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My 8 year old twins love reading, but how can I encourage them to vary their book choices?

I have twins, a boy and a girl, they love reading and are just 8 years old. At home I’m reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and they’re really loving it. BUT, when we go to the library all they want is another in whatever series they’re into: Beast Quest, Tiara Club, Horrid Henry… How can I move them on?

Don’t be too worried about the series reading, as long as they’re reading regularly their skills will develop and they will soon have the reading stamina to tackle longer novels. Also they may think that once they do all the reading themselves you will stop reading to them: this is quite a common concern so do reassure them that the shared reading with you will continue.

Here are some ideas of terrific writers to move on to:

Jacqueline Wilson—especially for your daughter who may have seen Tracy Beaker on TV. Look for the younger stories such as The Lottie Project, and for Cliffhanger, one that your son would enjoy too.

Philip Pullman Although he’s best-known for his older titles in the His Dark Materials trilogy, he’s written some very accessiblle books for younger readers. Go for I Was a Rat! and maybe The Firework-Maker’s Daughter.

Eva Ibbotson Her books are always beautifully written and a joy to read. One Dog and his Boy is a great adventure and a moving story and once your daughter is ready for longer books, try Journey to the River Sea.

Anthony Horowitz is very well-known for his Alex Rider books about a young James Bond-like character, full of pace and excitement. But try his earlier books such as Granny, full of wicked humour and a touch of Dahl. Also, Groosham Grange, set in a school of magic long before Harry Potter came onto the scene.

Elen Caldecott is quite a new writer, perfect for eight-year-olds. I loved The Great Ice-Cream Heist, it’s funny, warm and a really big adventure with strong male and female characters.

Don’t forget the wonders of Roald Dahl and Michael Morpurgo, very different writers but both ahve written good stuff for top primary children. The Butterfly Lion is one of my favourite Morpurgo titles, and all children love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda.

Hopefully if you start some of these books with your children they will soon be hooked and impatient to go off and finish them alone. You have great reading times ahead. Enjoy!