With all the technology our children are surrounded by, it’s sometimes hard for them to realize the beauty of sitting down and getting lost in a good book.
For me, though, that’s always been what’s summer is about. It’s not about reading the books someone else picks for you (namely your teachers at school), but about discovering what interests you. Maybe it’s a book about building robots or a book about how to write your own book or even a book about a famous person.
Parents can be a guiding force in this by taking their children to a bookstore (or a library, whatever works best) and having them spend some time looking through the different titles and see what sticks.
As you explore the store with your child, ask them about the types of book covers they like.
Do they want a first-person story?
Fiction or nonfiction?
Do they want something funny or serious? Adventurous or realistic?
If you can’t find something that they like, ask the librarian or bookseller. They can be a great source of inspiration even for the most reluctant of readers.
Before you head home, encourage them to flip through a page or two to make sure the text will appeal to them. (The last thing you want to do is take home a book based on it’s cover alone only to find your child won’t read it because the font is too small, the chapters are tooooo long or the writing is simply far above their reading level — having a book be a bit above a child’s reading level, but there is a difference.)
At home, make reading a fun activity. Offer up a special reading-only snack or transform a small corner of the house or the back porch into a reading nook. Even better, grab a blanket and have your child sit under a tree and just read 🙂
If your child need some incentive to read, many local libraries and bookstores run reading incentives to kids with rewards
Also encouraging children to read during their summer break, my publisher, Menucha Publishers, is holding a Kids Summer Reading Program with a chance to win some cool prizes. To enter the contest, kids need to track what books they are reading on a reading log and to list their favorite part of the book.
I think the last part — having to think about what they liked best– is what makes Menucha’s contest different from some of the others I’ve seen. It continues the crucial, thinking critically skills that many schools have been focusing on as part of their reading/writing curriculums.
Check out Menucha’s website and check out the amazing selection of children’s books they offer. To join the Summer Reading Program, click for details and get the forms your child needs to register.
Of course, if you are looking for a great series for your daughters to read, consider picking up my Achdus Club books: The New Girl (book 1); Trouble Ahead (book 2) and The Accident (book three). Available through my website, through Menucha Publishers and at Jewish bookstores nationwide.
Let’s Talk: What books are you or your children reading this summer? Comment below.