I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Monday, March 05, 2012

A Preview for Ready Read Tuesday

Reading to a child
See how reading makes a difference here

I've had the good fortune of meeting many writers in various stages of the careers since I began actively blogging. They come from all backgrounds; from poor to wealthy, from single-parent households to sprawling families, from all over the country and beyond. The one theme that seems to unite all of them is a simple one:

At some point in their childhood, someone took the simple step of putting a book in their hand.

Now for the parents reading this, you might be thinking that you don't want your children to grow up to be writers. You want them to eat regularly and have money for rent. Perfectly understandable. But don't neglect the many benefits realized from encouraging your children to read. 

Reading at an early age leads to enhanced language skills. That includes reading comprehension which is a HUGE factor in your child's ability to learn quickly and to foster good study habits. Reading, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, also provides a child with perspectives beyond their own experience to help them navigate those difficult early formative situations. Perhaps it's easy for little Alice or Johnny to ignore Mom's words of advice, but chances are they'll remember that Harry Potter didn't take the easy way out by lying to keep himself out of trouble. Reading gives a child other children whom they can admire and respect.

Those enhanced language skills in combination with the expanded perspective also feed directly to an enhanced ability to communicate. Communication is such an important developmental skill that is lost these days to text messaging, gaming, and the myriad of other distractions and the loss of it seems to be showing across the country. Increasing disciplinary issues, fighting, parents with children in therapy who've given up trying to talk with their child, and far worse issues seem to be normal topics of conversation among parents anymore. This is why I believe that instilling a strong ability to communicate in a child is such an important step to foster strong emotional and intellectual development. A child without the ability to communicate or even to make sense of their thoughts and feelings is more likely to act out on those feelings violently or behaviorally. 

It is for this reason that I am designating Tuesdays on my blog "Ready Read Tuesdays." Each and every Tuesday I will list three books that inspire, entertain, and educate young readers and I will challenge parents, aunts, uncles, big siblings, ANYONE with a child in their life, to get one of these books in the hands of a child. Whether you read it to them or with them, be available to talk about the story and the characters with the child and be prepared to be amazed as you see how quickly they assimilate the stories and lessons into their own lives. 
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Ready, Set, Go!
And for those of you who think you're too old to get anything out of a children's book - as a fully grown-up reader of Young Adult fiction, I can promise you're never too old to learn from a child.

The first Ready Read Tuesday begins tomorrow. No excuses! I'll even make it easy for you to find all three books for cheap or even for free. Get ready!


  1. Ashley, my 6-year-old son is out of town this week, but I think your idea is terrific. As you read www.wordofexcellence.wordpress.com (my blog), you'll see some stories that my son has told me, which I felt warranted publishing. He is an extraordinary reader...goes through some of the library books in a matter of a day or two, and of course that reading has allowed him to be literate in his speech (I help) as well as articulating what he wants to say in a story.
    I seldom read to him as much as in earlier days, as he's all over the stories on his own now.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Blogger is giving me a hard time today. Anyway, Thanks for the wonderful post. Just got back from reading with kids in a reading/literacy program sponsored by my church. I'm just a volunteer but it's awesome. Today's book was called Green Beans and Other Silly Poems.

  4. This idea is terrific! My 4-year old is as hooked on books as I was at her age and we read stories every night (I was a lucky child - my grandparents had a library)

  5. George/E.D. - It's great that your kids are already taking after both of you :-) When I was a little girl, my mother and I would pile up on pillows and spend nights with popcorn and books. Those nights always meant so much to me!

    Eve - I think it's fantastic that you are sharing your time in the literacy program. I'll bet the kids really feed off of your passion for books. Great way to make a difference! :-)

  6. Ashley, I loved those nights of us reading.
    They started out me reading book after book to you, then you reading your books to me until you progressed into you Stephen King, Dean Koontz and all the sci-fi books you were starting to read in 5th and 6th grade. Then we were just piled up each reading our own book until we fell asleep. Wonderful memories and so happy to see your love of books has led you to this point in your life.

    You were amazing then, even more amazing now.


"Feedback is the breakfast of champions." - Ken Blanchard