Posts Tagged With: reluctant reader

What Happens at Comic Con …

… get’s broadcast all over the world, so behave yourself!
Crank the kid-bot introduces bio-kids to the "Hub's Adventures" books.

Crank the kid-bot introduces bio-kids to the “Hub’s Adventures” books.

Business has definitely taken me away from blogging the last few weeks. Some of you may not know that my “day job” is as a sales representative for an educational book distributor. It’s a great job, visiting school librarians and teachers every day! The school year has already started in our region and I have been on the streets – and the road – and away from my leisure time writing.

Last weekend, though, I broke away to Chicago for the Wizard World Comic Con. We had a great weekend, introducing our sixth-grader robot, Crank, to hundreds of kids and selling and signing over 175 books.

A comic con is a great, friendly atmosphere with dozens of artists and retailers (I think I counted 10 full-scale comic book stores set up in the exhibit hall) and thousands of participants rolling through – some costumed, some sightseeing, some looking for that special comic/sci-fi/horror-related item. I had an artist’s table with all my youth books – including the newly released “Hub’s Adventures” books, hot off the press for the event.

The green robot you see in the photo above was built by a sculptor friend based on my illustrator’s depiction of my sixth-grader robot character in “Hub’s Adventures.” He was a big hit with the kids, introducing them to stories of the future where humans and robots will be best friends.

A spider-man stopped by to get some "Hub's Adventures" books!

A spider-man stopped by to get some “Hub’s Adventures” books!

I also found a very robust market for my books – the perfect market for a guy with my temperament. I love meeting people, especially kids interested in reading. Many parents bought books for their kids – and some kids spent their show budgets on my books! I’m very grateful for all the attention and for the purchases, which make more books and more show appearances possible.

The Delphi Trilogy books sold very well, too, introducing teen readers to the first two books in advance of Book III’s release October 1.

Next, I plan to be at the Wizard World in Nashville (a little closer to home) September 26-28. I look forward to meeting more readers there and at other comic cons.

 

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 great things about being at comic con:

  1. People assume my unfashionable clothes are some kind of costume.
  2. I can yell, “Look! It’s Spiderman!” and no one calls the cops on me.
  3. All day long I get to pretend I’m living in an A-ha music video with other cartoon characters.

SPREAD THE CONSPIRACY – GET “THE DELPHI DECEPTION: BOOK II OF THE DELPHI TRILOGY” NOW!

Paperback amazon Delphi Deception

Delphi 2 kindle

Ingram Delphi Deception
THE DELPHI REVELATION: Book III of The Delphi Trilogy available October 2014!
Categories: Books, Comics, My Books, Readers, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Third Grade Reluctant Reader Blues

How third grade can make reading a real drag!

A portrait of the blogger as a young reader? Pretty close!

A portrait of the blogger as a young reader? Pretty close!

In an article posted at Time: Ideas, education journalist and author Anne Murphy Paul has identified one of the root causes of a condition that inevitably becomes the scourge of middle schoolers’ parents and teachers – reluctant reading.

Would you believe it starts in third grade?

Paul points out that this is the pivotal time in education when reading materials shift from easy subject matter pieces designed to help kids learn to read to more complex materials developed with the expectation of reading aptitude – read to learn. While Paul’s article brings to light the overall academic difficulties in later grades for kids who struggle with third grade reading comprehension, the following line grabbed my attention:

“While their more skilled classmates are amassing knowledge and learning new words from context, poor readers may begin to avoid reading out of frustration.”

This makes a lot of sense to me. As a childhood reluctant reader myself, I didn’t lack the innate intelligence and curiosity needed for learning. Somehow, though, I must have failed to make the transition from “learning to read to reading to learn.” My frustration with increasingly complex reading material and my slow reading speed, combined with the self-esteem drop from falling behind my classmates, no doubt turned me off to reading for learning and entertainment and soured me on education in general.

By the way, my fourth-grade self didn’t use those words to describe my reading difficulties. He was saying things like: “Reading is dumb”; “Reading is boring”; “Let’s go watch ‘The Six-million Dollar Man’ on TV instead!”  (I hear the same sentiment from teens – especially boys – when I have book-based events with them.)

