Summer is full of fun in the sun, dips in a pool, and hopefully reading some great middle-grade novels, too. Here are some ways to help inspire reading this summer.
Read books together. No matter how old a child or teen gets, it’s nice to share great books with relatives. Why not find a comfy spot and take turns reading to each other?
Read to a pet or a young child. My older daughter used to love reading books to her sister, and I lost track of how many times I found her snuggling with our dog while reading a book to her. Books with fun dialogue or younger siblings are great choices for this. As a child, I absolutely adored Judy Blume’s books (I even wrote my first fan letter to her). My girls are three years apart, and when my older daughter was six, I read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to her. I was pleasantly surprised when my younger daughter sat with us, laughing and intently listening to all of Peter and Fudge’s adventures.
Find a fun location to read. You can encourage reading at a beach, pool, or park. You can grab a seat and read almost anywhere! I think it would be fun to sit where you can watch gorillas in a zoo and read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
Create a contest to inspire the kids or teens in your life to read. You can have them put their name, the book title, and their favorite part of the book on a circle and see who creates the longest bookworm by the end of the summer. To celebrate, you can go someplace fun or have a treat like pizza or ice cream, and maybe give the winner a gift card to buy a new book or two. You could even create a themed party where you make fun treats like the ones in their favorite book/s.
Join a book club, or start one of your own. Hanging out with friends and talking about great books is an awesome way to encourage kids to read. Here are some Mixed-Up Files posts about book clubs that might help you:
*Starting a Parent/Child Book Club
*One Mom Plus Two Sets of Twins Leads to Three Great Book Clubs
To make a book club even more fun, you can check to see if any of the authors on this list are still available for a free 15 – 20 minute Skype visit after all the kids in the book club read at least one of his or her books!
If you’re looking for great new middle-grade novels to read this summer, check out our monthly new release posts. You can also browse through all the unique book lists on our site and search for categories like humorous, mystery, action & adventure, animal, fantasy & paranormal, etc.
I’d love to know how you make reading fun, and what middle-grade books are on your must-read list.
Mindy Alyse Weiss writes humorous middle grade novels with heart and quirky picture books. She’s constantly inspired by her two daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix who was rescued from the Everglades. Visit Mindy’s Twitter, Facebook, or blog to read more about her writing life, conference experiences, and writing tips.