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Book Club for Kids is a podcast where middle school readers discuss the books they love with host Kitty Felde. The author answers questions. A celebrity reads from the book.

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Tips for Creating Lifelong Readers

Filtering by Tag: summer

Tip #60: Summer Reading: Why Should Kids Have All the Fun (And All the Prizes?)

Kitty Felde

Nearly 100,000 kids are signed up for Portland's summer reading program at the Multnomah County Public Library. Young readers who participate can earn tee shirts, theatre tickets, and other prizes. Libraries across the country have similar programs. But what about us grownups? 

Fear not, there's a growing number of adult summer reading programs with some pretty creative prizes. Over in Washington County, Oregon, grown up readers can win a Kindle. At the Bozeman, Montana library, adults readers can earn cooverdue fine forgiveness coupons. At the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the grand prize is a free night at a nice hotel.

But there's a grander prize: when you read in front of your kids, you help turn them into readers.

Carrie Carlson is the media specialist at Oakwood Elementary School in Minneapolis. She says summer reading is the perfect time to model reading for your kids, showing how much you love books. "I think it's important for kids to see adults reading and liking reading," she says.

Carrie says it doesn't really matter what you're reading - sports pages, beachy novels, self-help books. Or you can read along with your kid, taking turns reading what they've chosen to read. "Because I'm a children's librarian," Carrie says, "I actually read the same books they do so then I can really get excited and talk about the books."

She adds a caveat: "I have to be careful not to talk too much about the books I didn't like because that might be the book they love!" Instead, she says she just shuts her mouth and lets the kids tell her what they think.

What are you reading? Do you have a summer reading list you're willing to share? Tweet it to us @bookclubforkids with the #BCKSummerReads.

Tip #40: Keep It Short

Kitty Felde

Reading power

Maybe it's the dog days of August. Or the poison ivy rash that won't leave me alone. Perhaps you, too, are finding it tough to focus on long news articles and fat literary novels. It's time to go short.

That's the reading tip this week from Joanne Lécuyer, author and owner of Topsy Books in Gatineau, Québec, Canada. 
 
Joanne says many parents tell her that long books are daunting for their kids. "They feel that they may not understand the story, that it will take too much time to read the book or that they can't concentrate long enough to get through it."

Joanne's tip for getting distracted readers to enjoy reading? Pick shorter books, possibly with short chapters. "It's also good when there are pictures or illustrations in the book. It's often easier to understand something visually." 

Start small, she says. Set a goal to read one chapter - or even just one page - every day. Those small bites add up. 

And after all, autumn is just weeks away. Time enough to get into shape to tackle the longer, tougher reads ahead.

Tip #36: Stop the Summer Reading Slump

Kitty Felde

Mother Daughter Book Club at One More Page bookstore Episode 10 A Mango Shaped Space .jpg.jpg

About the time I learned how to write my name (a requirement in those days to get a library card) my folks moved to a new house. It was down the street from the local public library. I spent most of my summers plopped down in front of the fiction section, working my way through the stacks. 

I'm still a big fan of public libraries...particularly their summer reading programs. Nearly every library has one: kids are challenged to read a certain number of hours. Those who do are rewarded with prizes.

In DC, if you read at least 8 hours, you get a burrito and free tickets to a Washington Nationals baseball game. Read 28 hours and you could win lunch with a famous author. In Chicago, the mayor put his brand on the challenge: "Rahm's Readers" are required to read AND visit a museum AND create art or a story. Prizes include a free book and a chance at a backpack of books and STEM activities. InSan Diego, if you read at least ten hours, you can earn free passes to the zoo, free pizza or burgers.

Kids may sign up for the bribes, but who cares? Studies show that students who participate in public library summer reading programs score higher on achievement tests when they return to the classroom. 

So take your readers to the library and sign them up!

PS: many libraries have summer reading programs for parents, too!
 

Does your local library have fun rewards for their summer reading program? Let us know! Send us an email.

Tip #15: Saving Summer Brains

Kitty Felde

Readers discuss "The Great Wall of Lucy Wu" at Alexandria's Hooray for Books!

Readers discuss "The Great Wall of Lucy Wu" at Alexandria's Hooray for Books!

My brain is fried in summer. I can only imagine what a kids' brain is like after nine months of school. So perhaps the idea of picking up a book of any kind is a bridge too far.

Well, here's some good news: listening can make you learn even better. In an ATLANTIC article, Emma Rodero, a communications professor at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain says that “listening, unlike looking at a written page, is more active, since the brain has to process the information at the pace it is played.”

Even better news: there is a growing number of new podcasts out there designed specifically for kids - not just about books, but about science and music and all of their interests. Want to know what's out there? Check out the new organization Kids Listen.

So give in to summer brain: grab a cool drink, put on the headphones, and enjoy!


Got a tip of your own? Email us!