How to Create a Love of Reading in Your Young Reader

Dad and mom with two daughters in a blanket tent read a book together for literacy skills How to Create a Love of Reading in Your Young Reader by Suzanne Marie

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Estimated reading time: 17 minutes

Literacy and learning to read are important for children.

Reading expands their worlds and worldviews in ways we cannot learn from other sources. Most importantly, It creates feelings of achievement and empowerment in our ability to learn about any interesting topic.

Spark joy and creativity in young readers by teaching them how to develop a love of literature. Follow this guide for the best techniques!


As a professional educator and experienced parent, I have devoted over two decades to helping teens develop the communication, conflict management, and resolution skills needed for success in life.

By equipping young people with the tools to successfully express their thoughts and feelings to resolve conflicts, I strive to help them reach their fullest potential and achieve personal growth.

Personal growth is achieved through reading to develop language and literacy skills for self-expression.

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Encourage Young Readers 

Reading is essential for academic success, so it’s always early enough to teach your child literacy skills.

From helping them learn the alphabet and phonics to fostering a love of reading in young learners, encourage literacy in various formats.

Encouraging young readers to fall in love with literature is one of the best gifts you can give them.

With the right strategies and resources, you spark creativity and a lifelong passion for books!

Find out how to motivate your children and foster a positive relationship with literature, helping them develop the vocabulary for self-expression.

Read Regularly and Out Loud

One of the best ways to foster a love of reading in your young reader is to read regularly and aloud.

Make sure they have access to interesting books and take time each day to read together.

Not only will this help improve their reading abilities, but it also provides an enjoyable bonding experience for both of you.

Additionally, as your child gradually builds confidence, they may enjoy reading aloud!

Set Up a Library or Reading Corner in Your Home

Setting up a library or reading corner in your home is an excellent way to create a space devoted to reading.

You can devote an entire room or designate a particular area as the designated reading spot.

Make sure there is comfortable seating and plenty of books, magazines, and other printed materials.

In addition, stock up on items related to children’s literature to encourage and further incentivize children’s love of reading.

Look for Reading Opportunities Everywhere 

As a parent, you can provide support and incentives to increase your child’s love of reading by looking for class assignments or opportunities where literature-related activities can be included.

Encourage your kids to read books before and after movies, research popular novels, or find related items in other mediums based on literature, such as audiobooks, audio dramas, etc.

Offer rewards for reading particular books or series in a time frame you set and ensure that this practice stays consistent.

The more interest you show and enthusiasm you have, the more likely your child will pick up the same habits.

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Show Enthusiasm About Books and Stories 

When creating a love of reading, you play an integral role by showing enthusiasm and excitement about books.

This includes maintaining your interest in current literature and using it to help encourage your young reader.

For example, discuss the books’ themes, introduce characters as passing references in other conversations, or express admiration for inspiring stories and exciting plot twists.

Doing so fosters a relationship between yourself and your child where reading becomes an enjoyable activity they do together with you.

Allow Children to Pick Their Books

One way to foster enthusiasm for literature is by allowing your children to pick their books.

Giving them the freedom to select what content they engage with helps create an atmosphere of curiosity and ownership over the reading process.

Although it may be tempting to offer suggestions or guidance on what they should read, resist that urge and let them explore different titles independently.

As mentioned before, when young readers are given a sense of control, they develop an appreciation for literature that naturally encourages more profound engagement with stories.

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Incorporate Technology and Different Media Types to Read

Technology can be an excellent tool for teaching literacy.

Technology engages children as they develop their reading skills, from online apps to interactive stories and videos.

Incorporating different media types into your child’s learning environment will help keep them interested and motivated to become better readers!

Develop Understanding Through Discussion

Please encourage your child to engage more with their reading by asking questions and having in-depth discussions about the text.

Consider questions to ask your child to think critically, such as:

  • “What do you think will happen next?”
  • “How could they have solved that problem differently?”
  • “What life lessons were learned from what happened in the story?”

Asking these questions engages your child on a deeper level with the language.

It encourages their understanding of context clues and inferences about the text.

Involvement and conversation stimulate active reading, which helps them to comprehend challenging or unfamiliar content better.

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Develop a Personal Literacy Narrative

One fun way to encourage your children to develop a love of reading is to share your very own literacy narrative.

Begin by talking about your journey of how you first learned to read.

Then, pick out some favorite books that meant something special to you and show them to the kids.

