Reading with my daughter

One of my absolute favourite things is the time I spend reading with my daughter. Because I love books and I love my daughter.

If you ask her, she will tell you she ‘doesn’t like’ books or reading, but she’s very happy to share a story with me every night and always enjoys talking to me about her books.

Every night, she reads a few pages of the book, then I go and read a few more to her to help her settle down to sleep (I wish it actually worked, but that’s another story).

Her absolute favourite author is Jacqueline Wilson, but we’ve worked our way through all of her recent books and a lot of her older ones too, so now we’re having to diversify. As it happens, I come across a lot of amazing books for tweens, teens and young adults through my work, which I’m desperate to share with my daughter. Her ‘to be read’ pile grows larger at a much faster rate than she reads (sadly, she will only ever read at bedtime). Sometimes she’s doesn’t want to hear my recommendations and is always averse to trying something new. It may take weeks or months of nagging before she grudgingly agrees to try my choice.

Her favourite book in the world EVER is Hetty Feather. It took me a whole year of persuasion before she would agree to read that. Then nothing has ever been as good since. It only took about a month to persuade her to try Short and she agreed with me that it was indeed an excellent book.

For her 10th birthday last year, she asked my sister to get her some Dork Diaries books because everyone in her class was reading them. Then she refused to read them. Because she was too busy reading the Hetty Feather books and Clover Moon and The Butterfly Club. The Dork Diaries books actually made it as far as the jumble sale pile, which seemed a terrible waste – to get rid of unread books without even trying them. I begged her to take them back, despite the growing pile of ‘Mummy recommended’ books.

Eventually she read Dork Diaries.

What a pile of bland, boring, Americanised crap it is. I so wish I’d left it in the jumble sale pile.

And my daughter, the girl who loves Jacqueline Wilson, absolutely adores it.

She wants to read ALL OF THE DORK DIARIES BOOKS. And I just want to read my lovely pile of well-written books about lovely girls in difficult and dramatic situations. She won’t even read the amazing The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall by Karen McCombie, who is her second favourite author.

But it’s not about me, is it?

So we’ve got a pact. One Dork Diaries alternated with one of Mummy’s choices/ one non-Dork Diaries.

So we’re on a Dork Diaries now, then it’s Jacqueline Wilson’s My Sister Jodie, followed by Dork Diaries and then onto Wilderwood Hall.

I’m sure she will like my choices best, if she’s honest with herself!

Reading with my daughter, Reading, Books, Children's books

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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22 Comments

  1. My 9 year old has just started enjoying these books…She has read a couple of the Dork Diaries ones and loves them. I much prefer the Jacqueline Wilson ones x

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    • Ha ha, you and me are totally on the same page! 🙂 x

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  2. My kids love reading at bedtime too. Especially my son, we have been working through the David Walliams books recently 🙂 We’ve both been enjoying them!

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    • That sounds fab! My boys read the first few David Walliams books, and I enjoyed The Boy in the Dress and Mr Stink with them, but they’re much too old for them now. My daughter loves watching David Walliams on TV, but has never been tempted by his books.

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  3. I took Hetty Feather out of the library on your recommendation, but my daughter also refused to read it! Perhaps I need to persevere….

    And on behalf of your North American audience, bland and crap are certainly reasonable criticisms of a book, but what’s wrong with it being Americanized? 😉

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    • Ha ha, kids are stubborn! For my daughter it was the thickness of the book and the historical content that initially put her off Hetty Feather. I would definitely recommend trying again if you can.
      I really like good American literature, but the sense of humour in these kids’ books is slightly different to British humour and it grates. It’s hard to explain, but I don’t want to read about high schools and lockers!

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      • Ha, for a minute there I was wondering why you wouldn’t want her reading about high schools, as she’ll be going to one in September … took me a bit to remember we called them secondary schools!

        But we did have lockers though!

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        • I don’t think lockers have the same significance they do here as they do in the US (based on watching films and Glee). Funnily enough, I’ve discovered in some parts of the UK they call secondary school ‘high school’, but we don’t round here. It sounds like a very American concept to me!

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  4. Yep I agree with the approach you’re taking. It’s great that she reads at all really and if you can persuade her to diversify from what she usually reads then that’s even better.
    Nat.x

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    • Thanks! My younger son gave up at about this age, although my eldest kept reading right until the start of year 10.
      Funnily enough, we tried to persuade her to read Stormbreaker about a year ago and she refused. A few months later, she suddenly said out of the blue ‘I love Stormbreaker!’. They’d been reading it at school and she’d really enjoyed it. x

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  5. I think this is perfect. I encourage my kids to read and read with them. I think it’s difficult to get the boys to read a lot more diverse books, but I can’t compare yet. I think it’s just great they love to read x

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    • It definitely is! I think my boys probably had more diverse tastes than my daughter does. My younger son preferred fantasy books, but would also read things like Stormbreaker. My eldest didn’t read fantasy, but he read the Harry Potter books repeatedly.

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  6. Ah, I’ll try and steer mine away from the Dork Diaries when the time comes! It’s a shame, when there are so many brilliant books out there for kids.

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    • There really are lots! I get so excited about all the books out there. I wish my daughter read quicker, so we could read more of them!

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  7. It is nice that she will read with you each night. My boys all used to love reading until the school made it a chore *they HAVE to read 20 minutes 4 times a night a book of the school’s choosing). Hopefully there’s not many Dork Diaries books then

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    • It’s a shame the boys’ school did that. My boys used to read, but sadly they don’t any more. Hopefully they will go back to it one day.
      Sadly there’s rather a lot of Dork Diaries books!

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  8. Its funny how at this age they are starting to push back against their parents recommendations.
    So far we haven’t come up against the Form Diaries (and from the sound of it I’m pleased!) But my daughter dies read dart of a Wimpy Kid and thinks they’re hilarious!

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    • Dork Diaries is probably quite similar to Wimpy Kid – my boys loved Wimpy Kid, but I didn’t much like them! I suspect Dork Diaries was an attempt by a female author to cash in on the success of Wimpy Kid with similar books aimed at girls.
      I’m glad my daughter will usually eventually try out my recommendations.

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  9. That is so lovely. I still read to my daughter but the boys read to themselves now and I am pretty sure I know what response I would get if I asked to read to them! i hope it carries on with my daughter as that is one thing that I will miss as they all grow older.

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    • Thanks very much! I’m going to keep reading to her for as long as I can. I hope she will still want me to read to her when she’s at secondary school. I suspect she will! As long as the independence of her school residential and Scout camp don’t make her think she doesn’t need it any more!

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  10. Lol, on of my twins is loving the Dork Diaries right now and to some extent I don’t mind as it if the only thing that is getting her reading. Mich x

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    • It’s definitely preferable that they read something! I can’t bear Beast Quest books, but my younger son read about 70 or 80 of them. They’re great for getting boys into reading. x

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