« back to articles


BCing with your child
by guinaveve
June 22, 2005
I had enjoyed BookCrossing for about 6 months when it dawned on me how much my son, then 7 and an avid reader himself, would love it too. We brainstormed a screen name reflecting his interests, and created a virtual bookshelf for him that now has over a hundred books on it.

It has been a great way for me to share my love of reading with my son. He is now at an age where he is spending more time reading to himself instead of having me read to him. Whenever he finishes a book, we sit down at my laptop, and he dictates to me a basic plot description and his thoughts about it. He enjoys doing a mini-book report with me. I love that I am getting a solid idea of his reading skills and comprehension. It is also an opportunity to discuss the content of what he is reading.

We have found that BC has many of the same advantages for kids as it does for adults. He now has a friends list made up other young BCers. Looking at their shelves has given him ideas about other books that we seek out when we are purchasing for him. He has a Flat Stanley project in progress based on the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown which is an idea we saw on someone else’s BC shelf.

Teaching children Internet safety is important, so we have a couple of safety precautions. His PMs are turned off, and his profile directs any inquiries to me. I also put any book he intends to pass along on my own BC shelf so that we can receive journal alerts later as he does not have his own email account he checks.

BookCrossing has been nothing short of a wonderful experience for both of us. It is a fun and educational activity to share with my child, one both he and I truly enjoy.

Editor's note: Children are our most precious resource - a
gift we as adults are charged with keeping safe. BookCrossing
shares your concern regarding their safety. For young children, we highly encourage adult participation and supervision for *any* Internet activity, including our own site.

As BookCrossers ourselves, the policy of the editing team when releasing children's books is to consider the safety of the child first. We wouldn't want any child endangered because of an action on our part. Therefore, we choose release locations very carefully, and are equally aware when journalling a book. For example, choose a release location such as
"the shopping center on Main St. and Elm" rather than "the school bus
stop in the shopping center at Main and Elm". Or, leave children's
books at an OBCZ, donate to a classroom, or simply leave in the wild
with no BookCrossing release note at all. In some cases, we have even foregone
the BCID altogether, thinking it was better to get the book into the
hands of a child, rather than frustrate one who had no access to a
computer. Finally, feel free to send a RABCK (Random Act of BookCrossing
Kindness) to BookCrossers who have children of the age for the book, or
offer it up in the forum for trade or RABCK.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.