Summer means reading to me. It means reading where I want, when I want and for as long as I want. It means lazy time for my hardworking body and vacation time for my imagination. I may travel to Europe or the Midwest but I can guarantee I will live many lives and explore far and afield through reading. I get lost in books. For students however, the fallow time might mean something entirely different. Maybe video games or TV watching. That's fine, in moderation. Reading, however, is the single best thing our kids can do for themselves over the summer weeks. 

I suggest carving out some time every day. It sounds easy, but it isn't. Summer demands attention. There are countless things to do and places to visit. The energy is high and the commitments are many. However, your brain needs some time to wander and engage in a book. Summer learning loss is a real thing. Here's an article which talks in detail about what atrophy can do to the developing brain. Reading is its exercise. 

In the LMC, I want students to check out books. I always say, "As many as you can manage…" but often students will say they won't have time to read. The point is to make time. I can't emphasize that enough. Whatever it takes. Our Camas Public Library has a summer reading incentive program which is an option. You can also create your own incentives. Somehow it must be done. 

Reading with a techie twist. There are always apps to track reading time and topics. This article has great suggestiions plus links to additional lists. 

Kirkus Reviews for the grown ups in the house who want to read and travel in the comfort of the hammock in the backyard, but there's a teen section too. Plus here's another list of the books critics says you should read this summer. But as far as the kids in the household, try some of the Goodreads Listopias. Here's another list that breaks down lots of different genres and age groups. But not all lists are the same, so check out this one as well, despite the fact that a few of the links are not working. 

The American Library Association (ALA) also has some excellent lists: Here's one for grades 3-5 and another for grades 6-8. Lists are great, but word of mouth is also powerful. Tell someone what you really liked about a book and see if they wabt ti give it a try. Ninth graders, I haven't forgotten about you. Here are a few lists for you to try as well. This one from Goodreads and a few others

When possible talk about what you're reading. What you like how you can find other similar book. It's an ongoing conversation and an ongoing search, even when you're a librarian.

Carve out some time and read, read, read! 

Have a summer full of reading. 

Ms. Pappas