Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Reading Part 3: I Can't Stop Myself

In an effort to glean more opportunities to spur on our summer reading plan fun, I have Googled and linked the day away (or at least a few hours).  By the sweat of my brow, I unearthed several more resources to toss out there for you and also a few bad links (which I kept to myself).

More Fun "Contests" and Online Activities
I've already mentioned the Borders Summer Reading Double Dog Dare a couple of times, but here are a few more you might consider:

  • Book Adventure is "a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8.  Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes."  Sounds like it's worth a look-see to me!
  • Barnes & Noble offers a summer reading program, Passport to Summer Reading.  Read eight books and earn a free book.  We'll do this one, too.
  • Scholastic has thrown down the gauntlet with its summer reading challenge, Read for the World Record.  Children can join the site and then log minutes they read.
  • RIF (Reading is Fundamental) has a Reading Planet Summer Reading Fun page.  There are links to the Activity Lab, Game Station, Book Zone, and Express Yourself.  Kids can create their own bookshelves, write book reviews, read about authors and illustrators, read stories online, and more.

More Book Lists and Suggestions
I also found about a bazillion (but who's counting?) website with book lists.  Here's just a sample:

  • Since 1974, the International Reading Association's Children's Choices Booklists have highlighted books that children themselves recommend.  Divided by grade level and annotated, the lists from 1998 through 2010 are online.  As an added benefit, the lists from 2006 through 2010 are available in a bookmark format for you to use.
  • That venerable institution, The Horn Book has its own list for summer reading, comprising both fiction and nonfiction titles.  All offerings were published within the last year.  The list is divided into sections: Picture Books, Early Readers, Intermediate, Middle School, and High School.
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities maintains that its Summertime Favorites list "represents NEH's long-standing effort to highlight classic literature for young people from kindergarten through high school."  I appreciate the emphasis on classic literature here.
  • The Association for Library Service to Children presents its 2010 Notable Children's Books list.  Just what is meant by "notable"?  According to the website: "Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways."  Whew!

Now.  Since I'm an admitted book snob, I'll go through these lists quickly and eliminate those I believe are not right for our family.  Some of the lists are annotated, which makes the job easier.  If a list is only that, an alphabetical list, then I will select titles that sound interesting and then read some reviews to get more information about them.

But I'm sure you can tell already that I am treading water in an ocean of possibilities.  I need to strive to be realistic about our plan.  After all, one can only read so many books in a summer.

But wouldn't it be nice to pull together a "master reading list" of sorts to have on hand?  It would certainly cut down on the sirens' call that twaddly books often utilize: a fancy, attractive package with no substance within.  Armed with such a list, we'd be invincible at the library!

I think that's my new goal for all this research.  Whaddaya think?

Jump to Part One of this three-part series.
Jump to Part Two of this three-part series.


  1. That sounds like a plan- coming up with a master list. There are many good books to read!

  2. I think that you are doing fantastic and your final picks will rock! (ahem, they'll be the best choices)

    Thanks for the links and resources.



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