I caught my son reading the other day. He and his wife were sitting together quietly reading their own novels and he appeared to be totally engrossed in the story too!
What’s so unusual about that? You may well ask.
He has almost reached his mid twenties and has resisted reading books all throughout his school life.
My eldest son, on the other hand, has always had his nose in a book, (just like me), from as young as I can remember. So when I produced a son who vehemently refused to read, it was time to delve into all the strategies I was taught to use as an early Primary classroom teacher and more.
At first I couldn’t understand why he struggled so much to read or why he insisted he didn’t like doing it?
Books are everywhere in our house, everyone reads!
It was expected that all our boys would love books, so when he didn’t, I felt like I had failed him.
We read together as a family every night and had plenty of books to choose from, so I couldn’t understand the problem.
What I hadn’t realised was that I was not giving him two things.
1. The chance to choose the book for the family to read.
2. Special one on one time reading together, just us!
Both of these things had to change.
I had to find books that he would like to read, not me, his father or his brothers.
If I couldn’t find suitable books of his choice, then it was up to me to write the sort of stories he would like to read, for him.
Stories to entice boys, funny, quirky humour with a little bit of realism as well as a whole lot of imagination. Stories with great page turning hooks and climaxes that stop a boy from putting a book down to find something better to do.
As he grew I also realised many other boys in my classes could benefit from my ideas and stories, so I began to share them and write specifically for them. I wrote Gingerbread Aliens initially many years ago as a funny story to encourage my son to read. It has developed over the years, the plot has thickened and the story is now long enough to make into a five part series of short chapter books. Now many struggling and reluctant readers, (boys and girls) can share in the fun and enjoy the story as much as my son did when he was growing up.
It’s so wonderful to see my efforts have all worked out in the end. My heart is overwhelmed with joy when I see my son reading for pleasure and I know I have done something right after all.
Gingerbread Aliens is available for purchase right here on my website. Click on the link in the box below.

The first in the Bradberrie Brothers Alien Adventure. Short chapter book for 5-10 yr olds, early and reluctant readers.
The first in the Bradberrie Brothers Alien Adventure. Short chapter book for 5-10 yr olds, early and reluctant readers.

From Reading Challenge to Reading Success.

Sandra Bennett


I write children’s short chapter books and picture books for early and reluctant readers. Boys and girls struggling to learn to read and ESL students. My books are light, humorous and entertaining for the entire family.


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