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Sibling Reading
by Jodi Jill
July 2, 2001

            I suppose the column title should be titled sibling rivalry instead of reading.  I mean anybody with a brother or sister can relate to the competitive nature caused by living in the same dwelling. Being young and foolish, it is the ultimate measure to do better than the same blood standing right next to you. Obviously, for the reason that is no longer apparent but was substantial at the time when your brother or sister was standing there.

            For some, having a sibling or two could mean being introduced to a subject or thing that would not normally be shown to a child. If one sibling is extremely interested in space, having a bunch of books on the subject in their room will show how much knowledge is available on the subject triggering a thought for the other child to see what is available on Baseball or their favorite subject.

            As parents and educators, showing what is available will definitely help kids figure out the immense sources of resources to learn about anything. In a family situation, a library gives a chance to span the genres and bring together a wide variety while showing that everyone is reading, including their brothers and sisters.  Encouragement in this format could be as simple as going to the bookstore for an hour or sharing a reading hour in the living room.

            On the subject of sibling reading, I guess it would be fair to share how my sister and I used to read. Since we both learned to read later than normal, it was a fierce competition point in our house. We used to ruin the endings of books by telling each other before the other was done reading. Yes, I realize it wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but we were teenagers (that is my only defense.) However, my greatest achievement beating my sister in reading would have had to be when I fed the last two pages of The Prince and the Pauper to the dog. She didn’t realize it until she came to the ending and was piping mad. Becoming even more angered when I wouldn’t share the ending, she threaten that someday she was going to know the ending to every classic book and event in time. I was thinking some big deal at the time, but today I am in awe as she is a professor of history. 

See sibling reading is a great idea, but the kids won’t know it until they’re thirty.

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Submitted by: Copyright © Jodi Jill   Jodi Jill is a retired literary agent. After 12 years of promoting authors, she has turned her focus to promoting literacy in America with the Quit Whining and Read! Literacy Program.  Tell Jodi how much you agree or disagree.

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