Better Summer Reading (or What’s New @ The Reading Tub, Part 2)

summer readingI can already hear the moans – from you AND your kids. Summer reading can be a dreaded chore, especially if there is “required” reading involved.

We feel your pain on the “required” reading, but that doesn’t have to define your summer! Let’s turn things around and focus on how summer reading can spark or re-ignite a love of books. It’s easy …

  • Let kids pick their own books.
  • Look for humor – kids love to laugh and silliness usually keeps them turning the page.
  • Find book lists to give you ready-made options on something they already love.
  • Watch a few movies.
  • Use book lists!

Book lists are an amazing tool for the literacy toolbox. They group “like” books together – whether it is by audience, subject, or even other books. Here’s an idea: use a book list to reserve some books using your library’s online catalog. It’s a great opportunity to check out some books, especially if the library isn’t open.

Book Lists for the Things Kids Love

summer booksNot only is it easy to find book lists on the new website, we give you multiple ways to hone in on that next great read. We have several themed book lists built around books we’ve reviewed, but the heart of this section are the collections that share other people’s recommendations.

By Theme lets you search topically. From Adoption and Adventure to Transportation and Weather, there are more than 250 ready-for-you book lists (and countless books within those lists.

By Audience is exactly as you would expect: reading suggestions grouped by your child’s age. Many of these lists have been created by librarians and teachers … both of whom know their stuff!

Read Alikes is my personal, go-to list. These book ideas are based on a book or series your child already loves. Think something like “if you liked Harry Potter, then you might like …” and you’ll get some recommendations that are similar to Harry. FWIW – You can find Read Alike lists on our By Theme page, too.

Did you notice the All @ Summer list? That is a curated list of our favorite books that have something to do with summer. From family vacations to summer sports, you’ve got plenty to choose from. I love, love, love that we can have seasonal lists now.

Book Lists for the Reader Who Needs a Nudge

movies books firstTry movies! There are plenty of books that have been become movies.

Those dog days of summer will be here before you know it. The kids won’t want to go outside and you want to pre-empt the choruses of “I’m Bored.”

Might we suggest some book-related movies? You might opt for a film festival (without an actual book component) or you may choose a “Critics Circle” where you compare book to movie (or vice versa). Using both media is a great way to get in some literacy time.

Whether or not you include the “which is better” comparison, talking about a movie is an opportunity for kids to put on their thinking caps (i.e., they have to explain WHY they did [or didn’t] like something.

Additionally, following along with the dialogue is a chance to continue expanding our word banks.

Book Lists for “Play Dates”

We think of reading as a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. For some kids, reading might “go down” better if they have someone to read with. When a sibling doesn’t work, partner with another family. Talk to the parents of your child’s friend and make a plan.

  • Maybe the kids get together once a week for an hour of reading and an hour of gaming.
  • Maybe its a regularly scheduled trip to spend an hour at the library.
  • Maybe its a book club.

In the same way we listen to a friend’s recommendation about a store, kids listen to each other about books to read. A book club can be a group of people reading the same book or it can be a group of people talking about what they just read (or are reading). It might even be a group of people who bring a book and read on their own for a set amount of time, then have snacks and socialize. The skies the limit.

If you’re looking for books to prompt great discussions, we’ve got a book list for that.

Now its your turn …

What are your favorite sources for book lists? We’re always growing our collection, so if you have a suggestion, send Terry an email with a link to the list and why you love it.