A few sisters have emailed me privately about R and what she reads, where to get books from etc. So, thought I would blog about it.
Just to clarify R is currently 7.5 years old mashaAllah, Z – 4, and Y 2.
Books are a huge part of our life. In fact, they were a huge part of my life as a child. My Mother would take us religiously to the library each week and I devoured books as a child and teenager. It was always a dream that my children would have a love of books.
I think my love of books comes from the fact that I was surrounded by books as a child and saw my parents always reading. I think R loves books for similar reasons – we have books at home, go to the library A LOT and she sees me read. I can’t see a child having a great love of reading if they don’t see their parents read.
As for books that she reads, she reads non-fictions, novels, chapter books, magazines – all sorts. I tend to buy books based on her interests so yes, we have quite a few chapter story books/novels on HORSES! I get these very cheap on thebookpeople.co.uk which is great otherwise I couldn’t afford it. We also go to charity shops and a lot of her horse books I’ve bought from there. In fact I bought about 10 of Tilly’s Pony tails from a charity shop in Luton on a trip we went to. Great bargain!
I haven’t found many quality Islamic chapter books out there and this is a disappointment. I have put a few R’s way but I guess the lack of quality made her bored and she didn’t continue reading them.
As for books with magic etc. I think because we spent a lot of time when she was younger talking about why we don’t believe in Magic, what Christmas is, importance of tawhid, not worshipping anything other than Allah etc etc – when she comes across shirk in books she doesn’t feel comfortable and says she doesn’t want to continue anymore as there’s something ‘haram’.
I do not blot out books with concepts that go against Islam though as I feel that she will come across these things and I would prefer to discuss them with her – show her how it doesnt fit in with our beliefs/practises etc. I don’t believe in placing her in a cotton ball and scrutinizing every single book. I trust her and I feel that she is old enough to know blatant shirk and kufr from belief. Naturally, there are some books that are a no no such as romance etc.
So, when we go to the library – she has free reign as to what she picks – I take a quick look and give her the choice/make a suggestion. Eg, recently she took out a historical horror book. I told her what it might be about and she wanted to read it. She began and then 3 chapters in she stopped because it was too scary. I guess she’s very innocent in that she likes books about animals so I don’t have too much to worry about right now.
Even when she’s older, I believe it is important to give her the freedom to choose but to always keep the communication avenues open to discuss anything she may come across in her books as one day she will come across EVERYTHING – so in a way it is preparation. A time and age for everything insha’Allah..