TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Monday, March 19, 2012

Read Kiddo Read: The inside scoop on what kids really like to read

If you love detective novels, you have probably read some of James Patterson's Alex Cross or Women's Murder Club novels. If you have teens in the house, they might have read his Maximum Ride, Witch & Wizard or Daniel X books. His mysteries and thrillers have topped the best-seller lists for years. In fact, he holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the most hardcover fiction best-selling titles by one author (63!).

The man is a writing powerhouse, and now, because he is so passionate about books and reading, this award-winning author has created a website recommending great books for kids.

READKIDDOREAD is his site to help grown-ups find books kids will like. Patterson and his wife, Sue, started seeking out appealing kids books when their son was young and not enthusiastic about reading. Their experience looking for books that would excite their child was one of the inspirations for the website.

Read Patterson's piece on about how to get kids to become fanatic readers for his take on reading motivation and the importance of reading role models (like TRC volunteers!).
READKIDDOREAD is a great resource for Read-Aloud volunteers to use to inspire or plan their sessions with TRC kids. The site includes
  • great book lists by age, theme, genre or issue (like reluctant readers), 
  • reviews of books for kids ages 0 through teen, reviewed by his stable of experienced children's literature professionals and parents,
  • lesson plans for books created by publishers and educators,
  • interviews with authors and illustrators and
  • resource books for you about reading development.

To use READKIDDOREAD to plan a Read-Aloud go to the homepage and follow the steps below.
  1. Click on the tab for your age group.
  2. Click on the tab for what type of book you are looking for (storybooks, just the facts etc.).
  3. Click on a book that looks good, read the review and check out the list below the review that says, "If you love this book, then try..."  It will give you ideas for related books for your theme.
  4. Look for the title under lesson plans (on the educators tab) for ideas about activities. Look for ideas that are active and creative.
  5. Check to see if there's an interview with the authors of any of the books you've selected (also on the educators tab) for some fun background info for the kids.
  6. Take all your info and head for the library to look over copies of the suggested titles. Ask the librarian for any other books that might work well for your age range in a Read-Aloud setting.
You can also start planning your Read-Aloud by looking at the many booklists for any occasion found through the sitemap on READKIDDOREAD. The sitemap is directly below the "0-8" tab on the homepage. In fact, you may find it easiest to navigate the site using the sitemap.

While you are at the library picking up fun books for your Read-Aloud or to share with the kids in your life, reward yourself with something fun to read too! Some James Patterson, perhaps?

To receive credit for this online training, please fill out the form here.

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