Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer Reading

Today is the last day of school in our town. If it hasn’t arrived in your area, it will be here soon. If you haven’t already packed the days ahead with non-school fun, it’s a good time to think about summer reading.

How about your children? Is the thought of release from school studies their eagerly awaited opportunity to read to their heart’s content, or have they slammed the last book shut with a sigh of relief and look forward to not glancing at a page of print for the next three months? Do you, like the libraries, have to offer incentives of special treats and prizes to entice your children not to neglect their books? Either way, we are wondering how we here at Living Books Library can help you make the occupation of reading a bigger part of your children’s lives.

What are your reading plans this summer? Do you need suggestions for books, suggestions for implementing enjoyable reading time, advice for interesting your children in reading at all? What are your hesitancies, fears or apprehensions—basically, what prevents you from having avid readers in your home?

Write and let us know. I plan to list summer reading lists for various ages and tastes all summer. What kinds of books do you need to know about? In addition, I will attempt to thoughtfully answer any concerns you face with reading in your family.

And, what about you, Mom? Now is your time to explore and indulge in books yourself. How can we help you make a plan, spend time in the best books? Again, we will gladly answer your questions for your own reading dilemmas.

We do have one ulterior motive beyond the ultimate one of building a reading culture, and that is feedback. We would be delighted to hear your children’s reaction to the books they read, positive or negative, enthusiastic or apathetic, endorsement or denunciation. We would also like to hear from parents about their successes and failures, attempts and challenges.

The stretch of summer seems long, but we all know the days fly by swiftly. Let’s seize the season and enjoy the sun and savor travels with new friends to new places—many of them in books.

For the joy of reading,

Liz

19 comments:

  1. I'm glad you asked about reading dilemmas--I've been brooding over one this weekend. My almost 7 year old is a struggling, reluctant reader (despite having parents who read, being read to every day, and living in a house stuffed with books). He has responded well to the Dan Frontier and Jim Forest books, but I'm not sure where to go with him after that. There don't seem to be a lot of outdoorsy/action boy easy readers. Everyone always suggests Magic Treehouse, but surely there must be something better than that. If you have any suggestions or a nice book list handy, I'd be overjoyed! Thank you!

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    1. Ivy Mae,

      I would like to devote an entire post to answer you fully, but have you tried Clyde Robert Bulla's books? I have an old blog all about him and his help for reluctant readers. Also, the other advice is not to fret or force him in any way--but, more on that next week.

      Liz

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    2. What about the Hank the Dog series?

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  2. These are lovely and good questions you ask, Liz! :) I've been exploring this list I saw on FB and some of these seem neat. I do check out books and hand them to my daughter to look through, which she likes me to do. We got done a bit earlier with our main learning due to our remodel/move and she has been reading alot. But I would love, like Ivy Mae, ideas for struggling readers! Also maybe favorite audio books for car trips etc? I've been making myself take a few minutes and read to my little ones and our favorite is a new one I just found used...Read Aloud Rhymes For the Very Young selected by Jack Prelutsky. They all LOVE it...darling illustrations also! :) My olders ones listen in...my hubby is continuing Ralph Moody at night and we have a plan for Wind in the Willows together this summer. I also want to read a Marchette? Chute title recommended to me about the Globe? I believe as I'm taking a trip to England soon with the children. Did I ever tell you that? My DREAM trip!?? With my mother and sister? Which happen to fall in the same summer we decided to remodel and move?! LOL! :) Anyway...I'll stop blathering. I can't wait to listen to the new DE podcast today as I'm working at the remodel. So exciting! :) Bless you! Amy

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  3. Oops. Here is the link to the list, if you'd like to take a peek! :) http://worldmag.com/2016/04/books_of_the_year#.VyzEeEIWqL8.facebook

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  4. LOL. I want to read the book about the Globe WITH the children. They aren't coming to England with me. ;) My typing is too fast. :P

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    1. Amy,

      What a full and fabulous summer. Have you read, "How the Heather Looks?" about the author's travels to England to visit the locations of famous authors and their stories? I will check out that list and get back to you.

      Liz

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    2. Liz, I HAVE read that book! It is LOVELY! :) Thanks for reminding me of it! :)

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  5. I would like to know any tips you have for my 11yo son who has struggled to learn to read. He is now able to read on his own; he read through all of the Three Boys series and is now onto The Happy Hollisters. (I still think he prefers to have me read to him and to listen to audiobooks, both of which we still do.)

    I would like to know how I can move him to different types of independent reading, and what that looks like for "school" reading. Maybe I would benefit from tips on bridge books (advanced beginner to beyond). He loves story, but I am not sure he loves reading yet, if that makes sense. I don't want to push him too soon, nor let him stay where he is too long. He will read, but I wonder if he still finds it a challenge sometimes. I'm not sure I said any of this how I wanted to so please ask me any clarifying questions.

