So now that my child is reading ‘inside the box’ how can I get him to explore?

Reading Rainbow contributor Jenni Buchanan discusses how to help your student or child read a variety of books, authors, and literary styles. Her recent article, Read Outside the Box, helps parents and teachers to encourage their children to read outside their comfort zone and expand their literary horizons. 

Ms. Buchanan comments:

“Research shows that it’s beneficial for us to get outside of our comfort zones periodically style, and this includes books and reading material. The good news is that by reading outside the box you can open doors to swaths of new literature for yourself and the young reader in your life, and it costs nothing but a library card and a couple of chapters of open-minded reading.”

If your child is in a “comic book” rut or only wants to read stories about heroic penguins, this article provides several useful tips on how to slowly open his mind to exploring different authors, subjects, and genres. However, because reading outside one’s comfort zone can be… well… uncomfortable, the article suggests a gradual shift towards other book styles.  For instance, to use the penguin example again, if your child only wants to read about “Billy the Brave Bird” bring him to the library and introduce him to a non-fiction book about animals in the arctic.  Or perhaps, on your next library mission, find books similar to the author your child enjoys.  This effort can slowly whet his appetite to different styles and stories, making his literary and literal world bigger and growing his busy mind.

What is important is that you make reading fun. Your child can go from a reluctant reader to an avid reader with patience, time, and warm encouragement from you.