Tag Archives: #mums

Rebel books for rebel readers

Hi there, passing web traveller,

You have reached the eye candy of Sean Yeager Adventures. Artisan books written for children with a mind of their own. If you are a parent, you really should treat a child in your life to a Sean Yeager book. Why? Because these books ask questions of the reader and encourage children to figure things out for themselves. You see, modern publishers iron out books into – three act plots, plot armor, dumbed down themes, and feed children the current ‘right-on’ adult tropes. I don’t believe in blanding out. I believe in taking children on a rollercoaster ride to places they want to explore. (In an age appropriate way, of course). A world full of gizmos, action, science, history, and surprises. Modern stories for modern times. Heroes and villains who don’t explain their every movement. Characters who know who they are – there is no hint of cross-dressing, gender fluidity, or tokenism here. A world where mistakes are made and things go wrong. Adventures where children strive to do their best with help from their friends and adults. These are rebel books for rebel readers. And the feedback from the real audience – 8 to 14 year olds – has been incredibly positive. They enjoy the craziness and surprises. They relish the mysteries and clues. They want to read these books.

How did I achieve this? Simple. By working with children and listening to what they want to read about. By including characters, twists, subjects, and surprises that work for them. By ignoring conventional ‘rules’ and writing books for youngsters based on their interests. And above all, by writing exciting plots which are unpredictable and every bit as good as a movie.

Your children will get it. Will you dare to be different?

Treat them to the world of Sean Yeager Adventures and feed their imaginations,

D.M. Jarrett

Explore ‘look inside’ here

http://www.seanyeager.com

www.seanyeager.com

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Reading challenging books quickly, helps weaker readers to catch up – it’s official

Hi,

From time to time I have debates with people who defend easy read books as being fun and a great introduction to reading. And for younger readers (5 to 7) I tend to agree with them. However, what next? What is the best approach to natually coax along young reading skills and maintain their interest in reading while they learn?

I chanced upon a very interesting article in the TES (Times Education Supplement). It reports on a study looking at adolescent readers and their reading progress. The study’s conclusions are interesting – reading challenging books quickly (within 12 weeks) helps weaker readers to catch up. The study also dispels the myth that ‘poorer readers need simpler texts’ and supports the idea of letting the reader crack on with the reading. It seems so obvious doesn’t it?

The challenging books referred to in the study were: The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, Once by Morris Gleitzman, and Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams.

Here is the link so you can read directly what is reported about the study:

TES article about a reading study

As you may already suspect, I fully support an ‘aim for the stars’ ethos as opposed to ‘pigeon-holing’  or ‘dumbing down’. There are so many great books out there waiting for enthusiastic young readers. To the above list we could easily add Tolkien, Pullman, Morpurgo, Blackman and so many others. I recommend friendly chats with librarians and second-hand book staff to discover great books. At first, there may be a little resistance along the lines of ‘it’s boring’ and ‘I don’t want to read that.’ However, with the right themes, books, and writers, this can quickly turn into ‘light touch-paper and let them get on with it’. Which I believe this study confirms.

Happy reading.

D.M. Jarrett

 

 

Smart books inspire smart youngsters 🤗 Say ‘no’ to dumbing down

Hi there,

This is a message to all parents, carers and mentors of children. Children are amazing and talented. They can achieve pretty much anything with guidance, learning and practice. Please inspire them and raise the quality of what they are given to read. As the saying goes – aim for the stars.

My message is simple – rubbish in, rubbish out. You create what you shape. If you genuinely want the best for the children in your care, please think it through carefully. A child of 8 could easily develop a reading age of 12 and be at an advantage in their development. Give them a book with a reading age of 5 and where will that lead? Whereas, inspiring a love of learning and reading will broaden their horizons and inspire them to greater things.

Are you in need of convincing? In case this sounds like ‘elitist nonsense’, here are some links from well established sources expressing their thoughts on the subject:

Anthony Horowitz article

Geraldine MacCaughrean – Carnegie Medal Winner

New York Times – smarten up the kids

Stop dumbing down books for teens

And so, over to you. We can choose wisely and help guide the young minds in our lives. We have that opportunity and there are plenty of great books out there from all eras – often in libraries, secondhand and charity book stores. What were your best reads?  I shared Biggles with my 7 year old son, and in later years, Asterix, Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemmingway, and a little Shakespeare. Reading can be fun as well as mind food. Next, he read through Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and moved on to Tolkien. Once a love of reading has taken root there is no stopping it.

Enjoy the challenge.

D.M. Jarrett

10 tips for getting your child away from their video games and productive.

What can you do about your son/daughter’s gaming habit? They spend hours on their device and refuse to come off.

We’ve all been there. I suspect all parents of tweens and teens have. Your son/daughter is passionate about the latest video/computer/phone game and refuses to come off it. When they do, their mood has changed, and all they can think about is playing again. Here are some tips for how to manage the situation and strike a balance. From experience, this approach works provided we as parents are firm, fair and consistent.

