Harrison absolutely loves reading. When he went back to school after Christmas, he finished the Oxford Tree Reading scheme and became a ‘free reader’. He’s currently reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as his school book, but he also loves reading other books alongside that at home. The problem is, other than a handful of Roald Dahl books I dug out from my teaching days, and some classics, such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, I haven’t got many books for him – all of ours are aimed at younger children. It’s made me realise that I need to start looking at getting him so more ‘grown-up books’, starting with the Harry Potter ones for his upcoming birthday!
In the meantime, we’ve been trialling a brilliant book subscription service from The Reading Chest, which is helping us bridge that gap and exposing Harrison to a range of fiction and non-fiction books, and so far, we are really impressed!
There are various subscription packages, which are talked about in more detail on their website. We have been trialling the gold package, which costs £17.95 a month. For this, you get an initial delivery of six books, and you can return up to three at a time. There is no limit on how many books you can have during your subscription. I think this is a great package if you have fast readers, or want to share them with siblings.
When you sign up, you are prompted to enter your child’s reading level. It does it by age, but there is a guide based on the Oxford Reading Scheme. We opted for the extended reader’s band for Harrison, which is the highest they go up to. There are sample pages from each level to help give you an idea as well.
You can then choose which reading schemes you want to have books from, so you might want to exclude the one your child is using at school (so as not to duplicate) or you can ask for only fiction or non-fiction books. You’ll then get the first delivery of books through the post really quickly – I think ours was the next day.
The first package comes with the books and also includes a sticker chart for your child to mark off when they’re read a book and a handy bag to keep the books and return envelopes safe in. Harrison loved having a package addressed to him, and I think it would really help any reluctant readers. We had a really good selection of non-fiction and fiction books, all nice and short for quick reads in between him reading his longer books. Once we have read three books we pop them back in the return envelope and drop them into the postbox. They are all first class return envelopes and the next selection of books are despatched back to you the same day the returned ones are received, which means that you get your new books really quickly.
I’ve been really impressed with our subscription so far. Harrison is on the final stage so won’t be using it for much longer, but I can see it being a great way of encouraging Alex, who is a more reluctant reader, to pick up a book.
*We have been given a three-month subscription to Reading Chest for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are our own and have not been influenced in any way.