Kids and summer reading
By M.K. Nelson
Okay, now the first rush of freedom from school schedules is over and it really feels like summer. Time to dust off those beach/mountain/cool basement mystery books you stashed away for vacation or put on hold at the library and settle in for a nice long read.
But what about your kids or grand kids?
Picking out mysteries for kids has many components: age appropriateness, interests of the child (NOT just your favorite childhood book or one you think will “improve” them) and popularity with other kids,(yes, those rewrites of a movie they just saw and, never to be undervalued, comic books, count). The internet and teachers (what did your child like this year?) can give you hints to help you chose some great summer reads and so can your local children’s librarian.
But the perfect book alone will not open the magic of summer reading.
You love reading, but if your under fifteen year olds are rejecting reading as the glorious adventure you know it to be, take an inner journey to your own beginnings.
What was it like for you (dedicated reader that you are) :
To be read to?
To go on a trip to the library?
To receive a book as a gift?
No one drops into this world a born reader, even if it feels that way to some of us.
What came before the reading or what came with the reading is the key to creating happy readers.
A trip to the library can be something the whole family looks forward to.The long walk or bike trip to the library (gets the physical jitters out), the time spent talking about book choices, stopping for special snacks on the way home (I recommend cherries and apricots in July) or visiting a park with your new bag of books and a big blanket.. Being read to every night reinforces the connections between reading and comfort and according to some research is the best predictor of future reading habits.
Reading the same book can be one of the great points of contact between adults and kids. Let your kid recommend books to YOU. (MBTB recommends adult -kid co-reads: The Mysterious Benedict Society, Artemis Fowl series, The Books of Elsewhere, Half Magic,and the Enola Holmes books by Nancy Springer.)
Help kids love that trip to the library, bookstore, yard sale or thrift store and get ready for years of happy summer reading.
M.K.‘s middle grade mystery novel, The Royal Red Secret, is available from your local bookstore.
You can catch up with her at cloudcoverstudio.com or ask questions about kid lit mysteries by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org.