The Place for Expert Reading Advice

The Place for Expert Reading Advice

Reading Spotlight Blog -

How To Make Books Great Gifts

Books make great gifts for everyone, but do you know the secrets of giving books that children, especially, will enjoy and that will motivate them to read even more?


The first chapters of a book I recently read, The Code-Breaker by Walter Isaacson, provide a couple of hints.


Dr. Martin Doudna, a professor of English literature at the University of Hawaii, knew that his daughter Jennifer liked solving detective stories. He also knew she enjoyed nature hikes around the Big Island of Hawaii where the family lived. She was often intrigued by the sleeping grass that curled up when she touched it. He used these two pieces of information that he had noticed about her


  • (Know what interests them—out of school.)

when he placed a used paperback copy of The Double Helix on her bed. He had a hunch it might interest her. Then he did another thing that made her want to read more on this subject—he talked to her about it.


  • (Discuss the book with them.)

Read more about discussion questions for books in my next blog post:



During the time Jennifer was growing up, many adults discouraged girls in being scientists, including her dispiriting guidance counselor and other mentors in college, but she persisted in her vision.


Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their investigation of RNA, the very development that has made some COVID vaccines possible so quickly during our present pandemic.


For more ideas about encouraging kids to read, see Reading Spotlight’s FREE Tip:

Why Kids Don’t Read and What You Can Do About It


With hundreds of ideas for books, see Reading Spotlight’s Pinterest Board:

Encouraging Lifelong Readers


For Reading’s Spotlight’s FREE Guide to Independent Reading, download

Independent Reading Packet


All are overflowing with good ideas, and all are FREE.


Give a great gift—a meaningful book—this gift-giving season!



© Reading Spotlight 2021


Here are some interesting posts about education from my friends at TBOTEMC:

Teacher Talk

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