Cole Nina of Earth, DEAR, Drop Everything and Read Day

What Are Your Kid’s Drop Everything and Read Books?

Drop Everything and Read Books

Today, Thursday, April 12, is Drop Everything and Read Day. National D.E.A.R. Day is a special reading celebration to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis a family priority.

D.E.A.R. Day spokesperson Ramona Quimby says: “April 12th will be a busy day for me since that is also Beverly Cleary’s birthday, but I always can find time to read. I am going to tell everyone in my family to Drop Everything and Read on April 12th. We can do it right at home or to make the day more special, maybe go to the library or a bookstore.”

How about you? Are you going to drop everything and read this Thursday? Do it for Ramona and for Beverly Cleary. Do it for your kids. Do it for yourself.

My kids have DEAR day at school sometimes and it’s their one of their favorite times. There was even a DEAR day when they were allowed to go in pajamas. I think the idea of Drop Everything and Read is a powerful one. It means that reading is important. Kids also learn that they can focus and read since their peers are doing it. And, magically, the more children read, the easier and more enjoyable it becomes.

I have a young reluctant reader friend who refers to those few precious books as Drop Everything and Read Books because it’s a book that he will drop everything — TV, computers, DSi, Wii, XBox, play dates — to read his book.

I think the trick is to find commonality in the books that your child considers a DEAR book. If Diary of a Wimpy Kid is such a book and your child has finished the series, find other books like it. I have a post on Spawn of Diary of a Wimpy Kid if this is what you need.

At my house, my first grade son (age 7) is knee-deep in Ninjago Legos. His first DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) beginning chapter book is … ta da the Ninjano chapter books!

I am actually shocked that this is the early book series that he finds enthralling. He wasn’t a kid that into Legos and these Lego characters are rather wooden in expression and do not even possess fingers!

It could be that he like karate and this is a series on karate. The books are actually enjoyable to read and what might be another clue as to its appeal is that each book has 3 short stories. There is always a very short story by Sensei Wu about how he found and recruited each ninja. The other two stories are action adventures that have a supernatural bad guy, his bumbling but martial art fighting skeleton minions, and very limited violence.

There is also a Ninjago graphic novels series that I suspect are next on my son’s agenda. These look more advanced.

The Ninjago Reader series are probably our next purchase. Am I a lunatic by being so bothered that by the lack of fingers? My son thinks so.


The appeal of the Ninjago chapter books could be that they are tied to toys, apps, and TV shows. There is a lot to be said in being immersed 360 degrees in this fantasy world.

My son now has asked for the Ninjago legos, but is very specific about which kits he wants. Usually they are vehicles.

He is also playing Ninjago apps. I found them on my iPhone. The apps are free so when he asks if he can download a free app, I generally say yes.

I am also noticing that he tapes and watches with great anticipation new episodes of the Ninjago cartoon. The animation does not seem to bother him. Nor the fact that the Ningago warriors can barely change expression, being a Lego piece and all. And the ultimate horror: the lack of fingers. Instead, a crude yellow half circle to grip.

At the end of day, I am grateful to these heroes of Spinjitzu who have managed to make my squirmy, screen obsessed son drop everything and read. Perhaps there is more power in those yellow hooks for hands that I realize.

To view any Ninjago item more closely at Amazon, please click on small images of books or toys.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. for my son it’s the Percy Jackson series, or anything by Rick Riordan really.
    for my daughter it’s the Diary of a Wimpy kid series.

  2. Dee

    Mia, I love that your son’s DEAR book is a Ninjago book. That makes me feel so much better! He has one; I’ll have to get more.

    His DEAR books were the Dragon Breath until all of a sudden, no dice. No interest. What happened?? Now he’s barely reading anything. Only parts of his Boys Life magazine. He’s even bored with my reading the Guardians of Ga’hoole (and I am not ready to quit, I enjoy it too much!).
    Dee recently posted…Spring BreakMy Profile

    • To Dee,
      I know, it’s the cobbler’s kids have no shoes. It’s kinda funny that my son likes the Ninjago series most of all! Ah well, if you can’t beat them, join them.

      As for your son, has he tried Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? That seems popular with every kid I know. If you want to give me a list of what he liked, and what his interests are, I’d be delighted to suggest a list for you.

  3. Ann

    I am going to have to get this series! My son loves Lego and LOVES the Ninjago series on TV (which I think is pretty good).

    It is definitely all about finding the books they will like no matter how hard you have to look!
    Ann recently posted…Free Bird JournalMy Profile

    • To Ann,
      Sometimes it does feel like searching for a needle in a haystack when kids hit a picky phases of book selecting but, like all things, this too shall pass. I think just powering through by giving lots of choices to kids of different kinds of reading material and being persistent can turn the corner. And it’s amazing how much a year can make! Let me know what your son thinks of the Ninjago series. Thanks!

  4. My two little ones love this cartoon. What I enjoy is the level of thinking I see it spawn. They’ll pull out whatever toys they have or improvised toys they have and spend a lot of quality time together without technology and what’s really cool is there attempt to keep us involved in the story line by reading to “us” the story.
    Carmelo Grajales recently posted…te-no-uchi1My Profile

    • To Carmelo,
      I am so glad your kids love Ninjago too! I love that they are able to use their imaginations to take it to a new level by “reading” you the story. I am so amazed how motivating this cartoon/toy is as a tool to get kids reading!

  5. choxbox

    For my sixth grader – anything that is printed is DEAR.

    For my first-grader it has to be Betty G.Birney’s Humphrey series.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge