Category Archives: parents

A message for moms, books to entertain and inspire boys and tomboys

www.seanyeager.com

 

 

 

Hi there,

As a parent, one of the things I’ve noticed of late is how popular books are becoming dumbed down. Now I’m 100% in agreement with equal opportunties and mutual respect. But I am not in favor of talking down to bright, young minds. I prefer to talk about science, mysteries and challenges, which we all face as we grow older. Also, if we’re honest, boy readers are not that interested in unicorns, princesses and the world’s historic struggle for equal rights. Ask them and see the blank or horrified expression spread across their face. So here’s my proposition – give your 8 to 14 year old an intelligent book they will enjoy (gizmos, explosions and chases included) and relax while they read. I present – Sean Yeager Adventures. A epic book series for 8 to 14 year olds with positive messages, lots of real science and historic references and loads of action.

My promise to all moms and dads is that Sean Yeager Adventures will entertain and make your loved ones think and ask questions. There are no fart jokes and the action is age appropriate. I know these books will be well received, because of extensive trialling with (you guessed it) 8 to 14 year old readers. They helped to shape the stories and made suggestions for improvements. In addition, Sean Yeager books are easy to read with a sprinkling of more challenging words to help their reading develop. The clever stuff is in making the reader piece things together by themselves, while giving them a whirlwind tour of Sean Yeager’s world.

The benefits for you? A few hours peace and some enthusiastic readers.

Check out some free samples and see what you think:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Happy reading,

D.M. Jarrett

 

 

 

 

 

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Help to quieten the mind and sleep

With so many things going on in our hectic lives how do we wind down and sleep? Here are some ideas drawn from the experience of a light sleeper.

Continue reading

6 tips to inspire your tween teen child to read more often

As parents, I’m sure we’re all been there. We’re concerned about how little our children read, especially tweens and boys, and we want to find ways of developing their language skills. Not least because schooling and exams require greater literacy, and of course reading can inspire learning and expand their minds. Remembering also that they will need to write their own creative stories at exam level before too long…

Let’s face it, these days there are numerous distractions for children. We’d like to encourage them to read more and to spend less time gaming or watching TV, so how can we achieve this goal of encouraging more reading? Here are some tried and tested tips, I hope you find them useful.

  1. A regular time for reading

Establishing a reading time before sleep or first thing on a weekend morning can help to calm the mind. And reintroduce reading. Just watch out for a genuine page-turner in case they are up half the night. Or worse the iPad hidden between the pages.

2. Invite your son or daughter to choose their books

The thinking here is that if they buy into the book when researching and purchasing it, they are more likely to want to read it. A trip to a large bookstore can help. And a suitable budget. Also, keep in mind charity bookstores which can carry a wide array of well loved books.

3. Random book token gifts

A gift of a book token might sound obvious, however it can still work. Unlike an Amazon voucher, what else can they spend a bona-fide book token on? We’ve found this to be useful when encouraging darling son to select his next proper read. Within boundaries of course.

4. Indulge their interests

If they love Percy Jackson or Harry Potter, where’s the harm? The whole series? Sure, if they are inspired to read. Again, bear in mind libraries and charity shops if costs are concerning. Book swaps too can be a great way to keep up the momentum. We found that it is like pushing at an open door when the books are enjoyable. Throw in Dickens and the whole mood changes. Having said that they are some great ‘classic’ reads which are easier going and engaging.

5. Oldies can be golden

Think back to the books you loved as a child or tween. Perhaps even a more challenging classic read. Particularly funny books. I suggested The Hitchhikers Guide, Biggles and The Hobbit. Perhaps I was lucky, but they all stuck home. In each case, that’s a whole load of reading…

6. One to read and two for the shelf

I suggest lining up three books at a time. It’s easier to buy in batches and it means that if a book proves to be ‘boring’ there are other options immediately available. If a series has inspired your darling daughter (or son) then lining up the next few is probably a sound investment. Again, charity shops, swaps or libraries can come in handy.

6 1/2. In print..

Bonus tip – buy, borrow or acquire print copies. There’s something about holding a printed book in your hands. A digital copy may work, however the chances are that same device has games loaded on it as well?   And you know ‘app’ which will win out? Most likely the fad adrenaline-packed game…

Hope you find these tips useful.

D.M Jarrett

Parent and Author of Sean Yeager Adventures

 

What next after Harry Potter? 5 Great middle grade to tween book series

Well it had to happen, our son has read all the Harry Potter books and we’ve been searching for other great book series. In no particular order here are 5 great book series for middle grade to tween readers. (I have omitted Young Adult titles deliberately).

