So my love (obsession) with reading transferred easily to Ava. The kid reads more than I do and that is saying something. Which is funny because in kindergarten and first grade they wanted to stick her in extra help because she couldn't read fast enough. But then they used sub-par worksheets like an "a" worksheet using the computer a. She made all of hers like that, copying the worksheet and they marked them all wrong. We quickly withdrew her from the extra help. Now she is the top reader in her fifth grade class. So the moral of that story is that some kids just take a little longer.
Owen is a little trickier. He only wants to read non-fiction books. And said that the books at school were "baby" books. Now that he is homeschooled, we are creating our own library. God bless the goodwill for cheap books!
Aside from non-fiction, I have picked up several of the Classic Starts for him. They are exactly what they sound like if you are not familiar with them. Classic books in an abridged version for children.
Now, I have to admit that I am not normally a fan of abridged books. And I kind of assumed I would take a more purist approach with my kids. They would read the original, and that was that. And then I started reading The Swiss Family Robinson, and there is no way on earth that my kids would stay interested in it with wording like that! Even if I read it out loud to them I think their attention would disappear because the words are so very different than what they are used to.
For myself, unabridged all the way. For Owen and Ava in some circumstances, abridged will be great. We picked 6 for Owen, bought at Barnes and Noble, buy get two get one free. The Classic Starts were super hard to find used. They were basically the same price used as new, and we actually came out ahead with the sale at B&N.
I know they aren't non-fiction, but the stories we picked, including the three above, are close enough to non-fiction and they are filled with adventure that I think they are going to work great. We are currently reading Robin Hood and Owen loves it. I read it aloud to them but then he wants to read some too. The words are still a lot bigger than what he has done in first grade, but I help him out with the hard ones.
I highly recommend them for your younger readers. Especially if you have boys like Owen who aren't quite into reading for various reasons. These just might change their mind.
Coincidentally, though we haven't done them ourselves yet, Confessions of a Homeschooler does literature curriculum based off the Classic Starts book. I think we will give it a whirl soon.
And just for those who may be interested, I am currently reading:
The Goldfinch The Swiss Family Robinson The Land of Stories
PS: The link for Swiss Family Robinson says that the book is $34.95. I don't know why that is because I just paid $9 at B&N for my leatherbound addition. Also, the reviews are horrible stating that the translation was bad. But ours has been just fine so I am not sure what the deal is there!