Check out my favorite review of rapuzel's revenge on bookie woogie. A father reads the same book with his three children (ages 10, 8, and 5), records them all discussing it, and transcribes the discussion. An utter delight. The icing is the kids then do a piece of art, which you can see at the end. Isaac blows me away by being especially impressed by Nate's illustration of a giant snake, then tackling that same subject by himself. Gracie is hysterical and Lily is so observant. I'd adopt them all if they didn't obviously already have a great dad. This is such a great way to combine reading, art, and action with kids in the home. I'm going to take inspiration from them and invite Max to do illustrations inspired from his favorite books. Here's his first, an ode to Nate Hale's Yellowbelly and Plum:
Mary Ann commented on a previous post, "I've been trying to think about how we bring in reading for information into this circle. I don't love reading non-fiction. It's fiction (in all of the forms you described) that absorbs me. But I know that it's important to teach my students to become proficient and to enjoy reading for information. I think that's an almost harder task than teaching kids to love novels..."
Good thoughts. I am like you. I live for stories, so non-fiction has always been a challenge. Nevertheless, in the past month I've read two non-fiction books (from cover to cover--that's always the test for me) and have two more on my side table. I think reading fiction keeps my wits sharp enough that when I'm ready for it, I can absorb the non-fiction too. Some kids (particularly boys, it seems, though many girls too) are naturally attracted to non-fiction. I think it's great for parents to have it around so kids have yet another kind of book to test out and see if it fits their reading styles. I also think that a great high school English class curriculum could include a really fabulous non-fiction book (this is a newly thriving genre in young adult) as well as poetry, classics, picture books, a graphic novel, and contemporary and young adult fiction representing different genres.
I'm not out there in the trenches like you are, Mary Ann, but my opinion is that if kids learn to love reading, whatever kind of book that is, they'll be literate enough to become proficient in other kinds of books and grow into adults who not only are capable of reading for information, but might enjoy it. Any other thoughts?