Endless possibilities for Keen imaginations

Getting involved in amazing stories

Reading inspiration

As they get older and their reading skills improve, children get even more engrossed in their favourite stories. The fact that they can now manage longer sentences and have a bigger vocabulary opens up all kinds of new possibilities for more engaging reading.

This is a good time to motivate children to read by giving them books connected to their own personality and interests. If your child likes dragons, football, fairies or princesses you wonít have to look far to find books that fit the bill. Look for books related to their hobbies, films theyíve enjoyed and playground trends.

What if they choose books that are too hard for them?

Sometimes children will want to read a book where the level is a bit difficult for them, especially if itís about their favourite subjects. Children can be very aspirational and often want to read books aimed a year or two above them.

As long as the subject matter is suitable thereís nothing wrong with trying a book that first appears too difficult. Often, the interest and motivation they get from exploring subjects they love will allow them to cope with more difficult language, so their skills may develop a bit faster as a result.

'I like reading with my parents because they help you understand words you donít know'

Sophie age 8

The appeal of timeless classics

Over 95% of books ever published are now out of print, but there are some books that generations of people have enjoyed and that show no signs of losing their appeal. The very reason that they are still selling in there thousands is that the plots and characters have a timeless quality. For example, Winnie-the-Pooh is more than 80 years old but has as many fans today as when he was first published.

One of the nice things about certain classics is that you may well have read them when you were younger and it gives you the chance not only to introduce them to someone new, but also to rediscover what you loved about them in the first place.

'To me, a classic childrenís book is one that ignores the passage of time. What such a book has to say is so compelling, important, affecting and amusing that the reader is irresistibly drawn to it and a bond is forged. Classics from the past retain their meaning and power ó and the classics of the future will do the same'

Jane Nissen

Books for reluctant readers

Sometimes it's clear that even after all your encouragement, children are still turned off by books. The good news is that there are a number of options to consider.

Just because some of their friends are reading full-length novels doesnít mean your children have to do the same.

For some children it really is just about finding the right book. We get a lot of messages from parents saying that the Mr Gum books by Andy Stanton have led to their previously reluctant children reading a lot more books.

Apart from the humour in the books the Mr. Gum series works well because they have very little text on each page and funny pictures. Similarly, Anne Fine's books are all short and very funny, which is why they are often chosen by teachers to read to their class.

Another genre that's very popular for this age group is the graphic novel. They are a step up from comics, providing more complex stories but in away thatís perfect for reluctant readers.

And don't overlook audio books as an alternative. Children can still be engrossed by a story even if they aren't reading it themselves and anything that encourages an interesting storytelling is a positive thing.