Frank Bruni, an Op-ed columnist for the New York Times, recently published a column entitled “The Gift of Reading.” Here’s what he has to say:

“The list of what a child needs in order to flourish is short but nonnegotiable.

Shelter. Play. Love.

Something else, too, and it’s meted out in even less equal measure.

Words. A child needs a forest of words to wander through, a sea of words to splash in. A child needs to be read to, and a child needs to read.

Reading fuels the fires of intelligence and imagination, and if they don’t blaze well before elementary school, a child’s education — a child’s life — may be an endless game of catch-up.”kids_reading

How true. We need to read to our children when they are young and provide entertaining books that will hold their interest when they are old enough to read on their own. May I suggest giving your children and grandchildren books for Christmas? Open up a world of wonder and imagination. Take kids on an adventure, letting them experience places they can capture in their minds.

And may I suggest historical fiction? Educate, broaden a child’s concept of the world, and entertain at the same time. If you have middle grade children, my novel Dark Enough to See the Stars, about a twelve-year-old slave boy who runs away on the Underground Railroad, is an exciting read for boys and older readers at a high third grade reading level. Perfect for the reluctant reader.

Dark Enough to See the Stars

There’s a world full of books out there. Which ones are perfect for the children in your life?

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