Summer Reading for Kids and Their Families

Posted on June 21, 2008 at 8:00 am

Happy longest day of the year! And happy summer.

Long summer days are a wonderful time to rediscover the pleasures of reading. Families should make sure that everyone age 7 and older has a library card and make a point of visiting at least 2-3 times a month during the summer. Make friends with the librarians who run the children’s room and see what they recommend. The American Library Association’s website has wonderful resources for finding good books for children and teenagers.

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The Child Literacy Center has some good hints for parents on ways to encourage a love of reading in your children. Keep reading to them even when they are old enough to read for themselves. It is a wonderful way to bring the family together.

In addition to giving children a chance to explore all of the imagination and adventure in books, reading will stretch their attention spans and their vocabularies — essential for getting the most out of school and developing communication skills that are the primary predictor of satisfaction and success in the workplace. Giving your children the love of reading is one of the most important gifts a parent can bestow. That means not just encouraging them to read but demonstrating your own love of reading. Let them see you enjoying a great book. When our extended family goes on vacation, we each bring a book we love and one night we all sit down for a swap. It is one of the highlights of our time together and I have found some great reads that way.

Here are some of our family’s read-aloud favorites:

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4 Replies to “Summer Reading for Kids and Their Families”

  1. This is a daunting list ndeed – but I am impressed by its breadth. For one thing – I am in absolute agreement that adults, especially the serious and solemn type would be well served by reading at least on selections from kiddie lit each month. I firmly believe that Dr. Seuss'”Thidwick” was written for all clergy, medical, educational, and other social service professionals, and anyone else who is in a caring profession. I do love Lloyd Alexander’s Pryddain Chronicles almost as much as Narnia and Middle Earth. And all summer readers should bow in thanks for A. Stratemeyer – the “author” or Nancy drew, the Hardy Boys, and Tom Swift (still my favorite).
    But I even propose reading comic books and Mad. You have to know something to get anything out of these. They are not the wasteland that some of those serious and solemn types once decreed (they need to go back to Thidwick and Horton)If NOTHING else, read The Watchmen. It is probably going to be the best movie next summer. But you have to read it first in order to appreciate what they will be trying to do on screen.
    Any time spent reading anything is time well spent. The other thing is time spent playing Board Games – NOT video games. The interaction and decision making that comes with playing against people with you is critical to later relationships. I have several great ones to suggest that may not be on the usual Big Box Store shelves.

  2. Brava! We’re still reading aloud together at our house, even though the children are long old enough to read on their own. We’ve just finished “To Kill a Mockingbird” and are moving on to a new one — The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, one of this year’s Newberry honor books.

  3. Summer Reading for Kids and Their Families are great, I don’t think I’ve said invisible for years. Everytime it comes out of my mouth it’s “invisibubble.” Scissors are always pronounced “skissors.” More than likely you will be corrected by a little person to which you follow up, “Oh I say skissors because I can’t say scissors.” They of course will tell you that you just said said the word “scissors” to which you flatly deny. And so it goes on…

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