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The Benefits Of Reading Adventure Books

February 16, 2016 3 min read


You all know that we are fans of reading adventure books. They are like invisible zip lines for your mind!

If you haven't read the adventure series, the Growly Trilogy, you simply must. Blaine and I have fallen in love with this series and we demanded suggested that we share them here at Sassafras Science. 'Cause we didn't want our peeps to miss out on them!

But not only do we get to share these books with you, we get to share a wonderful post from their author, Phil Ulrich.

Let's get rolling...

The Benefits Of Reading Adventure Books

Adventure books, like the Sassafras Science series and the Growly triology, can take your students to places they can only imagine.As a child, I spent a lot of time in our backyard. I would lay on the grass, watching ants scurrying along between the blades of grass or a ladybug climbing a dandelion. I knew almost every plant in the garden, not by name, but by shape and color and how it moved in the breeze and what it smelled like.

I had mapped them all in my mind, not because I had been taught to, but because they were all a part of the adventure story that played out day by day in my mind.

The grass was a tangled jungle.

The dandelion a watchtower.

The leaves of plants were slides and bridges

And the bugs were wild and big and larger than life.

At that age, I never would have said I was particularly interested in nature, but the adventure in my mind drew me into my surroundings, making every little detail vibrant and alive. I couldn’t wait to get outside each day, to discover some new leaf or snail or bug that would become a part of my story.

A good adventure story has the ability to draw us into a world we might otherwise never explore. We come to care about the characters and the things that are important to them. We visit places we would normally never choose to go and sometimes glimpse a little spark of adventure inside us we didn’t know was there. We start to feel like we’re along for the ride too, and we find that we can’t wait to see what’s just around the next corner.

We’re caught up in the story, learning as we go . . . even if we weren’t intending to. Maybe we learn something of how a hang glider works or the sounds of a storm or what it might feel like to wake up under the stars on a wide, rolling ocean. And perhaps when we put the book down, we walk out into our own backyard and see it with a little more wonder.

There will often be questions about the places they hear about, of rivers and rapids and strange customs and foods. “One more chapter!” is often a plea to see what happens to the hero next, but sometimes it’s more. It’s the hope of venturing a little bit further into a world that is coming vividly to life in your child’s mind—a world that you and your child are exploring together.

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Here are a few tips for digging into an adventure book with your child:

  • When you read aloud with your child(ren), build in time at the end to talk about what you’ve just read.
  • When they have questions, dig deeper. Watch for the tidbits of the story that interested them the most and read more about that in another book or online.
  • Sometimes when you’re reading, there isn’t time to dig deeper. (If you’re reading before bed, getting into additional research could make bedtime really rough!) In those cases, make a mental (or actual) note and bring up the discussion again at a better time.
  • Think of questions to help your child imagine what it would be like to be a part of the story.
  • Let your child make up an alternate ending to the book or a chapter. Talk through ways the plot could have gone a different way.

The goal is to allow the adventure in the story to spark curiosity and a love of exploring something new in your child’s heart and mind, and most of all, to enjoy the adventure!


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