Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh (Voyager Books) is a classic one-to-ten counting book that children absolutely love.

Who doesn’t love cookies? In Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-up by Robert Sabuda (Little Simon), children learn how to count to ten while having fun with the nifty pop-ups. With illustrations of cookies, it’s enough to make any hungry adult drool.

If you have a little boy then you know that dinosaur books are an absolute must. In How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten? by Jane Yolen (Blue Sky Press), children learn to count to ten with funny illustrations and rhyming text.

One Boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Ages 2–6. (Roaring Brook Press) This clever peek-a-boo book counts from one to ten and also reveals words within words. Young children will enjoy discovering the hidden words—when the boy is alone, the word "one" is revealed within "alone."

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury, Ages 3–5.(Harcourt) The rhythmic rhyming text in this picture book for very young children is addictive. Adorable multicultural babies are added with each new stanza.

Potato Joe by Keith Baker, Ages 4-8. (Harcourt) If it can rhyme with potato, Potato Joe and his nine potato friends have thought of it. The simple illustrations complement the rhymes in this counting book, and kids will be eager to turn the page to see what the silly spuds are up to next.

For children who love stories about animals, you’ll want to check out the Liberian folktale Two Ways to Count to Ten retold by Ruby Dee (Henry Holt and Co). In this story, jungle beasts learn to count. This is a great book for reading out loud.

Count! by Denise Fleming (Henry Holt and Co.) is a colorful book that teaches children to count from one to ten and then count by tens, ten to fifty.

Can You Count Ten Toes?: Count to 10 in 10 Different Languages by Lezlie Evans (Houghton Mifflin) is an exciting book because it teaches kids (and adults) how to count to ten in ten different languages.

Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert (Voyager Books) is a fun book on counting. Children quickly take to this book because of its bright colors.

Finally, if you’re just looking for a simple one to ten board book, check out Spot Counts From 1 to 10 by Eric Hill (Putnam Juvenile). It’s a classic counting book your toddler will love.

More Counting Ideas

Along with the counting books, there are other great things you can do with your child to teach her how to count. For example, some children like to sort out their wood blocks by color or shape. Help your child sort each block and then count how many blocks are in each pile. Always keep your eyes open for things to count. If you feed the birds, help your child count how many birds are at the feeder. Count flowers in your garden. Have your child help set the dinner table by having him carefully count out napkins or spoons. Count buttons on a shirt.

Here's Jim Holt, in The New York Times, with a further description of One Boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and some other math-related books for kids:

One Boy acquaints a child with the numbers from one to 10. Each number is introduced with a simple but charming trick: a rectangular cutout in the page reveals a bit of what lies overleaf, inviting the reader to make a guess at the surprise to come with the turn of the page. “Five mice.” Five mice what? Turn the page. . . . “Skate on ice.” It’s not just about counting; it’s about realizing that the word “ice” is contained in “mice.” Seeger’s palette is bold and rich — and those who experience numbers coloristically (in my case, four is blue, seven is green and eight is orange) know how important this can be in making friends with them. Yet the ending of “One Boy” is somewhat dark. (Spoiler alert: it involves a quantity of ants in the boy’s pants.)

For the slightly older child, The Real Princess: A Mathemagical Tale ought to prove a beguiling mix of number lore and fairy tale. The plot elements will be familiar: three princes looking for brides, a king with three bags of gold and a queen with nine magic peas. But running through Brenda Williams’s story is a riot of numerical coincidences, some turning on the curious fact that if you take various multiples of nine (18, 27, 36, 45 etc.) and add up the digits (1+8, 2+7, 3+6, 4+5), you always get nine back again. This is the kind of hidden pattern that children delight in discovering. And if some of the artsier parents fail to get it, they’ll at least smile at Sophie Fatus’s illustrations, which have a little of Marc Chagall in them, and a little of Joan Miró.

We’re all born with a genetically wired “number sense,” so brain scientists tell us. Even a baby can immediately distinguish two rubber duckies from three. But what if it’s a matter of thousands of rubber duckies floating toward you? To take a less ludicrous case, how can one make a reasonable guess about the number of protesters at a political rally, or of seeds on a dandelion? Don’t count, says Bruce Goldstone — ­estimate! And in Greater Estimations (a sequel to his Great Estimations, which makes the author guilty of serial Dickens abuse) he reveals all the tricks for doing this swiftly and accurately: eye training, clump counting and so on. Is that cool? I don’t know. But it’s empowering — dare I say fun? — to have an instinctive grasp of really big numbers. And, when you grow up, you can get a job estimating the size of the crowd when Simon and Garfunkel sing in Central Park.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book clubs: reading just for fun

Oprah has her own book club, so why shouldn't your kids have their own? With the new school year getting in gear, it's a good time to show kids that reading for pleasure can be a reward for hard work in the classroom. It's also a fine way to open young minds to new ideas, and get them to share their ideas with other kids. From the ReadWriteThink website, here are some online guides on starting book clubs for kids and young adults.

Web Resources

Global Book Club
l Book Club is a collection of book reviews and resources for middle school students. More sophisticated readers may find this site useful.

