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I come from a family of readers. My grandparents, mom, aunts, uncles, and cousins all are voracious readers. Naturally when I had kids of my own, one of my deepest wishes for them is that they would inherit that same passion. We started reading to them at bedtime as babies, and bedtime reading has continued as they’ve grown. But now that they are 11 and 8 years old, the bedtime ritual has shifted so that the kids often are silently reading to themselves. We don’t have the same intimate cuddled up time that we used to when they relied on us to tell the stories.
It occurred to me one night when Landon, the eldest, suggested that I read the book he had just finished, that I could still capture special time with my kids by reading the books they are reading on my own time and then talking about the book with them afterwards. And the idea for the “Reading with Tweens” book club on 5280Mommy was born. Granted, it started with a very simple “mom & Landon talking about books” idea. At my grown-up bookclub last month (the very best book club on the planet. I may have mentioned it.) my girlfriend and I were chatting about what we were currently reading, and quickly realized that we were both reading middle grade fiction so that we could discuss the books with our sons. It didn’t surprise either of us that this is a brilliant idea, nor that we had each started it without discussing with each other, but that the ritual organically flowed from parenting our little kids that are now – unstoppably and way too quickly – growing up. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to learn that there are thousands of parents just like us who are doing the exact same thing.
So my hope for Reading with Tweens is not only that I will continue to have special bonding time with my kids using books as a vehicle, but that my family, friends, and readers of this blog will also be inspired to do the same.
Who is Reading with Tweens for?
Anyone and everyone who loves to read, including parents, extended family, long-distance friends, homeschooling parents, people looking for support with their kids’ homework, or anyone who just really, really likes middle grade and/or young adult fiction. There’s no shame in it. There’s some damned good MG/YA stuff out there. Allow me to introduce you.
What will Reading with Tweens cover?
Obviously the books themselves, appropriateness for age groups, my impression and my son’s, but also literacy education topics, like what’s a Bloom Ball and how do you make one, homeschooling book report ideas, what’s hot at the Scholastic book fair, gift ideas, tips, tricks, you name it.
How do you join in the fun?
We’ll post a couple of books a month, and will try to give a heads up so that you and your kids can read along too. Feel free to comment your thoughts on the book and share your recommendations and ideas too.
First up, Project 1065: A Novel of World War II by Alan Gratz. Landon is fascinated by World War II fiction. We have lots of it! This story is about a young Irish boy living in WWII Berlin. We loved it. I’ll post our review and a special project Landon worked on for school later this week.
Already read it? Awesome! Be sure to visit later this week when we dive in…
Adieu, adieu, adieu.