Rowan of Rin is the first book in a series of fantasy books for children written by Australian author, Emily Rodda.
This is the book that entranced my seven-year-old son so much that he grew from being reluctant reader into a super-enthusiastic reader.
If you've had a bit of a look around www.best-books-for-kids.com you'll probably know that I firmly believe all children can become capable, keen readers and that it's really important to encourage this process.
But some kids need more help than others to get excited about reading.
As well as reading aloud, parents may need to spend time looking for the right book for their child.
Often this is all it takes: the right book at the right time will motivate any child to read, however reluctant they are to begin with.
For my son back in 2002, Rowan of Rin was absolutely the right book at the right time and I'll be forever grateful to Emily Rodda for writing such a wonderful tale.
The first book in the series - Rowan of Rin - was published in 1993 and won the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year award in 1994. Every book in the series has been short-listed for the award.
So what's the storyline of the Rowan of Rin books?
The very brief version is that the hero of the books, Rowan, doesn't believe he has a brave heart but, when the river that supports his village of Rin runs dry, he must join a dangerous journey to its source in the forbidden Mountain.
To save Rin, Rowan and his companions must conquer not only the Mountain's many tricks, but also the fierce dragon that lives at its peak.
The books in the series are:
1. Rowan of Rin
3. Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal
Rowan of Rin is probably best suited to readers aged about 8-10 years. As a read-aloud book, it's brilliant to share with 6-8 year olds.
Don't forget that reading aloud to older children - kids who can read independently - is a wonderful way to share special time with them, while enabling them to share books that may be a bit too hard for them to read all on their own.
It's also a great tactic to use with reluctant or struggling readers because it builds positive feelings about books and reading while taking the pressure off them for a bit.
With 176 pages, Rowan of Rin is not too daunting for reluctant young readers and the fact that it’s Book 1 in a series of six books is wonderful.
If your child enjoys it as much as mine did, you’ll probably find yourself rushing to the library or bookshop as soon as he finishes each book to get the next one which he absolutely has to have NOW!
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