Although I expect those words can be frustrating to a parent who just wants a child to go to sleep, the words are still something that I think all parents should be glad to hear, because it means the child is reading. Not watching TV, not playing yet another level of a video game, not glued to the computer.

It’s sometimes difficult to know how to encourage a child to read, when there are so many other enticing options. Emma Walton Hamilton’s book, Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, provides a plethora of suggestions both of ways to get kids to read, and books suitable for every age level.

Raising Bookworms is a title that has something to say to writers, as well.

Writers need to bear a large part of the responsibility in the task of raising bookworms. If the books available aren’t crafted to catch and hold a child’s interest, then the child isn’t going to want to read. So we as writers must ensure that we are creating quality writing, that will entice children to turn the pages, to keep reading — and to go back and read a book again and again, discovering thereby the fact that one can find something new in a book even when reading it for the second or third or fifteenth time.

Children deserve our best possible efforts as writers. In the comments, I’d be glad to hear your ideas about how we can do this. What is most important in our writing to ensure that kids are turned on to reading? What do we need to do more of? Less of?

And, just a heads up — next week I will be having a giveaway of two copies of Emma’s book, Raising Bookworms. From Monday to Friday next week, you’ll have opportunities to enter the giveaway, and to do more thinking about encouraging literacy in many different ways. Stay tuned!

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