Kelly’s picks
Looking for something great for
your child to read? Here’s what
Kelly recommends picking up
this summer.
For readers aged three to five:
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr
Morris Lessmore
by William Joyce.
Creepy Carrots!
by Aaron Reynolds.
For readers aged five to seven:
George and Martha
by James
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of
Horace Pippin
by Jen Bryant.
For readers aged eight to ten:
The Name of this Book is Secret
Pseudonymous Bosch.
The One and Only Ivan
Katherine Applegate.
For readers aged ten to 13:
The Book of Time
by Guillaume
Liar & Spy
by Rebecca Stead.
For young adults:
Between Shades of Gray
by Ruta
Sepetys (not to be confused with
Fifty Shades of Grey
Where Things Come Back
by John
Corey Whaley.
girl and not being able to defend her
country in war in one wiki entry? Or
reduce Scout Finch’s confusion over
the racism prevalent in her town in
To Kill A Mockingbird
into a single IM?
What would a 140-character tweet
encapsulating Elizabeth Bennet’s
love for Mr Darcy look like? “Made
mistake. Rich guy a good man. Must
marry him.”
And yet, while the future of
Twitter looks bright, the future of
libraries? Not so much. That’s because
tweeting is easy, whereas reading
is hard. If there was ever a time
for us – parents, teachers, friends
and strangers – to come together to
promote and protect reading, it’s now.
This is our call to action.
Pleasure principle
Let’s start with the beautiful fact that
reading is perfect as it is. It need not
be prettied up with electronic devices.
Reading should be recommended
and encouraged, but never hurried or
made a burden. Never threaten your
child that if he does not finish a book
by a certain date, he or she will be
punished. Always keep in mind that
reading is special; its magic only works
if it is treated as a gift.
Parents need to lead by example.
The next time you have free time or
find yourself waiting endlessly at the
doctor’s office, instead of reaching for
your phone, pick up a book instead.
Instead of popping in a movie on
Friday night, unwind with an old
classic. Check out that book club that
you’ve been meaning to join, or, if
there isn’t one in your community,
start one. Don’t know which book to
read next? Email me!
As teachers, our role is critical.
There’s no greater skill or joy we can
pass on to our students than the love
of reading. That’s why every student
who enrols in our centre’s summer
writing courses will get a book list.
This year, we’ve even created writing
courses around favourites like
Hunger Games
Wayside School and
Percy Jackson. The job of the parent is
to suggest and encourage; it’s up to us
teachers to insist.
Finally, resist the temptation to
grab that easy read everyone’s talking
about. To paraphrase the great
Christian Louboutin, books are like
shoes: “If they don’t demand anything
of you, you’re not going to get a lot out
of them.”
Kelly Yang is the founder and teacher of The
Kelly Yang Project
) a
popular after-school programme for creative
writing, critical reasoning, and public
speaking for students aged two through to 17.
She is also a columnist for the
South China
Morning Post
Kelly is currently reading
by Aldous Huxley. Drop her a line at
Always keep in mind that
reading is special; its magic
only works if it is treated as
a gift.
Summer 2013