This helps strengthen the bond between parent and child and nurture their fondness for literature.

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Personal Literacy Narrative Example

This is my personal literacy narrative.

A personal literacy narrative is an autobiographical account of our story, how we learned to read, and the special meaning of reading in our lives.

It was fun to create, and I enjoyed sharing it with my children.

My Philosophy

We all have unlimited potential.

This is the foundation of my career.

Background, experience, ethnicity, socio-cultural roots, language, intellectual and emotional capacities, and desire are all woven into the fabric of our learning potential while creating space for self and others.

Working with people from all walks of life for more than two decades has inspired me to live my truth and always keep learning and sharing.

My Story

With Metis roots, I was born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.

In recent years, I have been named “Mah-Nis-Da-Gee” (Woman of Many Tribes) by Blackfoot Elders.

My Chinese colleagues named me 苏晓蝶 (Beautiful, Dawn, Butterfly).

These names have shaped my identity as an educator, author, mother, and grandmother.

Suzanne Marie with two northern pikes.
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My Hometown

I grew up in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.

Our hamlet, Dore Lake, had approximately one hundred citizens year-round.

Because it is a community rich in tourism, hunting, trapping, and commercial fishing, people would travel worldwide to visit.

Five hundred and fifty square miles of a freshwater lake in the middle of the boreal forest, we spent most of our time outside.

Saskatchewan Canada map of Suzanne Marie's hometown Dore Lake.
My hometown is Dore Lake, Saskatchewan.
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Our small hamlet in Dore Lake was two hours from groceries, doctors, police, and emergency services.

We were right in the middle of a boreal forest with gravel road access that was sometimes inaccessible due to heavy rainfall or snowfall.

We typically traveled one hour to a local small town for mail and two hours to a larger town for supplies, doctors, hairdressers, etc.

My Family Environment

My family owned Dore Lake Lodge, and I was served coffee and ice cream in our restaurant as soon as I could walk and talk.

My dad had a plane and grass airstrip as some of our tourists would travel from other provinces or the United States with their planes.

My dad’s plane was sometimes our only means of travel if there were heavy rainfalls or forest fires.

Our community was remote and isolated but bustling with activity.

Our lodge was open from May long weekend until October long weekend.

In the winter months, we would snowmobile, cross-country ski, skate, play hockey, and curl at our community curling rink.

Dore Lake Lodge old brochure with Suzanne Marie as a toddler holding a fish in the picture.
Home in Dore Lake, Saskatchewan.
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Television reception was in and out, and depending on the weather, my dad would turn the antenna outside the lodge.

By turning the antenna, we might have been able to see Hockey Night in Canada or the National News.

I grew up watching Star Trek on Saturday mornings and hockey on Saturday nights.

Disney was my favorite Sunday time for one hour.

When I couldn’t be outside because of the weather, and besides this limited access to television, I read, did arts and crafts, listened to 8-track audiobooks, and played music.

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My School

I attended a one-room classroom school and remember starting Kindergarten in 1980.

Mrs. Snell was my teacher, and we were downstairs in our school. I remember playing at recess and being introduced to Jack and Jane’s books.

Grade 1 was with Miss Janet Morris. She managed kindergarten to grade 8.

Grade 9 was correspondence, and students needed to travel to another community of their choice for high school.

At most, we had twenty-nine students, and the least was nine.

Janet was our teacher, principal, nurse, counselor, coach, mentor, and friend. I admire her and remain in contact with her through Facebook.

She was my inspiration to teach and, particularly, to teach my children about phonics.

I remember my ‘Hooked on Phonics’ (1980) workbooks and my interest in learning to read.

I remember her telling me,

“Suzanne, if you learn how to sound out a word, you will be able to read any word in the world.”

Miss Janet Morris (Circa 1980s)

I told my daughters the same thing. My upbringing and experiences in the classroom were a blessing.

Suzanne Marie in school picture with class from Dore Lake, Saskatchewan Canada
Dore Lake, Saskatchewan school picture- circa 1980s.
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Literacy Development

My reading skill developed very quickly because I was so interested in learning about life out in the world, outside of Dore Lake.

I wanted to explore and see the world, and I started as soon as I learned how to read maps and encyclopedias.

Early Reading Experiences

I loved reading the encyclopedias, so full of knowledge and interesting facts. I would sit with an encyclopedia on my lap and spin the globe. Then, I would stop the globe randomly and look up the country I pressed my finger on to learn about their culture, language, history, and anything about them.

