How to Create an Addiction to Reading

boy reading

When a student says, "I don't like books" or "I hate reading", my response? You just haven't found the right book yet! The key to creating readers is to find what interests each particular child - and give ample opportunities to read. Reading should be cherished and time to read created - and made fun. Make a visit to the book store or library a privilege, a family outing. Seek out author visits, special events and reading reward programs. Best of all? You can find most events through libraries and book stores that are FREE - offering inexpensive family fun - take advantage...and watch your child's love of reading grow.

So how do you create a reading addict? Here are a few suggestions:

First and foremost, set a good example! Parents should be the reading model for their children. Keep lots of books and various reading material around your house. Turn off the TV and designate reading time in your home.

Find reading material that fits your child's interest - do they play sports? Cheerleading? In the band? Do you have animal lovers? Crafty critters? What do they spend their time doing, what do they love and what excites them? I assure you, there's a book about it!

Be in the book know. Read the same book as your child / teen so that you can have fun discussions about it. This helps them to work on comprehension - you could even create a parent child book club! An added bonus? You'll know what your child's reading, gain an insight to their likes and dislikes AND you'll be reading the same book, so if the book contains something you disagree with, whether it be morally/spiritually - you'll find it because YOU'RE reading it!

Read aloud together every day. Add fun by reading outdoors , at a park, in various rooms around the house - and don't forget to let your children read to you! Encourage them to ask questions and interject...get their imaginations flowing!

Purchase magazine subscriptions in your child's name, like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights for Children, or National Geographic World. Encourage older children to read the newspaper and current events magazines. You can even subscribe to some magazines for free, such as Lego Club (you can find it in the "free reading" section of the website. Magazine subscriptions make GREAT year long gifts - and they can be used after they're read...for school projects and crafts!

Take your children to Book stores and libraries as fun outings - it makes for a great family outing and is often FREE.

Telling the kids their bed time is at 7:30 - when you really don't mind if it's 8 allowing them time to read in bed. They are happy to stay up "late" in bed to read!

Place books in all areas of your home - sitting around in baskets, on book shelves and out as displays on tables or even between book ends on dressers and night stands. It's always a good idea to have books in your purse and/or car for times when you get caught in traffic or have to wait at the doctor's office.

Create a COMFY reading place in your home or their rooms - one that is a special place to cuddle up with a good book.

Purchase or make your child book plates. Personalizing a book with a sticker or name label creates a sense of pride and belonging - and also helps when a favorite book is lost at school or a friend's.

And most importantly, make reading a privilege, not a requirement. If you make a child read "for pleasure" in order to earn TV time, toys, gaming time, etc...you will only create a resentment for reading that will build over time. Most adults who do not enjoy reading, my husband included, have been forced as a child to read material they did not choose in order to "earn" time doing things they DID enjoy. THIS is never the answer.

Remember...read to succeed...it truly is the key to knowledge.

Best Book Blogs for Kids


Looking for a creative way to get your children interested in reading? Maybe you need some ideas on the "in" books out on the market...or better yet, maybe you have a computer junkie who you want to move away from Internet games and toward more valuable web sites? Maybe you ARE a kid and you're looking for new books to read. Well, check out the blogs listed below...these are specific to kids and the books they're reading NOW. Hope you'll find something you like! Let me know!

Books for Your Kids

The Children's Book Review

A Year of Reading

Dog Eared (National Geographic Kids)

Books for Kids

Kids Lit

Kids' Comics

Kids Book Blog

Green Books Blog

Spaghetti Book Club

The Reading Tub

Reader Views

Curled Up With a Good Kids Book


What do Boys Want?? NON-FICTION!

Our school libraries will remain largely unused by boys if we don’t have what they genuinely want to read. There may well be many books in our libraries that will benefit boys, broadening their experience, helping them mature, widening their vocabulary, giving them confidence, and aiding the rest of their learning; books achieve such things not by their high literary quality – though some of them will have this – but by being read.

Our challenge is to value boys’ reading tastes, whatever they are; to feed demand for the popular; and to tempt boys by the very best.
We can never be confident that we know enough about which books boys want to see in their school library – or even more crucially, about which books would draw in those who never visit it. Our own guesswork is not good enough – we need to learn from the users. Talk to boys; if you are genuine about your need to know their reading tastes, they’ll respond to this: boys long for what's real...the gross, the unexpected, the astonishing...the TRUTH. That's why boys tend to lean more toward non-fiction. Now, don't get me wrong. Each child is different. However, research shows that the vast majority of boys prefer non-fiction reading material. So why do boys, on average, tend to read less than girls? Think about the number of female educators we have. Females have reading habits far different from boys..and while never done purposely, female teachers do not always offer what appeals to male students in the area of reading. I have been guilty of this myself. What do you see women reading while waiting at the doctor's office or on a plane? Fiction. Romance novels, mystery novels, etc. Men? Non-fiction. Time magazine, Sports magazines, newspapers... Eye opening, isn't it?? Therefore, find non-fiction to put in your son's hands...or that student who is a reluctant reader...and you might just have something.

