As the school year winds down (didn’t it go fast?), now is a good time for our kids to consider what books they’d like to read over the long, hot summer.  Notice how this isn’t presented as an option.  Maybe your family has travel plans, or maybe summer camp is on the schedule.  Sometimes the best summer plan is no plans at all!  After all the sleeping-in and lazy breakfasts; all the swimming and baseball and softball games; all the finding things under rocks and in the night sky; and all the video games and TV time, there will still be time to avoid what Deanna Stecker calls the “summer slide”:

Reading is a skill for life, and, as with any skill, practice is key. Studies have shown that children who read more become better readers. Children who read over the summer months often gain, rather than lose, important skills. When children become better readers, reading becomes a more enjoyable experience, and they want to read more.


I know that lots of kids don’t like reading books.  I get that.  But unless your child has a specific, language-based learning disability — where reading is hard (no one likes to feel frustrated every single day) — there is really no excuse for complaining about reading something every day over the summer.  It doesn’t even need to be a book:  Age-appropriate magazines will work great, and many are even available online for reading on an iPad, Kindle, Nook, tablet, or computer.  If your house receives the newspaper, there’s no reason why a school-aged child can’t read at least part of it every day (even if it’s just the comics).  Looking at pictures in books, magazines, or newspapers (“a picture is worth a thousand words”) — and reading the captions — that’s all reading too!

Here are a few ideas to help get started with your summer reading list!



  • — suggestions, book reviews, and even author interviews for high school readers.


  • From Rebecca Eisenberg:  “95 Young Adult Books To Read This Summer Instead Of Reading ‘Harry Potter’ AGAIN.”




Do your kids have favorite books they’d like to share with The PediaBlog?  Send their favorite titles/authors to or add them to the comments box below!