Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hats off to Big Nate

My children are not voracious readers, much to my chagrin. There is one son who appreciates some of the classics. Freshman year in high school he was blown away by The Odyssey. Reading that book sparked a light in his eyes and led to a lot of dinner table conversations. That said, I cannot confidently say he would suggest that is his favorite book. It is likely he would instead mention the graphic novel "Bones" or "Diary of a Wimpy Kid."

My sons tell me that they sometimes forget that reading is fun. It becomes a chore at school. Then they get a good book and they remember.

People were always suggesting books to me that would appeal to reluctant readers. Books that offer series where the kids could come back for more and get the same kind of story that they loved. The Magic Tree House stories is one. As great as those stories are, they did not excite my reluctant readers. For the last two kids, it has been Big Nate.

The Big Nate books remind me a bit of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The Big Nate series appears to be a comic strip made into a novel. It may be this generation's comic book.

I have all sons, and they love graphics in their books. They often flip through a book to see how many pictures there are in an effort to determine if they would like this book. While picking out the newest Big Nate from the book fair, my youngest son noted it looked different than the other books. There were fewer comics. I noticed he hasn't devoured it in 24 hours.

Anyways, I wanted to take a moment to commend Lincoln Peirce for his creation. It has to be a lot of pressure to put out a lot of books very quickly when kids are devouring them and begging for more. Keep it up, and keep the comic strips, the kids like them.

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