By Mal Keenan
When helping a reader pick out a book, I often feel like I’m working a buffet line- trying to offer the student a variety of choices. “Realistic fiction is always a good Go-To. Nonfiction is what some kids really love. How about something in the Sci-Fi genre? Have you read a mystery this year? Ever try Historical Fiction? You know… Graphic Novels are all the rage right now and fantasy is super fun. What sounds good today?”
As teachers and parents, we need to remember what hooks one reader might not be what another reader wants. And as a teacher and parent, I have to remind myself that my fourteen year old is really enjoying a combination platter of sci-fi, realistic fiction, and fantasy, while my younger son is all about the shorter, nonfiction, high interest reads about rock climbing, surfing, and fighting forest fires. Taking the time to peruse the buffet of books at the local library or bookstore will pay off. It’s worth the time to ask questions and help kids to make the right choice.