Encouraging a Love for Reading


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Kid reading on a kindle

National Reading Month has been especially exciting for my boys this year. Like you, I'm always looking for opportunities to foster my children's love for, and interest in, books.

That's why when I was offered the chance to try out a new Kindle e-reader and Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited subscription service, I jumped.

For my older son, especially, it couldn't have come at a better time. He now reads chapter books for enjoyment and measures his appetite for books in millions of words, rather than thousands. So before the Kindle e-reader arrived, his school backpack was starting to look and, more importantly, feel like it was full of bricks. He was always afraid that if he didn't have enough books with him, he might be left without a read.

Since the Kindle, his backpack is light as a feather, and just seeing his reaction when he discovered it holds thousands of books was priceless.

Reading Harry Potter on the Kindle

From my perspective as a parent, I think the Kindle e-reader ($79) is the perfect gift for kids who are starting to read chapter books. It's designed to make great books as accessible as possible, delivering what I like to call, “good screen time,” with zero distractions, if you know what I mean, and I think you do (psst! no games!).

Dictionary feature on the Kindle

Here are what I see as some of its best features. Kids can:

  • look up definitions as they read just by touching the word on the screen.
  • change the font size with one touch for easier reading.
  • read thousands of books for free from their local libraries.
  • always have another book to read without carrying a ton of books around. When they finish one book, they can start another right away.
  • use the Vocabulary Builder feature which stores words they look up, allowing them to quiz themselves later.

In addition, kids who are bilingual, or who are learning a new language, can use the translation option when looking up definitions.

Translation feature on the Kindle

The Amazon FreeTime Unlimited service I mentioned is an all-in-one subscription starting at $2.99 per month. It offers unlimited access to hundreds of hand-picked chapter books and early readers, which are curated for age-appropriateness, so parents don't have to spend time and money guessing what their kids will like. Love that!

Now here's what my son said when I asked him his thoughts about the Kindle:


“I can read it in sun or shade.”

“It has so many books, but you don't have to carry the weight.”

“The battery lasts for days.”

“The dictionary is cool.”

Boy reading on the Kindle

There you have it! And, yes, the dictionary is cool.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Silvia Martinez
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