Here are some frequent conclusions from surveys and experience;
Boys are more likely to read for a purpose, if they can see the point in it. What am I learning? What facts can I find? THIS is why boys often prefer non-fiction, books with photographs and captions...and "fun facts" books. These non-fiction interests can then spark an interest in the fiction books - sports, cars, animals, geography...Boys often crave the subject of the moment, and switch to new ones fast.

Magazines are a big hit with boys: Lego Club Magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Ranger Rick...because...they have articles about REAL stuff!

So, think non-fiction when you're trying to coax your son into reading...and if your son doesn't require coaxing...then you're one of the lucky ones!

Check out one of my favorite resources for boys, when it comes to reading: Guys Read. Bookmark it on your computer...you never know, you might learn something!

Capstone Kids: Interactive Fun!

Have you heard of Capstone Kids? It's a great website with free games and activities SAFE for the whole family! The great thing is, the characters in the games are straight out of Capstone's books - so children are already familiar with the characters AND they get an opportunity for some interactive play...they won't even know they're learning!

Here's a little blurb from Capstone:
Capstone Kids is owned and operated by Capstone Publishers. We are a family-owned company that supports the reading needs of preK-12 students through Capstone Press, Compass Point Books, Picture Window Books, Stone Arch Books, and Red Brick Learning. We’re proud of the range of high-quality nonfiction and high-interest fiction we offer, and invite you to browse our collections!

We offer MANY Capstone titles to students in our library. What's better than getting "hooked" via an online game and then searching for the book in the library?? It's all about making connections. I highly suggest this website for students - check it out!

Capstone Kids

Here are a few characters your children will see at Capstone Kids Online that they may be familiar with from books they've read:

Buzz Beaker
Captain Cal
Damian Drooth Supersleuth
DC Comic Superheros

Eek & Ack
Isabel Soto
Jimmy Sniffles
The Library of Doom (a favorite of OIS students!)
Max Axiom
Pony Tales
Recon Academy
Tiger Moth
Zinc Alloy

Book Review: The Ghost, The White House and Me

ghost white house

I recently finished reading the book, The Ghost, The White House, And Me. I'm a huge fan of mystery and suspense books and this one was great! Written by Judith St. George, this book is approximately a reading level of 4.7 with an interest level ideal for 9-12 year olds. It IS an AR book, but more importantly, it's a GOOD READ!

Here's a little summary:
KayKay Granger and her sister, Annie, have just moved into the White House after their mom's inauguration, and soon find out that it's not exactly as fun as it sounds. But things get a lot more interesting when the sisters find out that the White House may be haunted. Could Abraham Lincoln's spirit really be lingering in the Lincoln bedroom? KayKay and Annie want to get to the bottom of this mystery-but are they ready for what they might uncover?
*Taken from amazon.com*

I LOVED this book! It had a great air of suspense, complete with a few facts about past presidents and an inside look at what it might be like to live in the White House. It definitely held my interest as these excited yet reluctant girls set out on their mission to unveil a ghost in the White House! Did they do it?? You'll have to read it and find out!!

President Obama Urges Parents to Read

President Barack Obama urges parents to read to their children. There is no replacement - video games, television, sports...we all enjoy these activities, but it is crucial to set aside time to read with our children...in school and at home.

Barack Obama:
"In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a parent – for a mother or father who will […turn off the TV, put away the video games,] read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father, when I say that responsibility for our children’s education must begin at home. That is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. That’s an American issue."

You can find President Obama's full speech to the Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009, here.

The National Children's Reading Foundation suggests reading aloud with your children for 20 minutes daily to build their listening and language skills - no matter what their age!

Thank You Cracker Barrel!


Odenville Intermediate School was recently selected as a participating school in Cracker Barrel's Rockin' Reader Program. We are so excited to be a part of this program! Rockin’ Reader builds caring and literacy in the community by providing a comfortable space for volunteers to read with children. As a grant recipient, OIS was rewarded with Cracker Barrel double rockers and a barrel bookcase stocked with books. In the first year of the program, volunteers at 122 partner schools nationwide contributed 16,400 hours of reading time with children. That's amazing! To find out more about the program, click on one of the following links:

More information concerning Rockin' Reader

Reading tips for volunteers

List of 2008-2009 partner schools

Rockin' Reader in the news

If you would like to volunteer to read in the Rockin' Reader Center at OIS, please email Mrs. Champagne: jamie.champagne@sccboe.org

Book Review: Nim at Sea

nim at sea

Have you seen the movie, Nim's Island? If you have, I'd love to know what you think about it! If you haven't seen it yet, you can go to the link above to learn more about it - then run out and rent it!! You can also do some cool things like build your own island and explore Nim's Island. I'll admit, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I DID just finish reading Nim at Sea - and it was great! Nim at Sea is the companion or sequel to Nim's Island. If you enjoyed the movie, you should definitely check out this book from your local library this summer. It's perfect reading material for the summer months - fun, friends and lots of island sun! So, I'm doing things a bit backwards by reading this book first, but now...I have to go rent the movie!! I would love to know your favorite character in the movie - did you like it? Give me some advice!

