Last week, an acquaintance of my husband's stopped by along with her 12-year-old son. When he was introduced, I noted that his name was the same as a character in a book I'm working on. But that, unfortunately, he was a bad guy and gets killed off - which of course, the youngster thought was "cool."
As we chatted further, I discovered that he does not like to read. Or rather, he doesn't like to read fiction. He prefers biographies or even graphic books (similar to a comic book). But his school won't let him read what he wants for book reports - he must read fiction. So we continued to chat. Turns out, he likes Shakespeare, but finds it a little hard to read. And he kind of likes mysteries - but most of what he sees now he doesn't like.
So I asked him about Edgar Allen Poe. Turned out he'd never read the master of all mystery fiction. I suggested he try some.
Found out from my husband over the weekend that not only did the boy try Poe, but he discovered he really liked the stories and has devouring them. I may have created a monster - but at least he's reading.
And there's no better past time than that.
And on a second upside note, while visiting with the family yesterday, our 4-year-old grandson floored me by sitting down with me and reading the "Peanuts" cartoon from the paper - and mostly without prompting. The few words he stumbled over (imagination, monster), he sounded out and went on reading. Wow.
New readers are everywhere and that's a great thing.