Raising Readers Monday with Guest Gail Terp

This week’s expert post comes from the fabulous Gail Terp. I “met” Gail on twitter and have quickly become a devotee of her website. Her passion for making literacy fun, combined with her extensive knowledge of children’s fiction and nonfiction alike, make her a fantastic source whether you’re looking for books on finance or fantasy.

After thirty years of teaching, Gail retired in 2010 to pursue a career in writing. She currently writes freelance for two educational publishers—one for children and one for beginning adult readers. She also writes middle grade fiction and nonfiction. Gail’s first published book, Worlds Collide in Early America (Abdo), came out in January, 2014.

Gail’s  blog, Best Blog for Kids Who Hate to Read, is a family blog for reluctant readers and their parents (and teachers). I find it to be an invaluable resource! Gail posts three times a week: Monday—kids’ books; Wednesday—parent information; and Friday—fun stuff like kid websites and jokes.

Today, Gail was kind enough to share her thoughts on kids and magazines.

A Case for Magazines

I love magazines. They have lots of the things that make reading fun: pictures, captions, headings, graphics, and text that tends to be easy to read.

Magazines teach me stuff I want to learn. Sometimes it’s something I’ve wondered about. (How do mosquitoes survive in the rain?) Other times it’s something I’ve never even thought of. (Did you know that the ancient Egyptians often mummified animals, not just humans?)

Here are some more good things about magazines:
• Magazines are great for learning how to use graphics: maps, text boxes, tables, illustrations, graphs, and diagrams. More than textbooks, magazines are motivated to give you graphics you want to read.
• Magazines give us info to share. I love to share interesting bits with a friend. One of my favorite things to say is Did you know…?
• Magazines give us ways to explore new topics and ideas. Think about it, would you rather learn something new by reading a textbook or by reading a picture-dense magazine?
• Magazines use things like call-outs, speech bubbles, quotes, and other fun graphics.
• Kid magazines are about kids and what kids do.
• Magazines are more up-to-date than most books. Books often take at least a year to get published.


• Silent reading time
• On car trips
• Waiting times (before the school bus comes, at the doctor’s office, before dinner…)
• During homework breaks
• At breakfast and snack times
• While the TV is on (only works if you are good at multi-tasking!)
• During computer time – many magazines also have online sites

• Start with the stuff you like (skateboarding, horses, science…)
• Expand into stuff you might like
• Consider some adult magazines. Just look at and read what interests you.
• Go to the library and browse – most libraries let you check out magazines. I do this all the time.


There are a ton of kids’ magazines to choose from. So go ahead, check some out and find ones you like.


A huge thank you to Gail for her help this week!  You can find her on the web and tweeting @GailTerp.  

My kids love getting magazines – especially since checking the mailbox is one of their chores.  We currently get Ladybug, High Five, Highlights, Discovery Girls, and National Geographic Kids.  Most are gifts from grandparents – which I just love!  A gift that keeps coming all year round and doesn’t require batteries? Fabulous idea.  My husband and I get National Geographic, Smithsonian, Rachel Ray, The Economist, and Discover.  The kids love the pictures and to hear about what we are reading.  They understand way more than I would have expected! What about your kids? 



4 thoughts on “Raising Readers Monday with Guest Gail Terp

  1. Great post. I, too, follow Gail on Twitter. Her blog is a great resource for those of us with reluctant readers. And I 100% agree that children’s magazines are a great reading tool. My daughter likes that the stories are short and varied and the poet in me loves how they often include poetry as well as fiction and articles. Congrats are also in order for that new book of Gail’s!


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