What happened to "reading time" that they use to have in schools? I remember when I was in 4th grade in particular that we had time set aside during the school day where we could read the books we WANTED to read. Not, you have to read this book or that book. No, I could read what ever book I wanted. If it was a comic book, that was fine. If it was above my "reading level" that was ok, it helped my vocabulary. If it was under my "reading level" that was fine too! Sometimes you just want to shut your brain down a bit and read a nice relaxing book.
What was the end result? I STILL LOVE TO READ!!!!! What a concept! Now, I completely understand that there are some "must reads" due to school curriculum. I'm not talking about changing that. Those classics are great. What I'm talking about is allowing reading FREE TIME or "MENTAL RECESS", if you will. Let kids read what they want and when they grow up they continue to love reading? Instead of "you can't read that, it's below your level!"..."You MUST read one of the books on the "approved" list!" As soon as you tell a child(who is already sick and tired of being told what to do in practically every aspect of their life) that they have to do something, the enjoyment gets sucked out of it. Instead of it being fun, it becomes a chore.
Let's bring back the JOY IN READING!