If you ask me, reading with kids is one of life’s purest pleasures. But now that my kids are older (14, 17, and 18), reading together is a rare event. It’s hard to corral them all into the same room on a summer evening, and persuading them to sit down together to listen to a book is even more of a challenge. Last year we had a few exciting nights with Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson, followed later in the summer with the shivery delights of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And we recently listened to a couple of audio chapters of David Sedaris’s new book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls , before everyone dashed off in different directions.
I haven’t given up — I’m always on the lookout for books that will grab my kids’ attention. Of course, as we talk about a lot at GreatSchools, reading together isn’t just a cozy way to stay connected; it’s an essential learning tool — all year round. In a recent article in Time, for example, Annie Murphy Paul pointed out that reading just four to five books over the summer can stem summer learning loss. And reading expert Jim Trelease, author of The Read Aloud Handbook, makes a powerful case for reading aloud, even to older kids.
No matter what age your child, what to read is always a question. That’s why we launched a Twitter discussion, #readingwithmykids, and asked readers to send us their summer book ideas.
Superfudge, Purplicious. and other delights
Here are a few of the suggestions we received:
- Bruce Feiler (@BruceFeiler), author of The Secrets of Happy Families, en route to Maine with his family, told us they’re listening to the audio version of Superfudge, read aloud by Judy Blume.
- Education writer Amanda Ripley (@amandaripley), whose book The Smartest Kids in the World, is due out next month, recommends Zach Gets Frustrated by William Mulcahy. “Got it for my kid, but find myself using the tips every day!” she writes.
- Michael Petrilli (@MichaelPetrilli) of the Fordham Institute sent along his list, “The Kindergarten Canon,” of must-read picture books for kindergartners.
More book ideas from readers and friends:
“From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler before our trip to #NYC this month” @wisek8
Find the perfect book
Still on the hunt for the perfect book? Here are more read-aloud ideas for kindergartners, first graders, and second graders. And check this out: kids in first through sixth grade can get a free book at Barnes & Noble if they read eight books.
This discussion is just starting! Tweet your book suggestions to us @GreatSchools using #readingwithmykids!Follow @CMMatthiessen