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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at

“Stop reading and get ready for school!”

Weekday mornings can be fraught in my house, with two grouchy non-morning-person children getting ready for school and their, ahem, like-minded parents (genetics!) getting ready for work. When my oldest was an infant, I was worried he wouldn’t like to read. Now he’s nine, and in addition to being a very active kid, he’s also a reader. #ProudMama

But lately I’ve heard myself saying the most horrible thing:

“Stop reading and get ready for school!”

I mean. Is there anything worse to say to a child who’s a reader, and one for whom I wouldn’t want school to seem like a punishment?

We’ve been listening to audiobooks in the car on the ride to school (most recently Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson), which somewhat makes up for being wrenched from home. It has become a bit of a pickle — but (as I have to remind myself nearly every morning as we’re stressfully racing out the door) ultimately not a bad problem to have. #ReadingMama See also the Horn Book classic: “Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader.”

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.



  1. This is a great problem to have! My only suggestion would be to engage them in the morning. Have them tell you what they’ve been reading before you leave. Maybe this distraction will be enough to pull them away from the text and encourage them to find a stopping point before heading off to school. Good luck with your little readers!

  2. Elissa Gershowitz Elissa Gershowitz says:

    Thanks Brooke — that is good advice! I’ll give it a try and (try to remember to) report back 😉

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