I’m always searching for new stuff for my kids to read. Part of it is that I love reading so much, and I have so many great memories of books that I loved as a kid, and part of it is just that I’m at the library so much for myself, it’s now just part of my routine. Get books for me, take the kids to the kids’ section and let them color while I get books for them. Jessie is old enough to seek stuff out for herself, and I’ve learned the hard way that if I encourage too much, she’s less likely to enjoy it. If I step back and let her pick the book she likes instead of showing her the books I liked at her age, she’s a lot more likely to stick with it and finish it.
But Sam requires a bit more direction still. He’s old enough to read out loud to me, but he would always rather me read to him. And he’s not into the picture books anymore – he wants big chapter books. We did the first three Harry Potter books, but then his interest tapered off. We did the first eight or so Hardy Boys Mysteries, but honestly, my interest tapered off (that was more Marc driven, and he’s working so much at night that he’s not able to do the reading with him). But Sam stumbled onto an extremely abridged version of the King Arthur stories at a book sale a few weeks ago, and we read it over the next couple of days. He’s fascinated, absolutely in love with all things knight related. So we got another book, a more in-depth version, and have been reading a chapter at a time.
I think King Arthur appeals to him because it’s unapologetic about violence and sword fighting. It’s not just that, but let’s be honest, it’s a big part of it. Those knights seem to fight it out all the time, but there’s heroism and chivalry and bravery and boldness and I love that he loves it. I love that he’s learning about characters that I’ve loved for years (although my exposure to it is limited to The Once and Future King, The Mists of Avalon and the Disney Sword in the Stone movie).
Mostly what I love is that my little boy is learning the magic of a good book, it’s his go-to security object, when he starts getting really anxious or upset, it’s such a quick and easy fix. It gives him the opportunity to escape into a book, and that, to me, is the best part of reading.