If you ask me about my favorite hobby, I will most likely mention reading. It has been my most favorite escape for as long as I can remember. I was reading before I entered kindergarten and still like to bury my face in a book. Instilling the same love for books in my children can be hit or miss.
Child’s Love for Books
Fortunately, finding books the girls love to read hasn’t been a big challenge. In fact, I have found that the best way to encourage them to read is to simply sit down and read with them! Even Joeli likes hearing the character’s voices as I portray them. Once I have read a few pages, one of the girls takes over and we share the storytelling duties. As we read, we talk about what is happening in the book and then discuss everything once we are done for the day. It’s been a fabulous bonding time for the kids and I for as long as I can remember.
Last week, we ordered Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein to read together. Jacky Ha-Ha is a class clown who likes to make people laugh with her so they can’t laugh at her.
With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation–even when she really, really shouldn’t–twelve-year-old Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mom serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who’s hardly ever home.
But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can’t seem to escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together…even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that’s who she really is?
For me, it was a flashback to the 90’s. Jacky Ha-Ha’s mom is serving in the war and there are references to the time period that I enjoyed talking with the girls about. For instance, breaking out our wedding pictures to perfectly explain a mullet was great! We enjoyed the opportunity to not only read about Jacky Ha-Ha’s life, but to talk about Colby and I from that era. It’s always fun to listen to the girls laugh at our escapades from another time foreign to them.
Although, Jacky Ha-Ha has to face some pretty tough challenges that come with growing up. These situations provided an open conversation about the trials that life often hands us and how we can best handle them. Being able to keep those lines of communication open with my kids — as well as developing their love for books — is always a bonus to reading together! See what Jaden had to say about it:
You can find Jacky Ha-Ha online at Amazon.com, or in-store wherever books are sold.