Why is this third grade reading transition so hugely important? Because, as Paul’s article says, “A study … released last year by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that third-graders who lack proficiency in reading are four times more likely to become high school dropouts.” I added the emphasis there because … FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DROP OUT! WHAT?! Does this go beyond alarming and into crisis territory?

In our society, basic education becomes more important all the time. Minimum-wage, entry-level jobs nowadays often require a high school diploma or GED – even the military, which when I was a kid was always a viable option for dropouts. But a kid who can’t read well – or doesn’t want to – bears the greatest disadvantage in school and is much more likely to give up and leave without even the most basic employment qualification.

I was one of those kids who fell behind, hated reading, and went into a dropout spiral. In tenth grade a dedicated teacher inspired me to pull myself out of it and I managed to clear the challenges of senior high. Most reluctant readers don’t recover the way I did and the ripples into the rest of their lives can be devastating.

While some well-intentioned states are trying to legislate reading comprehension by holding laggard readers back a grade, personalized intervention and encouragement seems to be the best remedy. One of the R’s in my R.E.A.D.E.R. tips is “(be a) Reading role model: Get caught reading – to, with, and by your kids.” Nothing seems more effective in helping kids develop good reading habits and enjoyment as reading to them and with them. (Coincidentally, that teacher who inspired me to rescue my education had a lot of reading aloud and follow-along group reading in his classes.)

Personally, I hate to see any kid miss the chance to enrich their lives through education. I credit most of my personal development to my ability and willingness to read, a skill and love that has allowed me to connect with the very kids who I was like – reluctant and struggling readers – by writing books for them!

[for some great articles on education, check out Anne Murphy Paul’s site. She has a gift for making these issues easy to understand, plus she shares a lot of great resources.]

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 other ways to make it through third grade:

  1. Practice saying “TAG-YOU’RE-IT-NO-BACKS!” faster than anyone else.
  2. For bullies: Anger management; for their victims: Karate lessons
  3. Two words – Cootie Repellent
Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller described as “unputdownable” and “will draw in even the most reluctant readers”:
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI: Book I of the thrilling Delphi Trilogy

A lone teen. A suspicious death. An ancient conspiracy.

Read it now – before the October 2013 release of
Book II: THE DELPHI DECEPTION

Related articles

Categories: Books, Libraries, Readers, Reluctant Readers, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reader & Guinness #17

A reluctant reader comic strip.
Reader doesn't recognize a complaint when he hears one.

Reader doesn’t recognize a complaint when he hears one.

Guinness wants a little more imagination put into naming him, but Reader has naming rights and has applied as much imagination as he’s going to.

  • Who are Reader & Guinness? They are the world’s most distracted reluctant reader and the better-read robotic guinea pig he accidentally built from random parts while bored in biology class.
Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller described as “unputdownable” and “will draw in even the most reluctant readers”:
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI: Book I of the thrilling Delphi Trilogy

A lone teen. A suspicious death. An ancient conspiracy.

Read it now – before the October 2013 release of
Book II: THE DELPHI DECEPTION
Categories: Comic strip, Comics, Reader & Guinness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Making Friends at the Library

The Chicago-area library tour continues
I got a sign at Naperville Public Library yesterday!

I got a sign at Naperville Public Library yesterday!

I visited a great group at Naperville Public Library – Nichols Branch yesterday. We read part of my short story “Face Man” and talked about my latest series The Delphi Trilogy.

Each of the kids told us what they’re were reading and we examined each story for the 4 main parts of a story:

  • Setting
  • Character
  • Conflict
  • Plot

It was a lively discussion and we found the central conflict of stories ranging from “Kill or be killed” (Hunger Games) to “I’d rather die than live without you” (Romeo and Juliet) to “Death doesn’t exist” (Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus).

It was a great primer on story for young writers to take and explore their own experiences and story ideas.

Talking story with the teen writers' group at Naperville Public Library - Nichols Branch.

Talking story with the teen writers’ group at Naperville Public Library – Nichols Branch.

Tonight I’ll be at Forest Park Public Library. Will they have a sign for me?!

Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller described as “unputdownable” and “will draw in even the most reluctant readers”:
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI: Book I of the thrilling Delphi Trilogy

A lone teen. A suspicious death. An ancient conspiracy.

