Selecting books for children to read is an art, and it can be very tricky.
(1888PressRelease) October 17, 2012 - Las Cruces, NM -Teachers can play a vital role in turning young people into lovers of reading.
"Selecting books for children to read is an art, and it can be very tricky," says L.A. Miller, author of the science-fiction and fantasy YA book series the Quests of Shadowind, which includes "Sky Shifter," "The Grounding Stone," and "Veil."
"It is important that teachers pick books that meet children's interests and are of an appropriate reading level," say Mr. Miller. "Most of the time children give up on books because they're too difficult to read or understand."
Mr. Miller's Quests of Shadowind series is geared toward middle grade and young adult readers. It's the story of a group of kids who get abducted to an alien world called Shadowind, which is inhabited by ghostly creatures, cyborg animals, and virtual humans-a land where anything is possible, including being downloaded into a cryptic, evil role-playing game. In order to survive, the teens band together as they search for a way back home. Ultimately they must battle a sinister cyber lord for a powerful weapon that could destroy the universe.
Mr. Miller points out that some experts believe that if there are more than five words children do not understand, the book is not at their reading level and should be replaced. Yet other experts believe children should read books that challenge them.
"Placing too much pressure on a child may not be good," says Mr. Miller. "The goal is to get kids motivated enough so they seek out books on their own, and that may mean steering them to things that coincide with their world and interests: sports, babysitting, popular movies and TV shows, adventures, hobbies, and so on."
Here are some suggestions teachers can use to help their students read:
* Find engaging, fun books
* Familiarize yourself with popular book lists-talk to librarians for help
* Look to tie in books with other media such as movies, TV, music, or comics
* Have book talks to discuss different genres, titles, authors, and publishing
* Teach kids how to assess a book for likability by reading the back cover and the first few pages
* Pay attention to children's interests, choices and opinions
* Visit the library and bookstores
* Read together in the classroom
* Discuss books after reading them
* Develop friendly and trusting relationships with students
* Don't put pressure on your students
* Always be supportive and encouraging
"Young adult literature will encourage school-age kids to read more as it caters their lifestyle, interests, and concerns," says Mr. Miller."
L.A. Miller has been writing for more than forty years. His backgrounds in science fiction, astronomy, technology, and classic literature inform his work, which has included novels, short stories and music. He is the owner of Wood n Nails Music and lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his wife and two dogs. He is the author of the Quests of Shadowind series, which includes "Sky Shifter," "The Grounding Stone," and "Veil."