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Ask Jennifer Cervantes ’04 ’07

How can parents get their middle school-aged children to read more?

Let kids choose their reading material whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, magazines, etc. Allowing them to fuel their minds and imaginations on their own terms is critical. And it’s okay if they don’t want to finish a book. Allow them the freedom to put it down and find something else of interest. You may find they prefer one genre over the next. Make reading fun. Go to the library together, read the same material and talk about it, see a tie-in movie and discuss the differences between the book and the film, and don’t underestimate the power of reading to a child regardless of their age. Finally, let kids see you reading. There is nothing more powerful than showing your own enthusiasm and curiosity.”

Cervantes, who writes under the pen name J.C. Cervantes, is the New York Times best-selling author of “The Storm Runner,” “The Fire Keeper” and “Tortilla Sun.” Her fourth book, “The Shadow Crosser,” will be published in fall 2020.

Compiled by Adriana M. Chávez ’19