Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Reading for Young Reluctant Readers-Kai Strand

Some people feel you aren’t truly reading unless you can smell the ink on paper or hear the crack of the spine when you fold open the book. But let’s face it, reading needs to come with a warning, “Results May Vary.”

Are you raising a reluctant reader? Do they groan when you remind them they need to do their 20 minutes of reading homework? Are you already lamenting the arguments you will have during the summer just to keep their newly acquired reading skills from rusting like the Tin Man is a summer downpour? Never fear, hope is here. This summer, try a new approach to reading.

Take your child and one of his friends downtown. Ask them to take turns reading the signs, the shop names, the brochures taped in storefront windows as you wander. Be sure to end at the candy shop where you can reward them with a scoop of ice cream after they’ve read all the different kinds available to choose from.

Does your child love the computer? Let them play on sites like Guardian Angel Kids an inter-active online magazine. In order to play, they will have to read the instructions!

Speaking of computers, Be There Bedtime Stories is a webcam storytelling site that allows you to record yourself (or a grandparent, aunt or uncle) reading a book, then your child can read along on screen as they listen. There are so many titles to choose from, you are certain to find one your child will love to read again and again.

Books on CD make a perfectly acceptable substitution to reading the paperbound version of a book. Listening to a book on CD models good reading skills for your child. Exposes them to new words, within the proper context, in turn broadening their vocabulary.

The love of reading doesn’t always develop the same in our children as it did in us. Yet, if you approach reading with a creative eye, you will often find the type of reading your child enjoys. In the end, you are helping your child to develop a skill they will need and use throughout life. Instead of curling up with a good book, they may plug in headphones and listen to it on their IPod or curl up opposite you with their eReader, but you can rest assured that they will have learned to love the written word as much as you, because you were willing to let them come at it from a different direction.

Happy reading!

Kai's debut book is The Weaver. This is the synopsis:

In a town of word weavers, Mary suffers through her third year of Novice Word Weaving. Mary thinks her troubles are over when she meets a gnome-elf who grants her a wish. But instead of weaving a better story, she's weaving strange yarn charms to accompany her still pathetic tales.

It's getting great reviews! Get your copy of The Weaver here.

About Kai:

Kai Strand is a children's author of middle grade and young adult novels. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she inherited a wholesome outlook on life. She lived in California long enough to become a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. They now live in Central Oregon where the most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, "Do your dishes!"

Obviously, Kai likes to write. The Weaver is Kai’s debut book. She reads a lot as well and calls it research. Kai loves to garden, and is trying out a greenhouse for the first time this year. She loves to sing. You might find her singing in Latin while browsing at Target. Most of the time she isn’t aware she’s singing aloud. She and her family love to hike and geocache. Kai walks 45 miles a month for exercise.

You can visit Kai online at or at her blog, Strands of Thought,

Thank you for visiting with us today, Kai. I wish you great success on your book tour and with The Weaver. I have a reluctant reader at our house and these tips do help a lot.

Until the next time,

Margaret Rose


  1. Thanks for hosting Kai today. This is a great article. My son was a reluctant reader when he was little. I could have used these tips then.

  2. Margaret, thank you so much for having me as a guest today. It is always so fun to visit other sites and speak with new readers. And good luck with your reluctant reader!

  3. This is wonderful. As a former teacher of relunctant readers, this is spot-on.

    Very nice, indeed.

  4. Great post, Kai. My son struggled with reading until he discovered computer games. He had to read those directions! And of course, those Calvin and Hobbes comic books helped. Thanks for sharing your ideas. :)

  5. It's my pleasure to have you Kai. Welcome back, Nancy! I appreciate you stopping in.

  6. Dianne, Welcome! I'm glad Kai's post resonated with you and I hope you'll come back again.

  7. @Nancy, thanks for the affirmation! I've had two reluctant readers. I used to beat my head against the wall making my son sit with a book. Then we went downtown one day and it all changed for us.

    @Dianne, Calvin & Hobbes rocks! Smart boy you have.