Last week one of my students threw a book on my desk and said, "You need to read this. It's over 400 pages, but it's a quick read." I looked at the title and cringed. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. I'm still trying to get used to the Young Adult scene, and I usually avoid popular fiction when I can. Yet, when a student gives me a book to read, I like to oblige - and I need to bite the bullet and do much more YA reading anyway.
What's more, at the back of the book there was an advertisement for Patterson's website, ReadKiddoRead.com. The site is great, and I'll put it to use to find books for my students. However, there was also a link to an article Patterson wrote last September for CNN: How to get your kid to be a fanatic reader.
There are some great resources for parents and teachers, including reading lists. But the encouragement for me came in something simple: Patterson said, in order to get children to read, they have to read. Yes, I've known it, but it's great to hear it again and again. Find books youngsters will enjoy and they will read. Then repeat.