Thursday, March 01, 2012

for the girl who loves to read

it was school work time. she had the list of her newest spelling words and was reading them in context. i watched her from the kitchen, putting dinner together and washing dishes, but available to help her as needed. she didn't know i was paying attention when she stopped reading and reached for the dictionary to search for an unfamiliar word and discover it's meaning. even with the Internet within arms reach, she heaved the old book onto the table and flipped the pages to find a certain bold-faced word, just like i taught her. in just a few seconds time, i watched her find the word, read it, think about it, and understand it.

turning back to her spelling words, she read a little bit more and then stopped again.

"mom, can i read the dictionary?"

"if you need to find a word, honey, sure, go right ahead."

"no, i just want to read it. please?"

seriously. she wanted to read the dictionary. for fun.

so i reward her: for finishing her school work with a happy heart and in a timely manner she may read the dictionary.

i can barely keep up with how much she reads. we borrow 20 books from the library on a regular basis, and more than half of them are chapter books or age-appropriate novels for her. kindle books are her reward earned for doing chores around the house. she shares all her spare moments with books: in the car, after school work, at the breakfast table, before she falls asleep. she gets lost in the stories and befriends the characters. she learns about far-away places and long-ago times. her imagination is tickled and when she finishes a book, she is inspired to write. poems, songs, stories. she draws detailed scenes, illustrating a plot. and then she wants to read more.

this girl loves to read. 

finding age-appropriate, yet challenging and interesting books for her is not easy. she is only 7, but reads at about a fifth grade level according to various tests. she breezes through 200-page books in a matter of days. she has finished the Narnia series. she reads and re-reads bible stories. she devours American Girl historical fiction. she has read classics like Little Women and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and favorites like Little House on the Prairie and The Indian in the Cupboard. she hasn't met a book she doesn't like. she'll even read the dictionary.

can you help? what books would you recommend for a young Christian girl who loves to read?