23 February 2014

Brain Break

Isaac has a Kindle but does not read on it often.  He says that he likes reading a real book.  I like hearing that, but we have put some books on his device for traveling or if there is a book that he wants and it is just easier to download it than go to the store to buy it.

Most of the books he has in e-reader format are in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney.  He began reading them last year and is about half way through the series.  He has not devoured them like most kids do.  Instead, he reads one for a while then takes a break and goes back to it when he has finished something else.  They are kind of like his snack-time reading in between his more substantial meal-time books.

I must admit that this is another series that I have not read.  I try to read children's novels to help me know what to recommend or to help figure out what kind of child it would fit.  I don't need to do that for these books.  They are liked by just about all kids and they find them on their own.  Isaac started reading them because his friends were reading them.  And every other kid who reads them probably has a similar story.

Wimpy Kid fits into the same category as Captain Underpants in Isaac's reading repertoire.  They are the books he reads when he is between material that requires a bit more effort.  He picks them up when he is bored and is not allowed to watch Netflix or play a videogame.  They are his brain candy bubblegum books.

The series centers around Greg Heffley, a middle school misfit and is told with a mix of simple line drawings and "diary" entries.  It is pure boy material -- hilarious antics, jokes about bodily functions, major mishaps.  Kids begin checking them out before they can read them just to say they "read" a Wimpy Kid book.  They are not great literature and will never win the highest honors, but they keep kids reading.

We all have our bubblegum reading material -- that book or magazine or website that we read when we don't have the energy to expend effort on something more serious or thought provoking.  Our brains need the break this light reading provides.  Even an eight-year-old's.

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