Tuesday, January 3, 2012

GUEST POST: "Do You Have A Reluctant Reader?" - by Karen Pokras Toz

KAREN POKRAS TOZ author of “Nate Rocks the World” asks DO YOU HAVE A RELUCTANT READER?

It finally happened – my 14 year old finally said the words I had been patiently waiting for – words that inspire me to write books for middle grade children. Yesterday afternoon, he sat down on the couch with me as I was reading a book on my Kindle and asked:

“Can you show me how that works?”

What? You mean my teen was interested in something book related? Surely, I must be dreaming.

I had to move fast, before something else caught his attention, so I saved my spot and showed him how to manoeuvre around. He was fascinated. He then did something else I never expected. He pulled out his phone and downloaded the Kindle app along with some free books.

Wait it gets better – he actually said, “I think I want to read more.”

Seriously – who stole my fourteen year old? This is the kid who every year scans the school’s summer reading list, finds a book he has already read and proclaims, “I’m done.”

Now, he was actually asking if he could have an Amazon gift card to purchase books.

In reality – his actions validate something I have been thinking about for a few months now: Kids love to read on electronic devices! And while Kindles and Nooks are awesome, all you really need is a computer or phone to begin. The apps are free, and as my son quickly found out, so are several of the books.

So don’t give up parents – there is hope for your reluctant readers! Encourage your children to read every day and prove to the children in your life that reading can be fun!

by Karen Pokras Toz

Nate Rocks can do it all: part super-hero, part all-star athlete, part rock-star… part fourth-grader?

Ten-year-old Nathan Rockledge cannot catch a break. After all, life as a fourth-grader can be hazardous what with science projects to deal with and recess football games to avoid. Everyone, including his best friend Tommy, seems to have bad luck when hanging around Nathan. Throw in an older sister who is a royal pain, a dad who is stuck in the past, and a mom who keeps trying to poison him with her awful cooking, and poor Nathan’s life as a fourth grader appears to be completely doomed.

Armed only with his sketchpad, his imagination, and his wits, Nathan Rockledge navigates the perils of the fourth grade in style, to emergeheroic, as Nate Rocks, proving that even a ten-year-old can accomplish great things.

Follow the quirky and imaginative adventures of ten-year-old Nathan Rockledge as his cartoons come to life.


“Nate Rocks the World” by author Karen Pokras Toz has 22 reviews on GoodReads. Read it here - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11929846-nate-rocks-the-world 



Karen PokrasToz is a writer, wife, and mom. Karen grew up in the small town of Orange, Connecticut and graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Finance. She also attended the University of Richmond, where she studied law and business, receiving both a JD and an MBA. Karen is a member of the Association of Independent Authors (AIA), Independent Author Network (IAN), and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI.) Karen enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three children. In 2011, Karen published her first middle grade novel, “Nate Rocks the World. Karen recently finished writing the next book in the Nate Rocks series: “Nate Rocks the Boat”, expected out this spring.

Website:  www.karentoz.com 


Karen Pokras Toz said...

Thanks so much for having me as a guest today!!

Alan Tucker said...

Great stuff Karen! I had a similar moment when my daughter, who's not a big reader either, told me my book was, "Really cool!" Doesn't get any better than that! Congrats on yours!

Karen Pokras Toz said...

Thanks Alan! Glad to hear your daughter had her moment as well!

James Garcia Jr. said...

Hi, Karen. I think we've met from Novel Publicity. *waves* I, too, have a 14 year old son who reads very well, but chooses not to. He also tries to cheat by using something that he has previously read for school projects. He's actually has started reading more often, which surprises me, but not yet quite the shocker that you had. There's still hope, right? *laughs*
Have a great week and thanks for the post. Thank you, too, Books 4 Tomorrow.


Karen Pokras Toz said...

Hi Jimmy - that's the thing - my 14 yr old is a great reader (in that he's always placed into the accelerated reading classes at school) he just gets so distracted by video games, computers, etc - plus sports & friends & school work. Reading for pleasure never seemed to be on his free-time list before. I think combining reading with the electronics element was key to him - yup there is always hope :) Aren't teens fun?