Reading to older kids

Some of my favorite memories are of reading to my two boys. Now that they are 11 and 14, they don’t sit on my lap and laugh at picture books anymore. But I still want to spend reading time with them, sitting on the sofa or on their beds, talking about an interesting book and what it has to teach us. I love all their questions, even the goofy ones.

I decided to try some non-fiction titles I’d seen reviewed recently. I brought them home and asked the boys to do me a favor by sitting with me on the couch to see what the books had to offer. We looked at all three.

Journey into the Deep by Rebecca L. Johnston (Junior Library Guild)

Alien Deep by Bradley Hague (National Geographic Kids)

Follow Your Money by Kevin Sylvester (Annick Press)


There is a ton of information in these three books, and we didn’t take time to read any one of them thoroughly. However, whenever I tried to hurry through the marine life, one of them would grab the page, turn it back, and ask, “What was that?” We talked about how great advances in technology have made it possible to travel underwater more safely and get much better photographs and videos. Hundreds of new creatures have been discovered in the last decade or two. Follow Your Money was fun because we looked at the Table of Contents and picked things. The 14-year-old wanted to know about jeans, and we ended up having a conversation about factories in Bangladesh, cotton farmers, and retailers. The 11-year-old and I wanted to know about MP3 players. As a musician, I was not surprised that the online retailer makes most of the profit. I plan to use this for another session on the couch.

I had decided that non-fiction was the key to another reading session, but my 14-year-old suggested that we read Erin Hunter’s Warriors series aloud together. I was surprised and happy to realize he was interested and actually thought reading a book together would be fun! The Warriors books are below reading level for the boys, but who cares? Maybe we’ll try the Seekers instead, since the boys have already read Warriors and because Seekers is about journeying and survival, not about clan warfare.

What do you think?

Categories: Books we love | Leave a comment

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