Thursday, January 21, 2010

I love Roald Dahl.

I've been trying to get Elli to read every night. It's like pushing a boulder up hill. She doesn't want to do it. I've bought her a million kinds of books and she's checked books out of the library. We even joined a book club with some of her friends so she could see how fun and exiting reading can be. Her idea of reading is picking out a book meant for kindergartners with lots of pictures. The problem is,  she's in 3rd grade now and needs to be reading chapter books.

Each week they go to the library at school. They are allowed to choose any book they want. She would bring home comics and picture books. I finally put my foot down and told her no more baby books.

It wasn't working. She would cry and pout and generally make MY life miserable. I knew I was walking a fine line. I don't want her to hate reading, but I knew the minute she found a book she liked, this drama would be over. We just hadn't found that book yet.  Until this week.

Elli came home from school so excited. Her friend Iso brought in a book she thought Elli would like. Matilda by Roald Dahl. She read it in class and loved it. Now she plans on reading every book he ever wrote.

The first book she brought home was BFS. I think it's the first book he wrote. It's the first one listed anyway. She is so excited she is literally going to read them in order, if she can. We sat together on the couch and she was giddy with excitement at how much she liked the story and the illustrations. She read the book out loud to me and was so happy she could hardly sit still while reading.

You have no idea how relieved I am and thankful there was someone like Roald Dahl to write so many fabulous stories like:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Snow White
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Jack and the Beanstalk
James and the Giant Peach
Little Red Riding Hood

We have a lot of fun reading ahead of us.

Now if I could only find the trick that will get her excited about cleaning her room. One thing at a time, I guess.


  1. You knew the teacher would chime in here! Try these series, when I taught third graders-they loved:
    Franie K. Stein (silly girl books)
    Magic Treehouse (magical adventure series)
    Goosebumps (semi-scary stories with good endings)
    Who was...(real biography series-good for reports
    Amber Brown (silly girl)

    All of these are chapter books and if she likes one series, most libarians can suggest another.


  2. Thanks! That's an awesome list.

    I think we'll try Franie K. Stein and Amber Brown first. Elli isn't really a big fan of scary or magical adventures. Not yet, anyway!


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