In each of The Caden Chronicles the publisher includes questions about the case that Nick Caden, and readers, must answer. Before presenting the novel to your reader, ask what your child already knows about the subject. For example, in Dead Man’s Hand Nick must uncover the killer of an actor playing the roll of Billy the Kid.
After reading the first chapter, ask if the story makes sense; this is called “monitoring understanding,” — a fancy, term that means “the ability of understanding something.” In my day we called this comprehension. If chapter one lacks clarity to your reader, ask them to re-read and make notes of where they became confused.
- Note any supporting details they found interesting.
- Have them write down questions they may have about where the story is going, why a character reacted the way they did, any clues they believe the author included on purpose.
- Ask them to read aloud.
- Suggest they write down the chapter’s main ideas.
- Ask them to list any problems characters overcame.
- Ask them how a character changed in a chapter. Characters who change are putty people: external circumstances reshape putty characters. A character’s will and inner strength will often resist change. Ask them to note that struggle as well.
- Ask them to describe what they think will happen in the next chapter.
- Once they are several chapters into the story, ask them to predict how the story might end.
- Ask your reader why the author describes settings the way he does, how he uses dialogue, humor, or suspense for effect.
- What new words did your reader discover. What words might your reader have used instead of ones the author chose?
- Have your child write down unfamiliar words on sticky notes and if the word’s definition is not made clear by the story, look them up later.
Reading is KEY to learning. Those who cannot read, follow leaders. Be a leader. Be a reader. Buy a boy or girl a book.