Home » Magic: When a Child Connects with a Book

When children connect with a book, something magical happens. They may read that book with fierce concentration, finish it with a sigh, and immediately run to the computer to see if the author has written more books in the series. If the author has, there is a clamor to get the next book—now. If the next book is not yet published, your child may in a kind of suspended book-anticipation anxiety, asking you again and again, “Is the book out yet?”

This is terrific. This is what we want. And it’s not every author who is able to write books which affect children in this way. When you find such a book (or your child does) soak the situation for all its worth. Listen with true attention while your child tells you the entire story. Ask questions. Get the characters straight, including their names and idiosyncracies. If you sense it will be met with a positive reaction, read the book yourself, then discuss the plot and twists and turns yet again with your child.

Has there been a movie made from the book? If so, pick a night and watch the movie. Suggest a party with each friend dressing like a character. Provide the book’s foods (Pretend fried worms? Butterbeer?)

When the long-awaited sequel is announced, share in your child’s excitement. Wait in line, at midnight or in the dead of winter, to be one of the first to buy the book. Seek out and attend author readings, and rejoice with your child when they show you their author-signed copy.

Work with your child’s school to help the author come for a visit, and mention the book to your school’s librarian to see if he or she can stock up.

There are many ways to foster your child’s love of books; encouraging and sharing in their magical book-connection moments may be one of the best.

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