Summer vacation is often associated with leisurely days of kicking back and relaxing with a good book. Without the hustle and bustle of the school year, the summer months provide time to tackle that list of books you’ve been dying to read. For many of us, this sounds like near perfection, but for many of our kids, summer and reading don’t naturally go together. Some students aren’t naturally drawn to books and would rather spend summer days pool side or playing with friends.
Aside from the summer reading packet (for which many kids devote the third week of August to starting and finishing) there are a lot of kids out there who, if left to their own devices, wouldn’t pick up a book all summer long. These kids spend the school year reading books assigned in class that aren’t always of interest. They begin to associate reading as a chore and shy away from the activity come June. So what can parents do to turn this around and help students engage with reading this summer?
Summer reads for all ages
Summer is a great time to pick up a book for pleasure on a topic of interest. So what are some engaging options out there for kids? Liar & Spy is the third book by Newberry Medal Winner Rebecca Stead. A New York Times Bestseller, Winner of the Indies Choice Book of the Year Award, and an ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for young adults, this goofy and fun mystery is targeted for students in grades 4-8. John Green’s Looking for Alaska is a coming of age tale with a shocking twist sure to captivate the reader. A winner of the Printz Award, this novel is sure to appeal to teenagers. For little ones, try The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus. A humorous tale geared towards students having just completed, or about to begin, their first year of school, is certain to have kids laughing out loud.
Interested in exploring other titles to engage your student? Check out The American Library Association’s website, ala.org. A quick search of best books for young adults will provide you with a list of titles to entice even the most reluctant reader this summer. What topics interest your child most? Summer is a great time to explore interests and engaging books on related topics.
Take a trip to the local library and have each child choose a book. Have each family member select a pleasure book to read during your week at the beach and make reading a family activity associated with a fun and relaxing vacation. Explore audio books and e-readers. I was speaking with a dad in Reston, Virginia the other day and he mentioned his son loves reading on the Kindle. Kids are often much more inclined to read an e-book than a traditional paperback. Make reading a fun, family activity this summer – It may be just what your student needs to help spark a lifelong love of reading!