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!