When I asked my eight year old daughter recently what she enjoyed most about reading she replied, “Books take you on exciting adventures!”
My daughter loves adventure. Although she is the only girl in the family; her determination and bravery often surpasses her big brothers. She loves to read stories about courageous heroes and heroines – from spies entangled in espionage and mystery to children who live in magical worlds full of dragons, wizards and unicorns.
And it’s true that reading can take children on amazing journeys all from the comfort of their sofa.
They can embark on voyages through stormy seas encountering mermaids or sea monsters.
They can travel back in time to their favourite periods in history or even into the mysterious and intriguing future.
They can go to any country in the world – from the tropics of the Amazon to the polar ice caps in the Arctic.
For many of us the joy of reading is in escapism. Immersing ourselves into worlds, stories of adventure and excitement, all beyond, our own experiences.
The benefits of this for children as they develop educationally and personally are numerous. Reading grows their imaginations and educates them in subjects such as history and geography.
Reading also develops empathy. When they regularly put themselves in the shoes of a character in a book they develop their social skills; understanding the feelings of others enabling them to become more sensitive, generous and appreciative of the differences they encounter in others.
Our family life often gets really busy. With three children who all have keen interests in drama, dance and sport they are committed to many weekly activities. Not only this, but with increasing amounts of homework and pressure on children at school nowadays, things can get pretty overloaded in a child’s life. For us, sometimes reading and enjoying books can drop down to the bottom of the list of things to do.
But the comment my daughter made about loving the adventures she can go on when reading a book is a good reminder that children can be just as active when they are reading. Books are a great escape when daily life gets a bit much, a way to switch off and go on a journey into a new world – all from the comfort of your own home!
Here are some great adventure books my daughter has particularly enjoyed –