1. Change the rules – so your child has to earn all game time on each and every platform.

Yes, that will be a sea change for some. No earning means no game time. The most important currency then becomes ‘how’ to earn game time. It can also be a valuable lever for getting homework, etc. done. It will most likely lead to a reduction in gaming time as well.

2. Enforce the ‘earning’ of game-time by making your child earn it upfront before they play.

No earning = no game time. Harsh at first, but guess what? Your child will learn and adapt provided they know you mean it.

3. Agree start and end times to gaming – and give a count-down ten and five minutes before ‘off-time’.

This is important. It is the deal. It goes something like – ‘it’s now seven o’clock, you need to come off your <device> by eight o’clock. Agreed?’ And when that time arrives – ideally on a clock next to the gaming screen – the session is declared over. Fresh air and exercise straight afterwards is a great idea – to calm them down.

4. Off means off – pull out the plug if necessary and be strong.

When the pre-agreed session is over, it has to end. By reason, then cajoling, and if all else fails by pulling out the plug/broadband. There are limiter devices out there if needed.

5. 60 minutes a weekend day maximum – and mean it – beware the 60 to 90 to 120 time creep. Should there be any game time allowed during the week? Your call.

It’s your call on how long a gaming session is allowed to be. My view is that 60 minutes a day at weekends is plenty. Week day gaming is probably not a great idea, because of homework, focus on school etc. Or perhaps you could agree the frequency upfront. Daily to me is a straight no way. Late night gaming is also a no, no. Sleep is important and gaming impairs sleep.

6. Bring in healthy and fun alternatives as well.

A reading hour – with a physical book (it’s why I began writing btw.). A walk. A sporting activity. A visit to somewhere fun. A fun TV program with the family. It’s your choice. I suggest including some of these as the means to earning gaming time as well. e.g. read a decent book for an hour. Swim ten lengths, etc.

7. Share their passion (within reason).

I suggest it is better to know what games they are playing, and to occasionally join in, than to disapprove of their gaming altogether. If their choice of game is completely unsuitable (e.g. 18 and immoral) withdrawing/uninstalling the game is clearly a good idea. You are in charge and you set the limits.

8. Grounded also means no gaming time.

If our child has earned a grounding that also means no gaming time. It may well be the most valuable currency you have to barter with for better behaviour.

9. No gaming machines in their bedrooms at night. And avoid outright bans if possible.

Whatever we think about gaming, I suggest it is better to suggest/promote a healthier game than to try and eliminate gaming from children’s lives. Prohibition tends to lead to rebellion, stand-offs and finding ways around the ban. Just as with adult bans.

That said, a gaming machine (of any kind) in their bedroom is just asking for an all-night session when you are asleep or the babysitter is in charge. If you allow it, you are allowing free-reign for your child in my humble opinion. Remember, games are fun and addictive.

10. The currency they have to ‘earn’ is what you decide. It is also your biggest bargaining chip.

I suggest it should include a mixture of: doing their homework, instrument practice, chores, having a good attitude, going for a run, working hard at school. walking the dog, tidying their room. Anything within reason provided the measures are ‘fair’ and ‘measurable’. This is where the balance comes in – which is where you set the standards as parents. Work = reward. Just as in life. You may find they work harder to earn the currency they want. If not, take a step back and review your options. Putting the games in the loft for a while is a possibility…

I hope you find these tips useful. From experience, they can lead to a win-win, with a few (inevitable) tantrums along the way.

I write books to encourage youngsters to read (and also because I enjoy it).

Best of luck,

D.M. Jarrett

www.SeanYeager.com

 

 

 

 

The summer of Sean Yeager Adventures is coming!

www.seanyeager.com

It’s all about to kick-off in style for Sean Yeager Adventures, thanks to readers’ feedback from around the world.

I’m delighted to announce a new, improved Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief (3rd edition) will be launched this summer in print. It is an enhanced and expanded ‘director’s cut’ version of the story first published in 2012. The plot is broadened and improved and has been completely re-written, drawing on reader’s feedback. Also, for the first time, there will be UK English and US English versions available in the respective territories.

Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief is an action, adventure, mystery with secret agents, sci-fi and humour. It is written to excite and entertain young readers from 8 years upwards, including young adults.  I’ve taken great care to ensure it is an easy read, while at the same time asking questions of the reader. The story has been described as a roller-coaster ride and an action movie in book form.

For those unfamiliar with the Sean Yeager Adventures series, each book is self-contained and builds on the previous books in the series. They tell the story of how Sean and Emily make sense of what is happening to them and how they discover their purpose in life. The stories are set in a near-real world like our own, with one major difference – there are sleepers, androbots, and secret agents hidden among us, and there is a secret battle waging between two ancient enemies.

Meanwhile, the earlier e-book versions of Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief will continue to be available as ‘beta’ versions at the lowest price possible. Since they have been pirated, I will not be updating them for a considerable time.  For those interested in the deluxe version, the print books are therefore the best choice.

Watch out for more exciting news coming soon.

May the mighty Quel shine kindly upon you.

D.M. Jarrett

http://www.SeanYeager.com