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Home  >  Reading and Writing  >  Inspiring Readers
By Susan Beeman

Christopher doesn't like to sit still. He's a wiggly, giggly, active eight-year-old who loves to fish and learn new outdoor skills. But whip out a book and Chris takes note.

Reading Outdoors

He can sit still for a book.

His mother, Crystal, says she tried to read him fables and short stories, but they bored her boy. He'd get fidgety and lose interest. Finally, she realized non-fiction was the key to Christopher's young heart and mind.

"He likes fact more than fables," she says. "He's been a fisherman since he was a baby, and he loves any book that deals with fish or fishing."

A picture book on the life cycle of the salmon, Crystal says, was one of Chris' favorite books from the library. It contained color photos and informative text. He prides himself on learning to identify fish, birds, other animals, and airplanes. He studies these topics in books from the library, school, and bookshelves at home.

Fiction, though, is not lost on this inquisitive youth. His mom says he leafs through comic books scrutinizing the illustrations. Looking at the pictures "helps him create a picture in his mind of what's really going on. Then as he gets older, he won't need that as much," she explains.

Helping children become enthusiastic readers might simply be a matter of discovering what interests them and what will hold their attention.

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