Reading well takes practice, practice, practice — especially for children! And summer is when reading loss often occurs. Other things are going on – sleep away summer camp, vacation with family or friends, cook outs, day camps for swim, soccer, computer, and a zillion other things – and reading gets put to the side for awhile. But that’s when summer reading is important, especially for newly independent readers who need to keep practicing.
Summer is the opportunity for kids to read what they like. There is no pressure to read something that’s strictly associated with a class or reading something that the child doesn’t have a great deal of interest in. Instead the child can experiment with different genres – maybe he likes to cook or she likes to make things. Being able to follow complex instructions is a valuable reading skill. Maybe he likes graphic novels or she likes history. It’s all good! Reading for pleasure helps kids practice with a subject in which they have an interest and helps them develop an affection for reading so they’ll keep it up even when they are required to read things in which they don’t have much interest.
There are loads of ways to discover new genres and titles.
First and foremost: Visit your local library and talk with the children’s librarian. Librarians can help guide kids to new material and find new titles for favorite genres.
Second: Visit these American Library Association links for lists of titles
- Notable Children’s Books
- Newbery Medal and Honor Books
- Caldecott Medal Books
- Young Adult Library Association Book Awards & Book Lists
Third: Visit the Nutmeg Awards site. The Nutmeg Book Award is sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians (CASL), the Nutmeg Committee is comprised of children’s librarians and school library media specialists who are members of our sponsoring organizations. The committee encourages children in grades 2-12 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of nominated titles.
Last, if not least, visit the Connecticut State Department of Education site to learn more about the 2017 Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge and download some lists of suggested summer reading for appropriate age groups.