Summer readin’, had me a blast
Summer readin’, happened so fast
Found a book, perfect for me
Found a book good as can be
Summer days drifting away
To, uh oh, those summer books
Well-a, well-a, well-a, uh!
Tell me more, tell me more
What is your favorite book?
Tell me more, tell me more?
What should I give a look?
My apologies, but my creative energy has to go somewhere now that I am not in Room 128 daily. Today is my first official day of SUMMER (can I get a hallelujah?) and what is on my mind – SUMMER READING! Honestly, summer reading has been on my mind since April when I̶ ̶m̶e̶n̶t̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶c̶h̶e̶c̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶R̶o̶o̶m̶ ̶1̶2̶8̶ I read four books on the beach during spring break and got a small taste of what was to come this summer.
Summer is a time I can read with wild abandon because there are no essays to grade and no pesky teens loitering around waiting for the perfect opportunity to ask for extra credit (free advice for students – there’s no perfect time to ask for extra credit in May). A friend, who was visiting earlier this week, commented on a couple of books on my coffee table stating that they looked like good summer reading. “Oh no,” I quickly replied. “This is my summer reading.”
I am often asked how to encourage summer reading for students. Here are some thoughts:
Letting students choose what they read is the single most factor related to reading motivation. Even though you may desire for your student to read something “more academic,” let students choose what to read. As I look at my own summer reading, there are no traditional works in the canon, and that’s okay.
What are you reading? I don’t get parents who expect their kids to read while they watch tv. Shame on you. (Yes, I’m calling you out, non-reader).
Tie reading to vacation.
A long time ago our family had a book about states that devoted a couple of pages to each state’s history, facts, and interesting related stories. That book always went with us on every family road trip, and we read as we drove through different states. I remember my son reading a Jackie Robinson biography before visiting the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Use the excitement of an upcoming trip as motivation.
Reward summer reading.
We take our kids out to eat after ballgames and buy participation trophies, so why not reward reading in the same way? “But I shouldn’t have to bribe my child to read,” you say. No, you shouldn’t, but I certainly would.
Don’t live by the letter of the law.
Magazines – they count. Audiobooks – they count. Comic books – they count. Podcasts – I’ll even count some of these.
Read as a family.
Few experiences knit families together like reading. The common pursuit of a story as a family unit is a beautiful way to spend time together. I have not run it by Baby Barber yet but am thinking Just Mercy will be our family read this summer.
Here’s my prioritized summer reading stack:
Just like piling high a plate at a summer barbecue with all kinds of vittles, my summer reading plate is piled high with a variety of books. I am looking forward to reading YA, non-fiction, contemporary fiction, poetry collections, and The New Yorker and Southern Living (in case I need to serve up a delicious, fat-filled casserole while discussing sophisticated subjects).
Unsure of what to read? May I suggest the What Should I Read Next Podcast by Ann Bogel. I am completely addicted to this podcast where Ann (the Modern Mrs. Darcy) has guests list three books they love and one they don’t love then she makes recommendations on what they should read next. Between her Great Kindle Deals page and my Amazon prime account, I am in trouble and need to join a book addict support group. Anyone else? Or you can ask you favorite English teacher (that’s me) for book recommendations; I LOVE talking books!
What’s on your summer reading list? I’d love to know.
Happy reading! (Look what shirt I happen to be wearing today – it’s a sign of a good summer of reading ahead).