There is a lot of discussion around helping the reluctant or challenged young reader. As an author of stories for young readers, I’m doing a lot of learning. Learning to be careful in how I use punctuation and of presenting a picture that is easy to visualize. All the types of writing that seems so easy for the practiced reader, but often causes stumbling blocks for the young reader who does not feel competent in her skills.
I’m not a professional educator nor do I have any specific education geared towards providing reading material for the young reader. Having said that, I think that reading needs to be FUN. I mean, do I continue to read a book that seems awkwardly written, or difficult to follow, or has so many characters that I can’t keep them straight? So I can imagine how easy it would be for a young reader to determine that she just can’t “read” when presented with a story that is too taxing. She will quickly adopt the belief that she doesn’t like reading and that she would much rather be doing just about anything else than reading. Because reading is a painful, uncomfortable reminder of how Stupid she is. Hence, reading needs to be FUN.
This 9,800 word story was “test driven” with some hand-picked second graders (in May of last year, so almost 3rd graders) who really like to read. Their teacher used the geographical locations to increase their knowledge of geography. She reported that they had many questions about Alaska and were genuinely interested in seeing how the story progressed and ended. These “advanced 2nd graders” found the story’s alliteration aspect humorous and FUN.
This story is also FUN to read aloud. See how many ‘F’ words you can string together quickly without first frantically fumbling forward, forever fixing F’s in a frozen flick of your tongue? I warn folks, alliteration FUN can be fickle and famously addictive.
I’m hoping that this series of stories (there are currently two more to be formatted and sent to Smashwords) will provide young readers with a FUN experience and the motivation to read more stories that increase their vocabulary, test their geography knowledge, and tickle their imaginations.
If you do download this book, please, let me know what you think of it–especially what your kids found helpful or not so helpful. A book review by a reader is a gift to the author (even the critical reviews).
Be gentle with all of us readers and writers–our playgrounds harbor the words and visions of artists and inventors.