Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Babe To Teens, Past
A YOuth Column
By Beverly Rowe


    Do you read out loud to your kids? Your grandchildren? Research shows that children do better in school, and maybe even in life when someone reads to them every day. Itís easy to create a special reading time when you can settle down and enjoy a book without interruption. Most families find that making it a bedtime tradition works out well. Reading to very young children, even before they understand the story is beneficial in teaching them how to listen and appreciate books. Start out with books that have predictable, repetitive passages, progressing to whatever they might find interesting. I remember reading everything from Beatrice Potterís Peter Rabbit series to Huckleberry Finn and even James Corbettís The Maneaters of Kumaon, which is certainly not a childrenís book, but they loved it.

    One of the benefits that I have enjoyed most is the discussion that follows the reading of a good book. What a great way to connect and communicate on the childrenís level, and it can be a real eye-opener in understanding your child. Listen closely to the kids' ideas during discussion. There is so much information you can gain about your child's inner feelings and thought processes if you take the time to talk about the book you just read. Your child will learn more about what your feelings are about right and wrong, and the thoughts behind your comments, which is critical to a strong bond of communication when it comes time to discuss more personal issues. Of course, itís discouraging to read to a child who is not interested, but learning to listen takes practice, so donít let that stop you. It may take a great deal of patience on your part to teach a child about the magic of books, but the rewards are tremendous.

    I found that reading books that I loved as a child alternated with the latest books on the market worked. The kids learned to love what was hot as well as some best loved classics.


    Here is a site dedicated to childrenís books, and best of all, kids can create an online book of their own...FREE.

    Max Elliot Anderson, author of action-adventures and mysteries for kids, has begun a real life adventure to encourage summer reading. On Saturday, May 31, he released a special bottle into the Rock River, near his home of Rockford, Illinois.

    "Since most of my books contain adventures, and are written especially for boys 8 - 12, I wanted to do something different this summer, to point out the importance of reading in America. Thatís because I grew up hating to read." His blog, Books for Boys, ranks in the top 10 searches on Google.

    He placed the bottle into the river, downstream from a spillway. "I know there are lots of hazards and obstacles in the rivers," Anderson said. "But Iím hoping my bottle makes its way to the end of the Rock River, and into the Mississippi. If it gets that far, then who knows?" The large, clear, plastic bottle is decorated with blue tape. Inside is a special card. When the card is returned to the author, he will send a set of his books to the person who found it. Also included is a forever stamp. "That way," he said, "it wonít cost the finder anything to claim the prize, no matter when they pull it out of the water."

    The prize card includes instructions for proper disposal of the bottle, or recycling. "I donít consider my message-bottle to be litter since Iím confident someone will find it one of these days."


    If you liked The Golden Compass youíll love this one.

    Once Upon a Time in the North by Phillip Pullman Once Upon a Time in the North (Hardcover)
    by Phillip Pullman

    Texas aeronaut Lee Scoresby becomes embroiled in local politics when he lands his balloon in the Arctic town of Novy Odense in this prequel to THE GOLDEN COMPASS. You will recognize returning characters from the His Dark Materials series. It's an entertaining adventure. Nigel Whitmey and Liza Ross are a perfect, often hilariously comic team as Lee and his daemon, the jackrabbit, Hester. The tense, violent shoot-out at the end will keep readers glued to their book.

    Tales from the Hood (Sisters Grimm, Book 6) by Michael Buckley (Author), Peter Ferguson (Illustrator) Tales from the Hood (Sisters Grimm, Book 6) (Hardcover)
    by Michael Buckley (Author), Peter Ferguson (Illustrator)

    The Grimms defend Mr. Canis in Ferryport Landingís trial of the century!

    This book sees Mr. Canis, dear friend and protector of the Grimm family, put on trial for past crimes. Considering that heís really the Big Bad Wolf, he has a lot to answer for. Is there any truth to the story told by Little Red Riding Hood? Whatís the deal with all that huffing and puffing? Will Mr. Canis be forced to answer for his crimes?

    A kangaroo court of Everafters, led by the cruel Queen of Hearts, is determined to find Canis guilty and force the Grimms out of Ferryport Landing. Meanwhile, Puck has decided to focus more on his mischievous ways, making a few new troublemaker friends. So itís up to Sabrina and Daphne to find evidence to save Canis - and their investigation may reveal more than they hoped.

    Queste (Septimus Heap, Book 4) by Angie Sage (Author), Mark Zug (Illustrator) Queste (Septimus Heap, Book 4) (Hardcover)
    by Angie Sage (Author), Mark Zug (Illustrator)

    The Septimus Heap series remains one of the best of the young-wizard furor fueled by Harry Potter.

    There's trouble at the Castle, and it's all because Merrin Meredith has returned with Darke plans for Septimus. More trouble awaits Septimus and Jenna in the form of the ghost of the first Chief Hermetic Scribe, who is determined to send Septimus on a deadly Queste. But Septimus and Jenna are headed for the mysterious House of Foryx, a place where all Time meets and the place where they fervently hope they will be able to find Nicko and Snorri, who were trapped back in time in physik. But how will Septimus escape the Queste? Filled with nonstop action, humor, and fantastic adventure, this book is a winner.

    Charlie and Lola: I Want to Be Much More Bigger Like You (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child Charlie and Lola: I Want to Be Much More Bigger Like You (Charlie and Lola) (Paperback)
    by Lauren Child

    Lola is convinced that this is the year that sheíll finally be tall enough to ride the "Super Duper Loop-the-Looper" rollercoaster. But when Charlie measures her on a growth chart, it shows that sheís still too small. Lola tries everything she can think of to make herself bigger, but nothing does the trick. Will Lola be stuck going on kiddie rides forever? Every child can relate to that!

    As Good as Anybody by Richard Michelson (Author), Raul Colon (Illustrator) As Good as Anybody (Hardcover)
    by Richard Michelson (Author), Raul Colon (Illustrator)

    MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel. Their names stand for the quest for justice and equality.

    Martin grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. He aimed to put a stop to it. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause.

    Abraham grew up in a loving family many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he became a respected rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance.

    Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.

2008 Past Columns

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