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When Movies Inspire Kids to Read

As a kid, I LOVED to read. You would find me 99% of the time with a book in hand.

That has carried into my adult life as well. I keep my Kindle Fire full of goodies to read at the touch of a button. Luckily, that love for reading seemed to pass on to my daughter. From early on, she was very interested in books and what they had to offer. My boys are another story; it can be like pulling teeth to get them to read. Thankfully, books that have been made into movies always help with that.
A few years ago when the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie came out, my entire family headed to the theater to see it. The trailers looked hysterical, so we were excited to make a family day of it. As expected, the kids laughed through the movie and it reinforced what a good idea it was. Just how good of an idea, I didn't realize until later.
A few days after the movie, all three of my kids (the girl who loves to read AND the boys who would rather not) were begging me to pick up the first in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. My kids …. begging to read. I was so excited, I didn't pick up just the first book but every single book in the series that was out at the time. I may have gone a little overboard, but if my kids were going to read this book, I had an inkling it would lead to reading the rest of the series.
How right I was! Both boys loved the books and read through them all. As my daughter got a little older, she dove right into them as well. It made me so excited to see them wanting to read book after book. Thankfully, with movies (that had books out before, mind you) like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and a few others, my kids want to read now more than ever. 
Not only does seeing a movie based on a book get them excited about reading, but after reading the books, it gets them anticipating when the next movie in a particular series will come out.  
Take Percy Jackson, for example. My oldest saw the movie and then started in on the books and has been reading each one as it comes out. Now, he is taking that excitement he had over the book, and is counting down to the release of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. That means more family fun at the movies for us.  
He is hoping they decide to make a movie out of every single one, and I, as a mom, am totally okay with that. I can't even begin to tell you how many talks we have had about Roman Gods, Greek Gods, and plenty of other topics touched in the Percy Jackson series. What's even cooler is I know he will learn about this stuff in high school history, like I did, and have a feeling that because of the books and movies, it will get his undivided attention.  Who knew movies could impact even their grades!
I am definitely keeping a watch for upcoming films that may inspire the next book series my kids want to read. It may take seeing the movies to get my kids interested in reading for a bit longer, but as long as it gets them to read, I consider that a win!
Toni is the Founder and Editor of A Daily Dose of Toni, where she shares thoughts about travel, entertainment, parenting mishaps, recipes, and everything in-between. To read more by Toni, visit or follow her on Twitter @ToniPatton.
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