I’ll be honest – I burst into tears.

At first I didn’t believe it. Emmett’s friend (who is nine) had been sitting with him looking at a book when she alerted me: Emmett can read. I said, “What?! Really? Are you sure?”

“Watch,” was her response. She pointed to the word car, and Emmett said, “car.” She pointed to tow truck, and Emmett said, “tow truck.” He read tractor, van, jeep, fire truck, police car, ambulance, and motorcycle. He was cavalier, rattling off one word after the other. I, on the other hand, was in tears. What an incredible moment.

Now, to be clear, he was reading words he knows. When we pointed to merry-go-round, he said, “duck.” So he is not yet sounding out just any letter. But he can read familiar words. He can read. My son can read.

Emmett is a vehicle aficionado. He loves all things that move. He plays with cars, trucks, planes, trains. He has vehicle puzzles and games and books. He is constantly surrounded by these words. And without stressing or straining, he has absorbed the words.

At CLiF we know that kids are more likely to read when they choose books based on their own interests. Emmett showed me kids are more likely to learn to read about topics that interest them, too.

As he read aloud to his extremely proud mama, he was not boastful. He was not even aware of the magnitude of this new skill. Frankly, his nonchalance made it even more amazing.

And now I’m looking forward to the night he reads me a bedtime story!

Here are a few of the simple vehicle books we read over and over again:

The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

The Goodnight Train by June Sobel

Otis by Loren Long

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