Tips on Starting a Book Club

Tips on Starting a Book Club provides questions which can h
elp groups make basic decisions about what their group will do. You might edit this site's list of questions to customize it for the specific needs of your children.
Prentice Hall's "Forming Book Clubs" page can provide a starting place for groups setting structures for the class or for their individual club.

You might search this collection to find sites appropriate for your interest. The list is all-inclusive and some of the online clubs will not be appropriate for all students.

Book clubs should be a voluntary, student-centered activity. Reading should not be evaluated in the traditional way. If book club members join in a "lunch bunch" meeting, you can rely on kid-watching to note how students are developing as readers; but there should be no formal assessment. "Lunch bunch" meetings should be voluntary, not required. The meetings are an "extra" to encourage students' independent reading and chatting about the books. If kids keep a reading portfolio or reading log, you should encourage, but not require, students to write about their book club readings in these as well. You may provide a form for reading portfolios to simplify record-keeping for students. young adult suggestions

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 3 by Michael Scott

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Ghost Huntress Book 1: The Awakening by Marley Gibson

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Parties and Potions by Sarah Mlynowski

The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Slept Away by Julie Kraut

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Swim the Fly by Don Calame

Wings by Aprilynne Pike.

New books from National Geographic

From Curtis Silver at GeekDad in Wired magazine, here are some new books from that look interesting enough for adults to peek at over a kid's shoulder!

Recently I received an armload of books from National Geographic. These weren’t heavy manuscripts detailing the history of the world or simple picture books - these were kids books! For kids! Being from National Geographic, they were also heavy on the education and learning aspects of reading. This is a good thing. While I got quite the assortment of books for toddlers through teens, this post I’m highlighting some of the best ones to read to or with your little ones.

The Bones You Own, Becky Baines (National Geographic, Washington D.C.) and What’s in That Egg, Becky Baines National Geographic, Washington D.C.) These two books are about what is inside things we take for granted, and especially children take for granted. The Bones You Own looks inside your body with a creatively entertaining style of crayon drawings over pictures of children in activity. It even goes inside the bone on a set of pages, explaining that “your bones are white, smooth and strong with jelly in the middle.” There is even a picture of a child on the page giving a slightly disgusted look. These kinds of illustrations keep the book on the lighter side. At the end of the book, there is a collection of questions for the parent to answer with their child. Questions that children tend to ask like, “Most bones are in your hands and feet. Can you think why?”

What’s in That Egg predictably looks at the different kinds of eggs that can be found, and the life cycle of the creature inside. Again, illustrated with a
mix of actual photos of animals and crayon drawings the book does a good job of keeping the subject light and not overwhelming the child with too many facts.
These are both great books to read with your toddler when they start asking why the grass is green. Cut them off at the pass.

(You can type in the titles above in the World Catalog search box for library copies, or search box if you'd like to purchase.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reading resources for parents and other online help

Many parents assume their children are receiving all of the reading instruction they need when at school. In order for children to learn and master all of the skills that are used in the reading process, their education must continue when they arrive home from school. Families can participate in at-home activities to strengthen elementary and middle school children's reading abilities.

Here are some ideas from the Math and Reading Help For Kids Organization to help youngsters become better readers. Look for helpful books using the World Catalog search box here on BookBag for free library materials, or simply type search words in the box on this page if you'd like to buy books and other materials.

Reading Books

Reading with your children helps them develop and strengthen their reading skills. It is recommended to read with your children each day. This can become part of a daily bedtime or morning ritual, and will be a time you will cherish with your children, that they will come to cherish as well! Tips for reading with your child include:

Choose the right book. When reading to a younger child, choose a book with large print and try to point to each word as you read. This will help your child build vocabulary and word recognition skills. Pointing to words is effective when you use your child's favorite books. Since he is familiar with the story, your child will be able to familiar with the story, your child will be able to focus more on each written word

Learn new words. When reading aloud to your child, encourage them to stop you when youuse a word they do not understand. Explain what the word means, how it's spelled and what itlooks like. Helping your child comprehend words early in his or her school education will helpthem build a larger vocabulary. It also instills the importance of definitions and correct word choice.

Listen to your child read. Older students may be encouraged to read aloud to you. Listening to your child read will help you monitor his or her progress in reading and communication skills. The more practice your child gets at home, the better they will perform when called upon to read in class.

Let your child choose books. Having a family library day once a week or a few times a month is also recommended so parents can allow their children to pick out their own books. This will expose your children to a variety of book types and difficulties. Encourage your children to try more difficult books as they grow more confident with their reading abilities.

Read more than books. Parents should also introduce children to reading mediums other than books. Encourage your children to read magazines and help them to read news stories. It is important for children to understand reading has many purposes, it is not just for reading stories. As you introduce them to each new medium, discuss the purpose of that type of literature. Ask your children what they may expect the reading experience to be like.

Reading a newspaper, magazine, or any other new writing style, discuss what you do and do not like about the text. Ask your children if they experienced difficulties with any aspect of the reading and discuss together ways you can work to improve reading.

Other Math and Reading Help for Kids

If you'd like more information about helping your child understand language, become a better reader, and improve other skills necessary in school, the Math and Reading Help for Kids webpage is a great site. There are lots of links for further reading that parents can explore, as well as state-specific programs about GED preparation for older readers.