My son ADORES the Harry Potter books. He’s read them all multiple times. And when he finishes the series, he starts it all over again. But I’m thinking I need to use my parenting powers and make them disappear. Maybe Wingardium Leviosa will be enough to lift them in the air and out of his line of sight. Because they have cast the Stupefy spell on him and positively stunned him to any other books. What should we as parents do when our kid will only read one book or series?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled he loves to read and has found a series that speaks to him. But for the love, I’ve got to expel these books like a Dementor with the Expecto Patronum spell!
Harry Potter, We May Need to Go on a Break
Here’s my hangup. I am very hesitant to ban books. First, it’s books and I don’t want to squelch his love of reading. And it feels so wrong to limit him from reading something he enjoys. Does any of this sound familiar? Am I being sensible or ridiculous? I can’t help but feel like Voldemort instead of Dumbledore on this one. But here’s what’s driving me to reach this conclusion:
He’s limiting himself and his world view.
It’s a bit too obsessive to read a series to the exclusion of other books entirely. I would not have a problem if he was trying new books simultaneously with his tried and true ones. For the love, he’s holding on to this series for dear life.
It’s making him what I call “set in his own ways.”
His personality is very precise and black and white. He knows what he likes and while he’s willing to try new things, he’s also not shocked when he doesn’t like them. So my Harry Potter loving son is limiting himself by being so one dimensional on his reading.
Could this be a phase? Well, it’s been going on for almost a year now-pretty much this entire school year. So I think it’s time to take some steps.
His reading comprehension scores are slipping.
I get it. Test scores aren’t everything. But they did reveal that my son needs to up his reading comprehension game. I think it’s more than coincidental that as he has refused to branch out with other books, his reading comprehension has not improved.
So What’s the Answer?
We checked out some new books-no risk, no cost. He liked a few, but most of them were just “so so.” Hey, it’s a process and we’re taking baby steps. I think the problem now is that the benchmark by which all books are measured is Harry Potter, and the bar has been set very high for my 11 year old.
But yeah, free. Hard to beat that price point, especially if you are trying to save money or work towards being debt free.
Finding great new books and a riveting series.
Believe me, I’m looking. So Google it or get on GoodBooks and see what others recommend.
And incidentally, if you are looking for a list of book series that match with Harry Potter, here are the ones that kept coming up in my search:
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
Witch and Wizard series by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
The Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Order a Book Subscription Box
Gift Lit seems to be the perfect book subscription box for my tween. This service sends only books, and uses experts to select ones that fit a child’s specific interests as selected by the recipient.
It allows you to select an age range (8-10, 10-12, 12-14, and teen) and also pinpoint choices by by gender, fiction or nonfiction, and categories like reluctant reader, mystery, new releases, fantasy/magic, and amazing history. Subscriptions are for 3, 6, or 12 months and start at $57.95 for a 3 month subscription (plus $ 5.50 monthly shipping and handling).
I selected the Fantasy/Magic category for ages 12-14 and it suggested The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough, and The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons.
Just for comparison, I checked other retailers to see how much they charge for School for Sidekicks (retail 16.99). Amazon’s price was $ 15.45 and Barnes & Noble charges $ 15.60. I get free shipping for both as a member of Amazon Prime and the B&N Member Club.
So if you want the thrill of having a subscription service and not doing the legwork on what books to pick, then a subscription box is your best bet. If you want to save money, then look up the ideas online and order the books yourself, or find them at the library for free!
Sign them up for Summer Reading Program
Summer reading programs are great ways to encourage young readers. Our local library offers this summer reading program for babies through rising 6th graders. Here are the rules: Kids read the books they want and write the title, the page numbers or the time they spent reading in their reading record. Books are prizes will be rewarded.
-Read 10 books or for 10 hours and receive a book.
-Read an additional 5 books or 5 more hours (15 books or 15 hours) and receive a prize.
-Read an additional 5 books or 5 more hours (20 books or 20 hours) and receive another prize
Scholastic has created a Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge for young readers, encouraging them to make a pledge to read all summer long. Here’s Scholastic’s list of book recommendations by age. You can also download this fun reading log to record your child’s reading time over the summer. You could even consider organizing a book review party and swap!
If you can’t beat em, join em!
If all else fails, then read with them. My son and I are reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone together at bedtime. We had gotten away from this tradition of reading together, and I really missed it. So I was thrilled when he suggested that we read the series together. And on July 31st, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be released, so I can count on Harry Potter being in my son’s life for a long time.
You Might Also Like: