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Reading is one of those activities that, the more you do, the better you get, and with the holidays fast approaching, now is the perfect time to read that book you’ve always wanted to, finish a book you’ve started or try something new. It is important to keep reading over the holidays, so that we don’t step backward in our reading journey.

As the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found, reading for pleasure is a habit that can prove essential to performing well in the classroom. Literacy skills have always been a precursor to success. Today more than ever, strong literacy skills are a critical survival asset in a fast-paced, technological world. Learning to love reading will enable a child to adapt more quickly to this ever-changing world.

A love of reading is not innate; it is taught. Positive reading experiences encourage more reading. Boys in particular need to enjoy their reading. They tend to choose books that are too easy for them and fail to move on to more challenging material. Parents of boys should spend some time with their boys, talk to them about their reading choices, and encourage them to read more challenging books.

Make holiday reading a regular, family event

Building a culture of reading is an important step in encouraging our children to read. If possible, make a tradition of choosing a book to read over the holidays, individually or as a family and talking about it as you go. For instance, if you are travelling, why not put on an audiobook to pass the time on the road. You will be helping to nurture the idea that reading is important and something we can do in our downtime.

Don’t burn out on reading

Remember that reading, especially during the holidays, is supposed to be a fun and relaxing activity; choose something that you will enjoy, and don’t overdo it, the holidays are a break. It is better to choose one book that you will like than try and cram a dozen.

Books for Junior School boys

Boys are impatient with stories that take too long to get off the ground. They like their books to be fast paced. The boys in the Toowoomba Grammar Junior School love historical novels. Historical fiction tells the stories of ordinary people living in extraordinary times. The boys love reading about real things in our world (particularly books set during WWI and WWII). Favourite books in this genre: Once series (Morris Gleitzman), Katrina Nannestad’s WWII books – Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief and We Are Wolves. John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a favoured book for more mature readers in this genre. Fantasy is always a favourite genre with boys. Boys also love a good series. They can get attached to characters and like to keep reading about them. Boys love the Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Ranger’s Apprentice series and Neal Shusterman’s Scythe series.

Sports

For the sports obsessed there are a great many choices, both true and fictitious, whether you want the stats and figures, a biography or just a good sporting tale, try one of these.

JT: The making of a total legend

Read about the life of Jonathan Thurston, from his time as a kid who was too skinny and small to play rugby to his time as one the game’s greats.

Specky Magee

Author, Felice Arena, collaborates with AFL legend Gary Lyons to tell the tale of young hotshot, Specky Magee, as he pursues his love of AFL in a family that hates the game.

David Gower’s 50 Greatest Cricketers of All Time

Who makes the list, who doesn’t and do you agree?

Greats of Origin (Maroons or Blues)

Flip to the appropriate side of the book and read about the best Maroon / Blues (delete as appropriate) players in Origin history.

Games

With the popularity of games and gaming, it is not surprising that a number of books have been turned into games, and a number of games have spawned book series.

Halo: The Fall of Reach (Halo series)

Discover the origins of the Master Chief in the novel that sets up the story for Halo: Combat evolved and Halo: Reach.

Minecraft: The Island (Minecraft series)

What if you woke up on a Minecraft island? Why is everything made of blocks, how do you survive the Zombies? Find out in the first book of the series.

Assassins Creed: The Secret Crusade (Assassin’s Creed series)

From the Crusades to the French Revolution and beyond, The Assassins and Templars vie for supremacy across time in this historical fiction series.

The Legend of Zelda (Manga)

The hero of time, Link, protects the land of Hyrule in these adaptions of the Legend of Zelda series of games from Nintendo.

Epic Tales

If you want to enter some of the epic worlds of imagination, long series with deep histories to unpack, try deep diving into:

The Wheel of Time (Series)

The Wheel of time rolls ever onward and those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Dune (Series)

Plans within plans, within plans. “He who controls the spice, controls the galaxy.”

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Trilogy)

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all who wander are lost.” An unlikely hero, takes on a darkness set to consume his world.

Action Thrillers

If you want a little action and excitement this holiday period, give one of these a whirl.

Jack Reacher series

Jack Reacher is an ex-military policeman drifting through life before being arrested for murder. All he knows is that he didn’t kill anybody, at least not here…..

The Recruit, first in the Cherub series

A boy with a troubled past has a chance to turn his life around; but he’ll have to work hard and survive many dangers for the secretive Cherub organisation to do it.

Casino Royale, introduction to superspy James Bond

His name is Bond, James Bond; read the book that started the legend.

Hopefully there’s something there that piques your interest, but if not; good news, there are literally billions of things to read!

Many parents tend to wonder if a book is appropriate for their child. A good bookseller will be able to point you in the right direction and librarians (school and town) are always a valuable source of information. If you go to the Children’s Book Council of Australia website (CBCA) and head to the Book of the Year lists for 2022, you will find books to appeal to all ages.

Keep on reading.

Mr Dan Crook
TGS Head of Library and Information Services

Ms Michelle Worthington
Junior School Librarian


Mr Dan Crook in the Senior School Library



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