I'm the Parenting Editor at Common Sense Media, and I started blogging to help families navigate the complex world of media and technology in kids' lives.I'm a family-technology expert who specializes in approaching media literacy issues...
Think big print.The Here's Hankseries by Henry Winkler features a dyslexic hero and a large, easy-to-read typeface.
Let them follow their interests.You may not love Captain Underpants, but if that's what your kid wants to read, put aside your judgment for the greater good.
Find characters who reflect your kid's experience. Kids like to see themselves in the stories they read. Look for books with characters and situations that mirror their experience — for example, kids of color or with divorced parents or those who live on a farm or those who love dogs. Whatever helps kids identify with the story will keep them more engaged.
Look for different reading opportunities. Reading is valuable no matter what the format: Pokémon cards, product labels, game manuals, recipes. Mix in shorter-form material with longer stuff.
Fact-check. With their amazing stats, incredible images, short-form text and start-anywhere formats, books of facts such as Guinness World Records and Ripley's Believe It or Not entice kids who'd rather not tackle longer stories.
Take turns. With a book your kid has chosen, take turns reading a page (or two) to each other. Ask questions along the way.