Read it now – before the October 2013 release of
Book II: THE DELPHI DECEPTION
Categories: Comic strip, Comics, Reader & Guinness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reader & Guinness #16

A reluctant reader comic strip.
Guinness has great ideas for a name. Reader has ... simpler tastes.

Guinness has great ideas for a name. Reader has … simpler tastes.

It’s not easy being a well-read robotic rodent. Guinness thinks he has the right name for himself, but Reader has naming rights and thinks more off the top of his head.

  • Who are Reader & Guinness? They are the world’s most distracted reluctant reader and the better-read robotic guinea pig he accidentally built from random parts while bored in biology class.
Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller described as “unputdownable” and “will draw in even the most reluctant readers”:
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI: Book I of the thrilling Delphi Trilogy

A lone teen. A suspicious death. An ancient conspiracy.

Read it now – before the October 2013 release of
Book II: THE DELPHI DECEPTION
Categories: Comic strip, Comics, Reader & Guinness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Reader & Guinness #15

A reluctant reader comic strip.
Reader gets his first existential philosophy lesson - without knowing it - from Guinness.

Reader gets his first existential philosophy lesson from Guinness – without knowing it.

To be fair, it may a little early to expect a middle-grader – especially one as distracted as Reader – to know quotes from the great philosophers.  In a wireless world a robotic guinea pig with a cell-phone-chip brain has the advantage.

  • Who are Reader & Guinness? They are the world’s most distracted reluctant reader and the better-read robotic guinea pig he accidentally built from random parts while bored in biology class.
Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller described as “unputdownable” and “will draw in even the most reluctant readers”:
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI: Book I of the thrilling Delphi Trilogy

A lone teen. A suspicious death. An ancient conspiracy.

Read it now – before the October 2013 release of
Book II: THE DELPHI DECEPTION
Categories: Comic strip, Comics, Reader & Guinness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Reader & Guinness #14

A reluctant reader comic strip
Guinness needs a diagnosis. Reader might not be qualified to give him one.

Guinness needs a diagnosis. Reader might not be qualified to give him one.

Guinness needs a diagnosis. Reader might not be qualified to give him one.

Guinness has moved on to the complicated questions – How do you know if you’re really alive. Reader missed some of those answers in biology class.

  • Who are Reader & Guinness? They are the world’s most distracted reluctant reader and the better-read robotic guinea pig he accidentally built from random parts while bored in biology class.
Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller described as “unputdownable” and “will draw in even the most reluctant readers”:
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI: Book I of the thrilling Delphi Trilogy

A lone teen. A suspicious death. An ancient conspiracy.

Read it now – before the October 2013 release of
Book II: THE DELPHI DECEPTION
Categories: Comic strip, Comics, Reader & Guinness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Reader & Guinness #13

A reluctant reader comic strip
Reder breaks down the definition of life for his robotic creation, Guinness.

Reader breaks down the definition of life for his robotic rodent creation, Guinness.

Accidentally creating a robotic guinea pig was the easy part for Reader, the world’s most distracted middle-grader. The hard part is answering the complicated questions about the nature of life. Lucky for Guinness, though, Reader finds the answers – in pizza and gym shoes.

  • Who are Reader & Guinness? They are the world’s most distracted reluctant reader and the better-read robotic guinea pig he accidentally built from random parts while bored in biology class.
Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI: Book I of the thrilling Delphi Trilogy

A lone teen. A suspicious death. An ancient conspiracy.

Read it now – before the October 2013 release of
Book II: THE DELPHI DECEPTION
Categories: Comic strip, Comics, Reader & Guinness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Reader & Guinness #8

A misguided middle-grader comic strip
Guinness is learning that with great virtual intelligence comes great virtual responsibility.

Guinness is learning that, for a robotic Guinea pig, great artificial intelligence comes with great real-world concerns.

Our favorite distracted teen, Reader, is amazed by the robotic rodent he has created out of random ebay junk. Guinness, on the other hand, is a little underwhelmed by his creator’s analytical skills.

Enjoy!

Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller that even reluctant readers can love:
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Categories: Comic strip, Comics, Reader & Guinness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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