My personal opinion of Nim at Sea? Well, it has LOTS of action, cute monkeys (well, in my head I pictured them as being cute!) and let's just say - it starts off with a great theme from the beginning. In chapter one, Alex and Nim are separated. Soon after, Nim experiences city life for the first time...where she definitely feels a bit out of place to say the least!! So...you will DEFINITELY want to read it to see what happens. Let me know what you think!

Check out the following interviews from participants in the movie. Fun stuff! :)

Abigail Breslin

Katie Brock

Dircetors Mark Levin & Jennifer Flackett

Gerald Butler

Jodie Foster

Favorite Books of Celebrities


Tim Allen, actor: Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey.

Oksana Baiul, Olympic figure skater: Never Die Easy: The Autobiography of Walter Payton by Walter Payton and Don Yeager.

Clive Barker, author: collected works of T.S. Eliot.

Miranda Cosgrove, iCarly actress: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Gray Davis, California governor: A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt, John Adams by David McCullough.

Sharon Davis, first lady of California: Angle of Repose by Wallace Earl Stegner, Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain, Americans and the California Dream series by Dr. Kevin Starr.

Marshall Faulk, NFL star: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.

Faith Hill, singer/composer: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.

Beyonce Knowles, singer: Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan.

Tara Lipinski, Olympic figure skater: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.

Rob Lowe, actor: The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

Randolph Mantooth, actor: Centennial by James Michener.

Marlee Matlin, actor: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

Matthew Modine, actor: The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono.

Deborah Norville, journalist and author: Villard by Alexandra deBorchegrave, On Writing by Stephen King, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.

Barack Obama, United States President: Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Haley Joel Osment, actor: Sphere by Michael Crichton, The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.

Anne Perry, author: Dante's Inferno translated by Dorothy Sayers, The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton.

Heather Pringle, author: Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.

Janet Reno, former U.S. Attorney General: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

J.K. Rowling, author: The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

Willard Scott, NBC weatherman: The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.

Mira Sorvino, actor: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison.

Mike Stewart, author: Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Powerhouse by Eudora Welty.

Charles Todd, author: Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James.

Lily Tomlin, actor, comedian: The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.

Barbara Walters, journalist: The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Seuss can count legions of fans from various walks including Mariska Hargitay, Jim Carrey, Troy Aikman, Jamie Fox, Sarah McLachlan, Janet Jackson, Will Smith, and Michael Douglas who particularly enjoys Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Send Your Name to Mars!

Scheduled to launch in the fall of 2011, Mars Science Laboratory is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Mars Science Laboratory is a rover that will assess whether Mars ever was, or is still today, an environment able to support microbial life. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet's "habitability."

Taken from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Website

Want to send your name to Mars?? Go here to fill in your information and include your name on a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover heading to Mars in 2011! You can also see a cool chart showing the number of names submitted by each state. Who says you can't go to Mars?

While you're waiting on the rover to take off, you can find out more information about Mars using the following links:

Kid's Astronomy: Mars
NASA'S Mars Exploration Program
Space Place - Let's Go To Mars!
Paper Models of the Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft!
Check out this Solar Telescope!

Happy Learning!

Read Kiddo Read


Looking for books to peak your child's interest? Or maybe you're a student, looking for books to peak your OWN interest? Check out Read Kiddo Read. A site created by James Patterson, Read Kiddo Read will break down books by interest and age, as well as catch your attention by subtitles such as, "Summer Reading Doesn't Have to be Punishment". Sign up for the newsletter, become a member of the community and even find lessons (for all you teacher folks)! Interested? Check it out!

Read Kiddo Read!

Links of Interest for Parents: Step Into Reading

Listed below are some printable guides for parents to use when reading to and with their children. It's never too late to create an atmosphere of reading in the home. If it is important to us as parents, it will be important to our children.

Reading Aloud To Your Child

Choosing Good Books for Children of All Ages

Helping Your Children Become Readers

Talking With Your Struggling Reader

Get a Free Subscription to Lego Club Magazine!


One of the ever-so popular magazines in our library is the Lego Club Magazine. Who doesn't love building with Legos?? The bad news? These magazines are SO loved, they often come back to the library torn, pages missing, hanging out of their protective covers. The good news? You can get your own subscription for free!

Parents, fill out the Lego Club Magazine form and you'll be seeing that magazine in no time!


Welcome to the OIS Library's little corner of the blogosphere! I hope you'll check back from time to time for book reviews, videos, website reviews, links, student news, polls and just reading news in general! While this blog is primarily for parents, staff and students of Odenville Intermediate School, we welcome all lovers of reading! Feel free to participate and post comments so we'll know you're out there! This blog will serve as a tool to interact with students, parents and our community as we update on library happenings and reading news from A to Z!

Feel free to "follow" along via the follow button in the right-hand sidebar. Be sure to visit frequently to get the latest school library news, participate in giveaways, surveys and all the fun along the way!

Enjoy the blog!

Mrs. Champagne, Library Media Specialist