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“It’s our job to find books for our kids to read.  It’s not the school’s.” – Best Selling Author James Patterson

Welcome to the third installment of Reasons to Read.  In the first two weeks, we discussed Getting in Touch With Your Inner Casting Director and Reasons to Read – Time Travel, Bad Tv & Sex Tapes.

I love to read.  My parents taught me at an early age the joys of reading.  My two oldest children love to read, and it is just as important for me to show my two youngest children the joys of opening a terrific book and letting the writer take you on a journey, and into a world, that before now, you were unable to enter.

Unfortunately, many, many parents don’t spend that quality time with their children.

This past Wednesday I happened to walk past the television while the Today Show was on.  Al Roker was interviewing best-selling author James Patterson when the topic changed from promoting his latest Alex Cross novel to a cause Patterson has championed – getting children to read.

“We know we are supposed to teach the child how to ride a bike, or how to throw a baseball, but we don’t think, we have to go out and find books for them.”

Wow!  Right there on national television a mega-selling author stated it best.

Why do we as parents think it is the public schools system to teach our children?  Why is the most significant responsibility of parenting – the teaching of our children – delegated to someone else?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children’s future determined by how well they are taught by someone else.  Nothing against teachers – my Mom was one.

We spend time teaching our kids to ride bikes, roller-skate, throw baseball’s and footballs, yet it escapes our thinking that perhaps we should spend just as much time at the library or bookstore picking out notable books for them to read.  We spend time picking out video games for our children.  For the cost of one video came we could buy four or five books instead.

My youngest daughter loves to read.  My son, well, not so much.  I have struggled to come up books that he might find appealing.  Books, other than Diary of a Wimpy Kid, are hard to find, and hold his interest.

Watching the interview with Patterson led me to a startling revelation.  Seems that while not writing the next best-seller, Patterson has started a website specifically designed to solve this problem.

I quickly went to the web site:  http://www.readkiddoread.com

On the home page, it states, “Something told you the only way to get kids to read was to give them great books, cool books, books they would absolutely, positively love.  I believe we have gathered the crème de la crème of such reading right here.  These are very special books that kids will gobble up and ask for more.  If your kids get a few of these books under their belts they’ll be well on their way to becoming readers for life.  I promise you.”

Reading lists are broken up into four categories:

0-8  Great Illustrated Books          6 & Up  Great Transitional Books          8 & Up  Great Pageturners          10 & Up  Great Advanced Reads

Within each category are four subcategories broken down into genres and more defined age groups with each category containing at least twenty-five books titles.

I spent quite a bit of time at the web site, scanning over book tiles and descriptions.  You could get lost in time.  My prayers were answered.  I have an entire arsenal of books to expose to my children.  I even see numerous options that might, just might, turn my son into a reader.

If you are a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or mentor to a child, check out the web site.  Let others in your circle of friends know about it.

After all, it is our job, and not the schools system, to teach our children well.