How can you encourage a child to read? Here’s how the parents of Daniel Handler, the creator of Lemony Snicket, did it:
“Handler’s parents helped instill a love of books in him as a child. When reading to him at night, his parents would often stop at suspenseful moments and tell him he would have to wait until the next night to hear the rest. They warned him that under no circumstances should he turn on the light and continue reading once they left the room. This tactic of raising a story’s suspense to almost unbearable heights encouraged Daniel to continue reading his books deep into the night.”
Hayley Mitchell Haugen in Daniel Handler: The Real Lemony Snicket: Inventors and Creators. (Gale/KidHaven, 2005). The “Inventors and Creators” www.gale.com/kidhaven/ series includes biographies of J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl, Laura Ingalls Wilder and others for elementary- and (some middle-) school students.
Comment by Janice Harayda:
I’ve read (and written) a lot about how to help children develop a love of reading. But I hadn’t heard about this tactic until I read Daniel Handler: The Real Lemony Snicket. What do you think of this approach? Have you tried any similarly unusual methods of getting a child to read? What worked and what didn’t?
© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.