How to get kids to read? Lauren Grossberg has a suggestion: Find young-adult books that are being adapted into movies, then encourage the kid to read the book first, then see the movie and compare. There are plenty of such books around—the Harry Potter and Twilight series are obvious choices, as is The Hunger Games.

Encouraging your children to read the novels before going to the movie allows the child to practice reading skills and to develop their own opinions and imagination of the ideas and concepts in the novel.  Then when watching the movie, it provides a child an outlet to compare and contrast the similarities and differences from the book to the movie along with their perceived ideas.  Encouraging the children to create an informal book and movie club with their peers would then provide another venue for them to share their opinions.  It could then be a weekend event with reading and a trip to the movies.  You can also model this behavior by reading an adult novel before going to see the movie, and also establishing a book/movie club.

She suggests using Scholastic’s Book Wizard to find good age-appropriate books, and links to’s site on popular book-movies for tweens.

But meanwhile, at least some people are finding that kids are reading just fine. A short article in the Oman Daily Observer quotes a publisher saying that it’s selling more and more books all the time.

“We have been witnessing a steady increase in the sales of fiction and nonfiction categories, besides the academic, biographic and travelogue literature,” Shaukath Ali, Managing Director of Al Bhaj Trading told the Observer, adding “the increase is around 20 per cent year on and this totally refutes the claim e-reading has affected book reading”.

Of course, this is in an the Arabian middle-eastern nation of Oman, so the conditions there may not apply to reading in the Western world. (Also, given how sparse e-book availability is outside of the US and Europe, it’s hard to imagine e-books having much effect there one way or another.)


  1. This is just a silly marketing solution looking for a problem. There is no need to “encourage the kid to read the book first, then see the movie and compare” and the whole concept is outside the level of interest of any kid anyway.
    Just encourage them to read by reading good stories to them and show them how they can start reading their own good stories. It’s not bloody rocket science.

  2. I don’t have kids, but I think is is just the wrong approach. Books and movies shouldn’t be paired. Books can and should be read independently of anything made or not made in Hollywood.

    A better approach is something I read in the Washington Post Book World in the late 90s by Michael Dirda or Jonathan Yardley, if I remember correctly. He said (loosely paraphrased) if you want kids to read they should have parents who read. They’ll be more inclined to read if mom or dads reads in lieu of TV or the movies. So turn off the idiot box, forgo the newest hit film, and just read. For kids, let it be monkey see monkey do.

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