Perhaps reading is a lost art these days now that hand-held electronics have taken over our world, but I'm old-fashioned and have actual printed books checked out from three different libraries at the moment. You can find Reina and I sitting on her bed most week nights at about 10 p.m. while she works on her art and I read aloud from whatever book we are currently into. Inspired by Read to Your Bunny, Reina's baby book that encourages parents to read to their children for 20 minutes a day, I've made it a priority to read to Reina since she was an infant, and I cherish our reading time even more these days because I know this little ritual is coming to an end now that she's almost a big, bad senior.
Because reading helped me to survive a lonely and awkward childhood, I don't believe in banning books. Yes, we've read some that may be considered too mature for my seventeen year-old, but I feel it's better for us to discuss various issues at home since she's slapped in the face with them by society regardless. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not into junk like Fifty Shades of Gray. I'm just sayin' I think it's important for parents of teenagers to be open to discussing topics of all kinds so their kids feel safe going to them instead of just relying on their peers.
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Son (sequel to The Giver) by Lois Lowry
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Most of these books have corresponding movies. One way to get an uninterested younger kid involved in reading is to read books with your child that have been made into movies and then watch the movie together. Creating a themed night with dinner or snacks inspired from the book and movie is a fun way to connect with your child. Movie or none, getting excited about reading yourself will positively influence your kids. The benefits of reading with Reina over the years have paid off because, despite the constant temptation of electronics, Reina devours most of the books she reads.