As I got older, I started reading anything I could get my hands on. Our little school library was limited, and I had read all of the books in no time.

Tourists would leave books, magazines, and newspapers, and some regular tourists would bring me books each year to read that were age appropriate. I am laughing as I write this as age appropriate was rare with what the tourists left behind.

Middle School Years

As my reading skills and habits developed, I read:

  • Western Producer, an agricultural newspaper published monthly in western Canada.
  • Maclean’s magazine, a Canadian magazine about news and politics published weekly.
  • The Star Phoenix, a daily newspaper from our closest city that we would get on the weekends when tourists would bring them,
  • Harlequin romance novels, Jackie Collins novels (so filthy!), Sidney Sheldon novels, Danielle Steele novels, and quarterly hunting and fishing magazines.

By reading these topics readily available, I learned a lot about life, relationships, politics, communication, and human needs in my readings.

High School Years

Janet was my teacher until my parents bought a house and hired a nanny in a city four hours away.

Moving for grade 8, I commuted by bus to work on the weekends at our lodge until the winter season.

At the time, Saskatoon had approximately 200,000 people, and we had a huge library in our school.

I became interested in reading about world history, Egypt, Africa, and the environment.

Social studies and history were my favorite topics besides art and music, and I would spend hours consuming anything I could about these topics.

Shakespeare and Chaucer were also my favorite reads; this is where I became interested in linguistics.

Realizing we had old and modern English changed my life, and I was interested in learning about English’s history and language development.

Interests in Literacy

In Canada, we also have to learn French in school so I was learning about French history along with the language until grade 12.

At this time in my life, I was also exposed to Spanish and fell in love with the language and Mexican culture.

We traveled to Mexico frequently, and I felt whole when immersed in another culture and language.

I read about France and Mexico and continue to read about countries and languages before I travel. I did the same when I traveled to Tanzania, Africa in 2018.

As an adult, I started reading best sellers at the time. Having read all of the romance and explicit novels as a young girl, I was interested in books like ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’(Golden, 1997), ‘A Fine Balance’ (Minstry, 1995), ‘The Poisonwood Bible (Kingsolver, 1998), and many more.

These books fed my desire to learn about other lands and cultures in our world. I would read every night and explore the world through the eyes of the authors.

Literacy Habits

When our girls were young, I read to them every night. When I was pregnant, I bought them books, read, sang, and told them stories.

Both of my girls love to read to this day and growing up. They always had a library full of books.

In addition, we would go to the library every weekend and replenish our reading for the week ahead.

It was bliss to sit and read together in the evenings after homework and bath time, and they would tell us their stories and what they liked about them.

I always believed children who love reading would excel in academia.

Since I had grown up in a home with limited television, I never took an interest in watching shows, so my girls would have tv time for a show or two a day or on the weekends.

Then they would read, play outside, swim, do arts and crafts, and spend time with their horses.

My Literacy Journey Today

Today, I enjoy listening to audiobooks. I like listening to the authors’ voices as they read their novels. When I am home, I will turn on an audiobook, and when I am out, I have my headphones listening to their stories.

I’m writing nonstop. I have two published books about conflict management for teens and life. In 2022, I published my children’s book, ‘Ada and Her Magic Feather.’

Inspired by my grandmothers, parenting, and life experiences, this series is about how to teach children about values, starting with setting healthy boundaries in relationships.

My blog includes key themes around teaching teens conflict management, conflict resolution, and communication. I also include personal development stories and my adventures.

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The power of reading is immense and should not be underestimated.

It opens up limitless opportunities for kids to explore the world, learn new topics and give them a sense of accomplishment.

Through reading, children experience information that cannot be found elsewhere.

Most importantly, it builds confidence in their capability to grasp knowledge and ideas.

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time,


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A Fine Balance. (2010).


Memoirs of a Geisha. (2013).

The Poisonwood Bible. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2021, from  

The Rainbow Fish. (2009).

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Weekly Inspiration in Your Inbox

Creating value for yourself and those around you is important to living a fulfilling life. To help guide you on your journey, I offer free content to help you slow down and reflect on where you are.

Premium content offers more detailed and insightful navigation.

Subscribe today, and every Tuesday, I’ll stop by your inbox with a story and practical reminders tailored toward helping you reach your fullest potential to live a fulfilled life.

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