nate the great and the monster mess (and why our children need to read)

Avery’s love for the “World’s Greatest Detective” is still going strong and this is one is a regular in her Nate the Great rotation.  In Nate the Great and the Monster Mess, Nate’s mother loses her beloved recipe for monster cookies and Nate must wade through a myriad of clues to retrieve it.

There’s something so magical about finding a book or book series that you click with as a child.  It makes reading enjoyable, which is so integral to contributing to a lifelong love of reading and learning.  When they can’t wait to find out what happens next in a book, children are motivated to learn how to decode or pronounce words that are new them (even if they’re difficult), and understand their meanings.  As adults, we can bring to light the nuanced meanings of those new words, help interpret story structure/plot and really teach children to think beyond the story, and relate it with their own life experiences.  This is a huge part of the learning process: connecting new experiences with old.  This is what happens when we’re there reading aloud books to our kids or are even just present while they’re reading aloud on their own.

According to so many books (The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease comes to mind) and education articles, as our kids get older, they lose interest in reading.  Compared to other countries, our kids read less and less on their own as they become teenagers.   And time devoted to reading decreases with each new generation.  Yet, lifelong reading is so essential to a well-rounded education, understanding the world, making learning connections and ultimately, helping our children discover who they’re going to be in life and what their mission will be.  So, this is why it is so, so important from a very young age and all throughout childhood to build a library of books that children will enjoy and treasure.  Kudos to all parents, teachers and librarians who work tirelessly to do so!

I know all too well how tired we all are at the end of the day and sometimes how hard it is to decide to read a book instead of watch TV and relax or whatever, but reading every day is one of the best things we can do with our kids, to invest in them and their future.