Helping kids understand 7 billion people

According to UN calculations, the world’s population is expected to reach 7 billion sometime today, October 31, 2011.

That’s an incredible number, one that’s hard for even adults to wrap their heads around. But what about kids? When I told my boys about this milestone, I could see they were struggling a bit to grasp the enormity of it.

So I pulled out a fantastic book I bought a few years ago, that is just perfect for the occasion.

if the world were villageIn ‘If the […]

Featured User Series: Meet Marco!

In this fourth post in our Featured User Series, I’d like to introduce you to 10 1/2 year old Marco! Marco joined Reading-Rewards with his class in September 2010, and has logged just under 109 hours of reading time. That puts him at the Reading-Rewards Jellyfish level. Woohoo, that’s a lot of reading, Marco, well done!

Marco’s class, from Montreal’s St-Paul Elementary School, has logged a total of 105,268 reading minutes since September. Good job, you guys!

I contacted Marco to ask him a […]

Tales from the great Canadian North

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting a pretty remote part of the world: Iqaluit, Nunavut, in the great Canadian North. I was there on business, consulting on an IT project.

I had no idea what to expect, really, but nothing could have prepared me for the breathtaking views from the plane as we descended. Frozen tundra as far as the eye can see, snowmobiles, tiny, whizzing across frozen Frobisher Bay. If I had seen a polar bear, I would not have […]

Getting boys reading with Pam Allyn

Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways that Will Change Their Lives by Pam Allyn
176 pages, ISBN: 978-0545204552

When I was asked to review Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys – How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives, I didn’t hesitate for second. It’s what I’ve been trying to do in my own way, for my 2 boys and for others, so I was definitely looking forward to reading her advice.

While the book is definitely geared […]

Read to Me – Picture Book Challenge

Bedtime stories in our household have generally been daddy’s domain. The boys are now reading on their own, and more interested in their own silent reading than read-alouds, which leaves us with our youngest, now aged 5. I spoke about my challenges with her English here, so lately I’ve taken a particular, personal interest in storytime, determined to expose her to a steady stream of English-language picture books.

Today, I discovered the Read-To-Me Picture Book Challenge, and knew immediately I wanted to take part in it. What a great idea!

Great read alouds by Julia Donaldson

Last week, I did something I really should have done ages ago. I sorted through my sons’ bookshelves, trying to make sense of the picture books, encyclopedias, comic books and novels they have been accumulating since…. well, birth.

Some of the obvious ones had already migrated to my daughter’s room ages ago, but lately I’d been having this nagging feeling while searching through her books for our read aloud sessions that some great ones were missing.

How excited I was to find a couple of real treats from Julia Donaldson, collecting dust on the boys’ bottom bookshelf!

The book remembers

Yesterday was International Children’s Book Day. For over forty years, this day has been celebrated “to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.” Sponsored by The International Board on Books for Young People, this year’s theme is “The Book Remembers.”

“The book remembers the time in which it was written”

One could read history books to learn about life in a different time, but what better than a book to let you know, really let you feel, what life was really like.

My read-aloud secret weapon!

We all know the importance of reading aloud to our kids, well beyond the age when they are able to read on their own. One of the keys to read aloud success? Choosing books that are age appropriate for the kids. But what happens when, like me, you have kids that vary in ages quite significantly? Adding to my personal struggles with reading aloud to my 3 children at once is the fact that my daughter is only just really starting to speak English. Most blogs I read and follow give great suggestions for English read-alouds.

Because many of the […]

Books Boys Love – Part 2

Continuing on from my earlier post about Books Boys Love… I’ve been compiling a list of popular books from our Reading Rewards website that were read (and enjoyed!) primarily by boys. If you’re looking for great book recommendations for boys, you might want to consider some of these titles!

Eragon (Inheritance)
Christopher Paolini

Amazon puts this book into the Young Adult category, and happens to have the highest average reader age of all our ‘Top Books for Boys’: 12 1/2 years old. So a […]

Books Boys Love – Part 1

After more than 12 months of readers logging their reading minutes and book reviews on Reading Rewards, I thought I’d take a look and see which books were read and enjoyed primarily by boys.

Here are some of the books that came out on top. I’ll post some others later this week!

The first novel of the Heroes of Olympus (Rick Riordan) series was read by 25 of our members, 20 of which were boys (80%). Their average rating was 4.9/5, so this was a huge […]