Wrestling with a reluctant reader?
I’m Suzanne, I work at Floris Books, and I have a reluctant reader. There. Now you know. I’ve said it. Until recently my 7 year old would read . . . if pushed, and harrangued and nagged. It was exhausting and upsetting for both of us. He stubbornly remained a classic ‘reluctant reader’ until one day I came home with Thorfinn and the Awful Invasion and flicked through the pages under his nose. He couldn’t resist.
Of course it’s obvious that funny books, books with illustrations, books with stories he wants to immerse himself in and join the fun, series where he can relate to the main character (‘What’s going to happen to me next?’) make it easier but what about a sense of place? That’s immeasurably important too. Those pesky vikings invading ‘Scotland’ (‘That’s where I live’).
Early readers, 6 to 8 year olds and reluctant readers need stories that speak to them, rooted in places they recognise as belonging to them as well as tales that excite them, humour they recognise and heroes and heroines they want to be. The Floris Young Kelpies list may have come from an earnest desire to fill this gap for parents but the books themselves are truly for the children. Many of the staff here at Floris Books have 6-8 year olds so these books are robustly test driven and we are well aware that children can sniff earnest and teacherly 10 paces from a book cover!
Each of the new Young Kelpies series comprises six books, with Scotland at their heart, encouraging children to really get to know the worlds they are exploring. Vikings, football, mystery-solving . . . and a tartan cat encompass the first four in the list.
Our inaugural series Thorfinn the Nicest Viking by David MacPhail is the Bloodaxe Challenge book for the 2016 Jorvik Viking Festival and is already gaining young fans far and wide.
The second series (May 2016) by Danny Scott is for the football mad youngsters in your life. Calum Ferguson, the hero of Scotland Stars F.C. has to find his place as the new boy at school and battle to gain a place in the football team. Scottish triumph over adversity, resilience and sporting prowess, what’s not to love?
So I’ve got him going with the right books but there’s another problem now. He keeps sneakily switching the light back on . . . ‘Just one more page then I’ll turn it off, I promise!’
If you are a teacher and you think your students would be interested to see our authors in action please get in touch! All our authors run inspirational, high energy events and enjoy sharing their writing with their readers.