SUMMER READING…FOR FUN?

SUMMER READING”¦FOR FUN?

Simple Solutions to Get Kids Reading this Summer

The number of children and teens reading for fun is on the decline. Instead of offering the depressing statistics on this issue (just Google “children’s literacy statistics” for the gory details), let’s focus on possible solutions to turn the summer of 2012 into a summer of pleasurable reading!

  • Go where the books are””most likely a library or bookstore. Getting book-in-hand is the first step. Taking it further (and this will require some planning), find out when there’s an author signing books or speaking, or a storyteller in the house. Maybe it’s just me, but like being at a rock concert,

    there’s something contagious””a certain energy””when you’re surrounded by the feel and smell of books, hearing their words spoken, or their creator sharing back story. It gives the prospective reader a sense of ownership.

  • Let them choose. As much as I’d like my daughter to meet Anne (with an E) Shirley and devour Anne of Green Gables, it may not be her thing”¦and that’s okay. Let them find their own literary BFFs.
  • It’s not the end if they don’t reach “The End””¦especially if there wasn’t a huge investment involved. (Can you say, I love the library?!) Not every book is for everybody. Eventually they’ll find that magical book that carries them away. Once they’ve experienced this, they will seek out their next literary adventure.
  • Get book recommendations from friends””yours, and most importantly, your kids’. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Sometimes we just have to ask. There are also numerous online sources offering recommendations as well.
  • Post a list of finished books on the refrigerator or other prominent location in the house. This gives the reader a visible sense of accomplishment and offers a record of their progress. Go a step further and offer a review or rating (1 to 5 stars). Voilà“”the next book critic is born!

Tamra Torero is the mother of nine readers and author of the recently released YA novel, Shayla Witherwood: A Half-Faerie Tale. Learn more about Tamra at www.shaylawitherwood.com .