Kaytie and Nate are avid readers. I never have to urge them to read but occasionally, I notice that they seem to be stuck, looking for something new to read, and falling back on the same old books time and time again, or, even worse, heading for what I call "bubble gum" books, because they are quick and easy and mindless.
When I notice this, I offer them something better in the form of a reading list. I sit down and pull together a list of titles: old favorites of my own; "must read Classics for kids" lists I find on the Internet; suggestions from friends; or booklists from books like Honey for a Child's Heart. I usually offer these lists at the beginning of a new school year when everything feels fresh and new anyway and new habits are easier to start.
I created them just such a list for this fall. It took me longer than usual to make this list because they kept looking at it over my shoulder and saying, "Oh, I have read that book!" "Me, too! Several times!" or even more embarrassingly, "We own that book, I read it all the time!" So I would take that title off the list and hunt for another.
But this is the list I finally ended up with. The idea here is that they can read these books in any order they wish. They are not "school" books and they are not scheduled. All of them are available at our library, so they can hunt them down and check them out whenever they choose. When they are finished with this list, I might compile another or I might just let them enjoy the rest of the books by these authors if they can find them.
1 Peter Pan J.M. Barrie
2 Pinocchio Carlo Collodi
3 The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Graham
4 Five Children and It E. Nesbit
5 The Wheel on the School De Jong, Meinder
6 The Little White Horse Elizabeth Goudge
7 Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransome
8 The Bears of Blue River Charles Major
9 Pollyanna Eleanor Porter
10 The Railway Children E. Nesbit
11 The Wizard of Oz Frank Baum
12 Little Women Louisa May Alcott
13 Little Men Louisa May Alcott
14 Tom Sawyer Mark Twain
15 The Prince and the Pauper Mark Twain
16 Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson
17 The Jungle Books Rudyard Kipling
18 The Treasure Seekers E. Nesbit
19 The New Treasure Seekers E. Nesbit
20 The Wouldbegoods E. Nesbit
21 Anne of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
22 Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Kate Douglas Wiggin
23 Hans Brinker Mary Mapes Dodge
24 My Side of the Mountain Jean Craighead George
25 The Candymakers Wendy Mass
26 The Story of My Life Helen Keller
27 Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls
28 The Cricket in Times Square George Seldon
29 My Father's Dragon Ruth Gannett30 From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler E.L.Koningsberg
Disclaimer: a couple of these books I have not read, so when they choose them, I will pre-read them.