Summer Reading for Young Readers

School’s out. How can you motivate your young reader to actually read?

You know that reading is important. I taught elementary school for eight years, and it was always clear in the fall which kids had read over the summer and which hadn’t. Of course, there are lots of kids who just enjoy reading and who will spend an hour or more gladly each day with a book, with no prompting. If yours isn’t one of those, I think the key is to provide reading materials that he/she enjoys.

Allow me to make a couple of suggestions for young readers who can read Berenstain Bears and other “picture books.” They’re ready to transition to chapter books, but perhaps those that are not so lengthy and wordy that they’re intimidating.

May I suggest Sophie, Pay Attention (Rhoda, You Too)! It’s the tale of a girl who sometimes struggles to keep all her schoolwork straight, yet feels dejected when her family doesn’t believe her. Believe it or not, Sophie gets her act together after being inspired by Rhoda, a Biblical girl. How does this all tie together? Your child will enjoy finding out!

“A Dog Called Naaman” features another young girl, Megan. Like most kids, Megan would love a dog. After all, she loves her teacher’s dog, who sometimes visits the classroom. But then, the dog dies, and Megan wishes there were a way she could encourage her lonely teacher. Enter another Biblical character (this time, Naaman and his servant girl), and everything works out in the end.

Each book is written for a child at a second or third grade reading level, and either makes a fun read-aloud. They’re available for $2.99 each in Kindle formats at Amazon. Do you have Amazon Prime? If so, you can “borrow” them for free!

No Kindle? No problem. You can download a free app to read Kindle books on your PC, Android, iPad, iPhone, Mac, or Blackberry.

What good books can you recommend for kids’ summer reading?