Our penultimate day here in Hull and I’m just about to record a little video by the balmy waters of the Humber for Scottish Book Trust in which I will hopefully reveal my ‘Top 3 Tips’ for parents and teachers to help encourage reluctant readers to pick up a book and…well, become less reluctant I guess. At least that’s the idea. Quite what’s going to come out of my mouth when the camera starts rolling is anybody’s guess frankly.
You see I never actually set out to write books which appealed to reluctant readers. Erm, well apart from the books I’ve written for legendary ace publishers Barrington Stoke of course. Their list caters specifically for reluctant readers.
But apart from those, I just kind of write what I write and see what happens. The World of Norm series, for instance, appears to have a pretty broad appeal when it comes to age-range. You’ll usually find it in the 9-12 section. But as I always say, that doesn’t preclude anyone younger than that from reading it. Or older for that matter. It’s just a rough guideline after all. And I know from meeting readers in person and from communicating with them via various social networks, that in fact plenty of readers are younger than 9 and older than 12.
Just this week, on The Scottish Friendly Book Tour, my audiences have ranged from Y3 all the way through to Y7 – or P4-S1 if you’re reading this in Scotland.
I regularly get asked to talk to Y8s/S2s as well – and many school librarians have told me that Norm is popular even in years above that – usually with boys – and usually those boys who might be termed as ‘reluctant readers,’ or at least boys who wouldn’t normally be seen dead with a book in their hands. (Incidentally, Norm is not – I repeat not ‘a boy’s book. But don’t get me started on that or we’ll be here all day and I’ve got to go in a minute.)
Anyway there’s obviously something about the way I write which seems to appeal to those who usually find reading something of a chore. I’m really not sure what it is though. Which is precisely why I’m not sure what I’m going to say in the video. Fingers crossed I can think of something pretty darn quickly. And now you must excuse me, dear reader. I’m ready for my close-up.