1. Harry Potter Click here

Obvious really. If the first three books don’t grab your child’s attention I guess they don’t like Harry Potter. Stand by also for the comparisons and proclamations of the things not in the films which are better presented in the books. Strangely the shorter books were voted the best by our son, perhaps they were better edited?

2. Percy Jackson Click here

Now you do need to allow your child to settle with the idea that Greek and Roman myths have been ‘borrowed’ and transplanted to the US. (Not my idea of plausible I have to say). Apparently the books are an easy and exciting read with lots of action. I would add that they seem to be easily read in next to no time. Good news for the author and publisher, not such great news for the parents asked to buy the next book in a matter of hours.

3. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Click here

Perhaps a push for middle grade and pretty heavy in volume. We started with The Hobbit and it was very well received. A budding fan is born. I await the film and book comparisons. LOL. Given the length of both that could be some years away.

4. Sean Yeager Adventures Click here

Fast paced, exciting and full of ideas. Our son and several of his friends have been up all hours reading and re-reading books one and two. Be prepared for an explosion of ideas, designs and follow on stories.

5. Bear Grylls Mission: Survival  Click here

Apparently these books are non-stop boys own adventures with all the details added in. Useful if you are ever stuck in a jungle and need survival skills. If only there was an episode for commuters and office workers.

6. Artemis Fowl Click here

Technically this is the sixth book series, though I did say ‘after Harry Potter’. We have had a mixed reception with this series. Son loves the action and humour, he’s not so keen on the faeries. Nonetheless a worthy addition to our humble book series list. Lots happens and there are plenty of books in the series.

So there you have it parents, grand parents, aunts, bloggers. We hope you find this list of book series useful when seeking purchases for the children in your life.

Happy reading.

D.M. Jarrett

 

10 great boys’ books to encourage reading and fun

As a parent it can be tricky to find great books for your boys to read. You want books to help develop and encourage your child’s reading and you also want books that your child will enjoy and want to finish. We have found this with our own son from the age of 6 to 11. Here is a list of 10 great boys books as voted for by the person who matters – our son – who read them all (and rejected several others). We hope you find this book list useful for the boys in your life.

In no particular order

1. Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo

A boy’s own war-time adventure through the eyes of a horse. Now also a film and play, but apparently the book is the best format of all.

2. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

The original and best. If your child likes this book there are plenty more in the series…

3. Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

A Roman adventure and page turner, with lots of suspense and historical references. If you want to inspire learning about Roman life, what better way than to introduce this book?

4. The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

Before they managed to massage this story into three films, this book was the best introduction to the world of J R R Tolkien. It is action packed and surprisingly short, unlike the giant saga that followed.

5. Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief by D.M. Jarrett

Non-stop action and mayhem. Like a cross between James Bond and Star Wars or as the reviewers put it ‘a rollercoaster ride’ in book form. It also has a great sequel to follow-up.

6. The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall

Another boy’s own story, this time set in World War II England. What would your son do if he discovered a crashed German Bomber complete with machine gun? Action and surprises all the way.

7. Alex Rider Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz

One of several great stories from the popular Alex Rider series. An orphaned James Bond like child sent on dangerous missions.

8. 8000 Things You Should Know by Mile Kelly

Our son and his friends were given party gifts of this book after a birthday bash. They were all so immersed in its pages they had to be prised away. This is how all factual books should be presented. (It’s presented like ‘information mapping’ and is highly effective, amusing and addictive.)

9. Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross Sections

A hero in our household, Stephen Biesty is an incredible illustrator and this book is simply breathtaking in it’s detail and layout. For any budding designers or boys who like to take things apart.

10. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The original and best, provided of course you can suspend disbelief about the Greeks not moving to the US. And of course there are plenty more Greek myths elaborated on throughout the series.

Hope you find some great reading in our list to inspire the boys in your life. Above all we hope they have fun reading and developing their curiosity for learning.

Happy reading

D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures

Amazon reviews:www.seanyeager.com

Fast-moving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride

Do children learn better with less screen time?

Do you remember a time before PC’s, laptops, tablets and computer games? When making a phone call meant using a fixed line device that could only ring and click? Times move on, progress we are told is a good thing. But wait, did anyone ask whether all this technology is helping our children’s learning in their early years?

I have long been concerned about the length of time young eyes and postures spend hunched over controllers, tablets and computers. It seems to me that learning how to write with a pen, draw with a pencil, paint, sculpt, take things apart, make models and, fix bicycles are equally valid skills to learn and develop. To which we can easily add: play sports, read books, swim, run, learn musical instruments, sing, act, imagine, converse, play, explore and so on.

