Today we welcome The Book Chook back to Kids’ Book Capers to talk about why Alex Rider gets Kids Reading.
Hi Book Chook, great to have you back here. Anthony Horowitz’s series has been credited with changing boys’ attitudes to reading. How important, for boy readers in particular is it that books like the Alex Rider series are available?
I know it’s not politically correct to generalize but I am rarely politically correct. Some boys aren’t attracted to fiction, but many of those who are need adventurous books which race along at high-octane level, ricocheting from one scrape to another.
Crocodile Tears has been simultaneously published as a traditional book, an e-book and an iPhone application. Do you think that offering these options is a good thing for readers?
Yes! Some mourn the imminent demise of the printed book but I think that’s hooey. It’s not a case of either or. We need print books AND technology-driven applications. If a mum is queuing in the supermarket and she can hand her iphone to her three-year-old so the child can read a picture book on the device, great! But for bedtime reading aloud that night, perhaps real printed picture books are the answer.
I spend hours with a computer screen each day, so when I quit, I read print books for relaxation. But when we next go to China, I hope to have several books digitally stored on my iPad, so I can avoid excess baggage charges.
Do you have some tips of your own to encourage kids to read?
After loving your kids and respecting them, read to them. Read to them every day. Tell jokes, read riddles, write letters and notes. Dance, sing, pretend, paint, recite poetry, go to theatre performances, lie on the grass and cloud-watch. Read some more. Get to know the wonderful Australian children’s authors who have so much to offer our Aussie kids. Hang out at your local library. Make sure your kids see you reading and writing. Let your kids choose what they want to read, but sneak in an occasional favourite of your own. Make sure your home has books galore.
And if you can, get a big old Jacaranda tree for your backyard. They’re great places for reading.
A REVIEW OF CROCODILE TEARS
by Lachlan – aged 12
Crocodile Tears is about Desmond McCain who started up a charity called first Aid and they always seemed to be the first ones there whenever there was a crisis.
Desmond intends to keep all the donations for himself and Alex has to stop it from happening.
I liked Crocodile Tears because I liked how Alex beat Desmond McCain in poker. I liked the Kikuyu Tribesman and how the writer used the location to fit them into the story. I liked the suspense in the story and it was hard to predict what was going to happen.
I didn’t like what happened to the RAW agent, Rahim.
People who enjoy fast-paced quirky action books will like this book.
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