Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day!

As you’ve probably noted, I’m a huge fan of reading aloud. So I was delighted to discover that Saturday, December 3, 2011, is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.

It’s one of those ideas that started small – a mom wanting to share the pleasures of book-laden shelves with her children – and then caught on. You can learn more at the TYCBD website, which includes a map of participating stores (though any bookstore with a children’s section will do).

In anticipation of the holidays, here is a short list of some of my favorite books, especially for children who struggle with reading:

Beacon Street Girls by Annie Bryant (Aladdin). An extensive series of books targeted to girls 9 to 13 and one of the first for this age group to feature a main character with dyslexia, Maeve Kaplan-Taylor. Some titles also available on CD.

Hank Zipzer series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver (Grosset & Dunlap). Now 17 in number, the Hank Zipzer series features a dyslexic main character, Hank, written by a dyslexic author, Henry Winkler. Ages 8 and up. Some titles also available on CD.

Horatio Humble Beats the Big D by Margot E. Finke (Guardian Angel, 2010). This picture book with rhyming text explains dyslexia through its character, Horatio Humble. Ages 5 to 10.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books). A series of books, videos and companion guidebooks starring characters mythological and contemporary for ages 10 and up. I often recommend the Percy Jackson series to boys when they have gained enough reading skill to manage the text and many of them have gotten hooked on reading through these books. Some titles also available on CD.

Pony Pals series by Jeanne Betancourt (Scholastic). A book series for ages 7 and up about three girls and their ponies. One of the girls, Anna, is dyslexic, as is the author, who dedicates a page on her website to dyslexia.

The Sword of Darrow by Hal and Alex Malchow (BenBella Books, 2011). Children’s adventure fantasy fiction for ages 9 and up. The authors are father and son; son Alex was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 8.

Although author Jim Trelease has retired, his wonderful book, The Read-Aloud Handbook (Penguin) is still readily available. The back of the book includes a “Treasury of Read-Alouds” categorized by genre — picture books, short novels, novels, anthologies, fairy/folk tales and poetry. A wonderful list of read-aloud books that were published before 2006.

I hope you will enjoy reading together this winter… and make it a year-round habit for the entire family. We’re never too old for reading aloud!

Meanwhile, if you have questions about language processing disorders, such as dyslexia, I’d be pleased to hear from you at AskSandie@Lexercise.com or call 1-919-747-4557.

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Sandie Barrie Blackley, MA/CCC

MA/CCC - Cofounder and CKO

Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.