Thursday, November 15, 2012

Simon's Guide to Not Reading

I decided to take my three kids (6, 8, and 10) to Chapters to buy brand new books (a luxury in a house that uses the library or purchases used books from Amazon) with the purpose of getting the kids hooked on some new books. The six year-old boy is a very reluctant reader, opting for the standbys like “One Fish Two Fish” when he has to endure his 15 minutes a day of reading time.

We walked in to the book store and I directed the kids to their age-appropriate sections. The 6 year-old boy picked up Captain Underpants and had settled on that. I was helping the 10 year-old choose a book when I saw this book, Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading, written by Tommy Greenwald. The 6 year-old squeaked with joy and claimed it as his choice, mercifully rejecting Captain Underpants.

After paying for our selections, donating some used gum to the trash can, and having a lovely chat with the book lady, we got back in the van.  The 6 year-old asked if he could read on the way home. “Sure, if you can see.” (It was dark already.) We got home and he kept reading, getting so excited every time he finished another chapter. He harrumphed when I told him he needed to get into pajamas and brush his teeth, but cheered when I told him he could read again when he was done. That was his fastest “Get-Ready-For-Bed” ever!

I walked in to tuck him in. After saying his prayers, he smiled his winning “Can I have chocolate?” smile and asked if he could finish the chapter. I hemmed and hawed, and slyly asked how long it was, conceding when I saw that it was only two more pages. (It must have been a long chapter.) Then he asked if he could take the book in for reading time at school tomorrow. I told him that was a great idea. Then he told me that he just might read the book instead of playing his Nintendo DS tomorrow.  Sounds good to me.

So thank you, Tommy Greenwald! Thank you for writing the book that encourages children not to read. Thank you for all the time and effort it took to publish this book, which implores children to do as little as possible when it comes to reading. You’ve failed miserably and my son is hooked on your book!

*For those who have no idea idea what I'm talking about, click on the link for the book.  The author wrote it to get his kids hooked on reading.  Pretty sneaky, huh?

1 comment:

  1. I love that you found an author that engages Simon! Even if it was a sneaky way to do it ;) I will have to keep this book in mind in case Jack doesn't want to read in a few years...