    On the flip side, I have an 8yo son who has learned to read quite easily and went from simple beginner picture books to The Happy Hollisters pretty much overnight! In fact, he has been waking up way too early, just to read; he also takes his book in the car to read. I have tried to get him to stop looking at all of the other HH books and reading the endings first, but I'm going to let that go. :)

    Thank you so much!

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    1. Kelly,

      I would love to make this question one of my weekly posts and answer much more thoroughly.

      I know you are eager for your older son to be "catching up" or even just "making more progress," but you truly can't be too patient with slow-reading boys. It is wonderful that he can and will read the HH books and I would let him do so, encouraging him to spend independent time reading every day. Keep reading aloud. Encourage reading his schoolbooks by sharing the reading and having him read just a bit more
      every day. If my experience holds true, you are just coming to the crest of the hill and will begin to see marked improvement in the next year or two. Slow, steady, encouraging progress. Do not let him know how worried you feel, in fact, don't worry. It is also perfectly normal for an eight-year-old to be poking through books in random
      order. He is learning how this whole thing works and will eventually settle into more conventional order to reading.

      Liz

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    2. Liz,
      Thank you for the encouragement and a reminder not to worry. I am not deeply worried, but I guess it is on my mind. I especially appreciate the reminder about sharing reading; I often forget that.

      A whole post on this would be great!

      Thank you again!

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  6. My 15-year-old (almost 16) son was once an avid pleasure reader. He read classics, historical fiction and fantasy and re-read his favorites over and over. But a few years ago, he fell out of love with reading. He complains that he wants to read fiction about people his own age living in his own time. But those kinds of books generally fall within the YA genre which is problematic for Christians due to inappropriate content. I read some of your reviews of a few books by Gary D. Schmidt and put them into my sons hands...he loved them! Please, please make a summer reading list for young adults! I find this age very hard to find good books for...and I long to restore to my son a love of reading. I'd be so grateful for any assistance.

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    1. Megan,

      I sympathize--this is a common plight for boys and the mothers who love them. I am currently speed reading several books and asking for input from trusted male readers I know in order to come up with the list you would like--as well as many other mothers would like. I actually would be curious to know which Schmidt books were his favorite and if he has read all of those. Does he reject anything about kids a generation ago or in any other country?

      Liz

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    2. Thank you for your efforts on our behalf, Liz...I am most grateful. My son read (and re-read) The Wednesday Wars and he also read and enjoyed Okay for Now. Because of those good experiences with Schmidt, he read several chapters of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy before abandoning it. He did not find the characters compelling. So I think he could enjoy a book about kids his age from a generation ago, but I think another country might turn him off (sadly). Again, thank you for your help!

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    3. Megan,

      I am not a theorist, but I think summer is the perfect time to allow a child to enjoy what he enjoys to the full. It is a bit challenging, as you acknowledge, since many of the most exciting adventure stories I can think of are about kids in other countries: Call It Courage by
      Armstrong Sperry, Ash Road by Ivan Southall, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba---Polynesia, Australia, Africa (though Kamkwamba's book is about just the last decade and very relevant in our world).

      Has he read The Giver by Lois Lowery, The Ashtown Burial series or A Hundred Cupboards by N. D. Wilson, or the Wingfeather saga by Andrew Peterson?

      Liz

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    4. Thank you for these recommendations set in other countries...they sound great. I'll offer them, but they will likely require a hard sell, because he is currently so insistent about wanting characters very much like himself in settings very much like his own. He did read The Giver and A Hundred Cupboards a few years ago. He did also enjoy the Wingfeather Saga. And I checked out The Ashtown Burial series from the library, but have not successfully convinced him to try it yet. He is currently reading Outlaws of Time, the most recent N.D. Wilson release and seems to like it okay. These are great recommendations, you seem to have really sensed his desire for high drama. Please do forward any more you come across...we have the whole summer ahead of us and I so much want to re-ignite the love and joy of reading within him again.

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  7. We will still be in school through mid-July, and when we finish my daughter (15) will be picking up the new N.D. Wilson books as a relief from school reading. It's hard picking books for high school. There aren't as many living book lists for this age, so the selections are adult books which are very indepth, and very long. I'm thinking about biographies and history largely.

    I have been looking at your Top Picks posts, and jotting down titles and sighing that so many are unavailable at our inner-city library. Wish you were closer!

    I also find the Delectable Education podcast both challenging in some ways (when I've slacked on picture study) and so encouraging. There is not a CM Community in our region, and I'm not even aware of other moms using CM in high school. So listening in each week helps me feel just a little less isolated. Thank you!

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    1. I think part of the key at that age is to begin offering books you like to read yourself. I will try to include a list of high school leisure reading on one of my summer posts--hopefully before July and "school's out" for your family.

      Liz

      P.S.--

      Can your library participate in inter-library loan--most difficult books to find can be obtained that way.

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  8. I like reading very much and when I was a student I tried to read all books I had to. But I didn't like writing reviews after reading because I couldn't do it well but http://college-writers.com/ helped me with this task! :)

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