How do you keep your kids reading all summer? And how do you steer your kids to books that will make them fall in love with reading? Here are a few tips and recommendations from our associate publisher and mother of three, Rebecca Glaser.
Librarians Are Awesome
Visit your local public library and rely on the expertise of the children’s librarians. They are trained in Reader’s Advisory and have wide knowledge of recent and popular books. If your library is open, make a weekly trip and browse the shelves together.
Let Kids Choose
Let your kids choose what to read—whether that’s a book that’s too easy, too hard, too graphic, or too much of anything that wasn’t what you read when you were a kid. It’s easy to think that because YOU fell in love with reading that title as a kid, they will too. Maybe. Maybe not. If they’re reading something else, it’s okay! (My kids love manga and fan fiction.)
Encourage their natural curiosity about the world. What do they observe? What do they wonder about? There’s probably an age-appropriate nonfiction book about that topic! And reading a book will give them a more in-depth background than a quick search on your phone.
Build a Home Library
I can’t even count the number of times my kids want a new book at odd hours, when there’s no chance the library’s open. And books are the one thing I’m almost always willing to splurge on—but I can never pass up a bargain, either. Look for sales!
We love helping match the right books with the right readers. Here are a few recommendations to keep kids reading and learning this summer.
Tails and Tales
This year’s summer reading theme, sponsored by the Collaborative Summer Library Program, is “Tails and Tales.” In I’ve Got a Tail, zoologist Julie Murphy explores fascinating adaptations of animals. Which animal uses its tail as a tripod? Which uses their tail as bait for prey? Filled with animal trivia, share this beautiful picture book with the animal lovers in your life.
Making a Difference
You don’t have to be grown up to make a difference. Inspire kids with the Sequence biographies The Life of Ruby Bridges and The Life of Malala Yousafzai. And for budding young activists, explore You Can Make Changes: Petition or Ignore? from our choose-your-own-ending Making Good Choices series.
Some kids don’t learn just by reading, they learn by doing. Encourage self-directed experiments and craft activities by sharing the books in our Adventures in Science series. Can you cook s’mores with a solar oven built out of a pizza box or make a coin dance on a bottle? Check out our free STEM activity downloads.
Just for Fun
Don’t overlook the power of a favorite sports figure or favorite animal to engage young readers. Check out Pro Sports Biographies for powerful stories of both male and female athletes. Favorite Dog Breeds, Favorite Cat Breeds, and Favorite Horse Breeds are great for young animal lovers.
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