Do we want all our children to end up in offices staring at screens all day every day? Is that a good set of disciplines to be training children as young as 7? I think not. I believe that children can easily learn these skills in a few hours a week when they are ready. Let’s face it they are likely to use many devices at home anyway. And they have a knack of running rings around their parents when they do.

An OECD report published recently ( BBC link ) makes for interesting reading. It suggests that technology is not the panacea to learning that we have often been led to believe. It states that screen time does not help reading skills either. Surely some mistake? Isn’t the internet the ultimate answer to all our questions? Yes. And is it also the ultimate distraction? Smart phones are incredible, but do they encourage better grammar or conversation? Hmm, that’s worth thinking about isn’t it? Are we encouraging short attention spans and instant gratification instead of true childhood development?

My theory is this. Let’s develop our young children’s minds, their physical skills, their social skills and their spirits first and foremost. Let’s keep the tools in their place. As tools, not as primary skills. Technology is a helper it is not the font of imagination, solving the world’s problems or nurturing new talent. It has a place and can help sure, but it does not make the person.

The alternative is that we risk creating a generation of one-dimensional people if we limit their development to how to swipe a screen, search the internet and touch type. What about the myriad other skills and abilities the world needs every minute of every day? Isn’t it more sensible to balance children’s learning and maintain a mixture of practical, theoretical, vocational, factual and technological skills? Of course some children will become gifted programmers and in time many will use computers as tools to support their trades. But which comes first? The human being with the drive and ability to achieve great things or the blinking screen demanding attention every second of every day?

Roald  Dahl expressed a similar thought eloquently in his poem  Mike Teavee : ‘(TV) rots the sense in the head, it kills imagination dead’. And computers are in my experience every bit as limiting. They are great for the execution of tasks and ideas, but I find they stop creative thought dead in its tracks. Give me a pencil and piece of paper every time. It is the process of writing, reviewing, adjusting and repeating that helps me. Talking things through with another person is better still.  I’m sure it uses more neurones and connections. I’m convinced that more lateral thoughts result from conversation and sharing ideas socially.

Seriously though, there has to be a balance don’t you agree?  Moderation in all things. Too much screen time really could make Jack and Jill dull boys and girls. And that would be two genuinely missed opportunities.

D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures

Amazon reviews:

Fast-moHunters Hunted Text 2lving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride

www.seanyeager.com

Five great tips for encouraging boys’ reading

Five great book reading tips for boys.

Boys can sometimes be reluctant to read books and let’s face it they often have plenty of other distractions. Recent research has shown that regular book reading and progress with reading development are key indicators of success at school. So how can carers and parents encourage boys to read more often and more widely?

Here are some tips to help the boys in your life read more I hope they help.

1. Involve boys in buying (or borrowing) their books

In this way they will feel empowered and given the choice of what they would like to read. Be careful though not to limit their choice too much. Most people like to feel they have a say in their life choices and boys are no different when it comes to books. And by the way, physical books are far more attractive than e-books or worse a computer file (where they can easily pretend to be reading).

2. Indulge their interests (within reason)

If your boy likes reference books about sports cars, go with the flow. It’s worth bearing in mind that any reading can be good reading. Of course there will be some exceptions, but if they love Mutant Alien Zombie Slimebugs from Lincolnshire and the book is a harmless read, where’s the harm? You can always insert a few more traditional choices alongside their apparent favourites.

3. Set regular reading times

A regular time before sleep or early in the morning can work really well. As can ‘dead time’ in a car or while waiting for an out of school class. As a parent I have found that regular slots work best and when my son has a book he really enjoys it is so easy, he simply wants to find out what happens next.

4. Acquire some ‘cool’ books

Peer pressure is a huge factor as your child reader grows up. If their whole school is interested in Harry Potter or a similar high profile title seize the opportunity. They may not like each book just because their friends and rivals do, however it’s another string to your bow in convincing them to read in a soft way. Their motivation being the key point here.

5. Reward regular reading with treats

If all else fails, reward reading minutes with another currency. It may not be money, it could be time spent doing something else they enjoy. To succeed though they must always earn their reward before being allowed to indulge in their laptop, computer games or football (for example). Bribery may not be ideal, but it can work if used sparingly and provided promises are kept on both sides.

Best of luck

D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures

Amazon reviews:www.seanyeager.com

Fast-moving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride