Everything about reading is changing: the medium with which we read, the content we read, even the style of storytelling changes. It can be challenging for books to compete with the wow-inducing movies and videogames that offer so much stimulation and immediacy. However, in this era of digital everything, the ability to write and read well has never been more important.
For middle schoolers who have trouble following a narrative, sometimes a more exciting alternative is to write their own story. Kids are producing some of the most interesting content on the web today, content that is, obviously, very relevant to other kids. And making their own is a way of “backing them in” to the concept of storytelling with words and images. Here is a list of kid bloggers doing some exceptional and inspiring work that you can show to your kids.
1. Crème de la Crop. She started blogging when she was 9, so by now at the age of 12, Indonesian fashion blogger Evita Meh is pretty great at it. She covers other topics and her photos are really artful and beautiful.http://jellyjellybeans.blogspot.com/
2. Kidblog. This site can help your child start their own blog! It’s very easy and intuitive, you will be amazed by how fast they pick it up: http://kidblog.org/home/
3. Spencer Tweedy. Son of the famed Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, Spencer is a musician himself and a budding photographer. http://spencertweedy.com/
4. Gloson Blog. Gloson is a tech guru from Malaysia. At 13, he is interested in social media and he also has a page entitled “Funny Poetry”. http://www.glosonblog.com/
5. LibDem Child. Maelo Manning is a 12 year old Londoner who comments on politics.http://libdemchild.blogspot.com/
The great thing about blogging is that kids feel capable of developing their own unique voice and seeing their own expressions unfold over time. They also become interested in reading other peoples’ work. This is a great re-entry point for books, because now they are given a context. A lifelong reader has a great relationship with all forms of content and one way to help foster that is to invite them to produce their own stories and interests.