March's Book A Samantha Mystery, The Stolen Sapphire

Grab this months 2 book selections, a blanket and your favorite 18 inch doll friend, don't worry if you happen upon us mid way through, join us when you can and leave your comments here or email me at with any book club questions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How to get your child intersted in reading

As you know I am busy preparing for the launch of our first book Samantha's Mystery The Curse of Ravenscourt  for February 1st.

I thought it might be interesting to some of you to hear my story.
I have to be honest and tell you all that I never fully understood how to read and retain what I have read until I was in my twenties.

  I have dyslexia a type of learning disability and reading was always a chore for me. I struggled with reading, writing and math all through school. It is still a problem I have to day and I work hard to correct and over come it.  My mother, was more then an avid reader, she would read several books a week and often 3 of 4 at a time, I could never understand how she could do that and remember everything.

My mother told me that it did not matter what I read as long as I read something. She did not care if it was the cereal box or a comic or a magazine as long as I was reading.

When I was 18 I went to cooking school. I wanted to be a Chef. There was a lot of reading, mostly in French and we had to memorize our recipes. It was my love of cooking, baking and glossy gourmet magazines with recipes I longed to try that finally got me reading, and retaining what I had read.
The lesson here is find something you want to read and practice.

I am a visual person as well so you will notice that in most of my writing I have lots of photos showing "what to do" to accompany the writing.  I learn by watching first, and I think many others do too.
My son struggles with reading as well and while I hate to see him struggle so much, I know that if we keep practicing and find something for him to read at his level that he is interested in, reading will become easier and he will feel more confident.

 So what do some experts say?  says "Motivating your tween to read is so important, and when your child hits middle school, reading skills play an important role in school success. Recent research indicates that readers do better on standardized testing, such as the SATs, than do non-readers. And don't forget about the enjoyment that reading can bring an individual. The good news is your preteen doesn't have to read the classics in order to benefit from reading. Tweens may take an interest in a book if they're familiar with the story. If your daughter recently saw a great movie, see if you can find the book from which the movie was based. How many tweens rediscovered the love of reading after watching the Harry Potter movies or The Chronicles of Narnia series?"
 (the above photos are the newest releases for the mystery series)
I have to agree that it is easier to get children to read about things they are interested in and if your child is already interested in the Historical dolls offered by American Girl  then the Mystery series of books may just be what your tween needs to springboard into reading and adventure. Read it together, take turns and talk about what you read. For me when in doubt, I  switch to recipes and create something tangible.  Keep encouraging reading,even with recipes, you have a tangible product to show for your work, this is it's self motivating.
I hope you will consider joining us as we begin out journey February 1st!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at


  1. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for sharing your story! I was not interested in reading as a child. Like you, I am a visual learner and I found novels boring and tedious. My parents did not encourage me to read on my own, either. As long as I did my homework, they were happy. In my early twenties, I started to desire to read. My first book that I ever finished was Little Women at age 20! Then, my mom bought me a book about people's true experiences with angels. I was hooked. I finally find subjects that interested me. I was a slow reader at first, but now I can read quickly. Practice makes progress! I share my love of books with my kids. Hope and I have read most of the American Girls books together. We are going to participate in your book club. She may be a bit young for the mystery, but I'll read it to her and we'll see how it goes. Do we need to start the book before Feb. 1? Also, do you have to pay duties and taxes on books that you order from the book depository since it is a British company? Megan in Calgary

  2. Hello Megan in Calgary, No duties with the Book depository as long as your order is under $25. Also you do not need to start the book before Feb 1st we are starting for Feb 1st! I am so happy to have you and Hope join us on our adventure!
    Let me know if you have any problems getting the books! You can order from Chapters or Indigo here in Canada but the cost of the books is $2 more plus taxes and shipping!

  3. karen i love what you said! one of the reasons i love and am so passionate about american girl dolls is the books! reading has always been hard for me too but the ag books make me love reading! even still as an adult i love to reread them and i love the mysteries too! im so glad you are starting on this book because it was already on my reading list! yay!

  4. Thanks Lissy! I am so happy to have you join us!