2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 1 book toward her goal of 285 books.

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Guest Post: Best Books for Last-Minute Summer Reading With Kids

Today’s guest post, brought to you courtesy of Kelly Wilson, offers some advice on how to interest kids in books during the summer.  I, of course, never had this problem – my parents would have needed the opposite post: how to get your kid to do something besides squirrel herself away in her room reading…  (teehee)  But I know that it is an issue for a lot of parents and children, so I hope Kelly’s post – including some fabulous book suggestions – is helpful!


If summer has gotten away from you and your kids haven’t gotten into summer reading yet, don’t despair. There’s still plenty of time and opportunity for your kids to read some high-quality, entertaining books with your or by themselves.

Provide Fun Incentives

Many readers – myself included – believe that the joys of reading should be enough incentive for kids to read over the summer. However, this isn’t always true or practical, especially if you have a child who doesn’t like to read.

Providing rewards for your kids for reading is a great way to include fun in summer reading. Libraries and major book store chains usually offer their own incentive programs based on the number of books or minutes read. Kids can keep track of their summer reading on calendars that are provided by the libraries or stores, with free books and coupons rewarded once reading calendars are completed and turned in before school starts in the fall.

A Loose Structure

Once your kids have been signed up for summer reading, it’s time to pick out books appropriate for their age and reading levels. This can be tricky, since your kids will also want to read books that interest them.

This list offers suggestions based on books that have stood the test of time and appeal to a wide range of readers. I’ve categorized them as follows:

  • Easy – these books are appropriate for early elementary school
  • Medium – books for kids in late elementary school or early middle school
  • Hard – these are suited for kids in middle school to high school

The list will need adjustment based on your child’s personal reading level and interests, but provides a solid place to start when it comes to choosing cool summer reads.

Read Classics Together

Classics are books beloved by many throughout the years, and may be ones that you remember reading. Take this opportunity to revisit these books by reading them with your child.

A Mysterious Challenge

Mysteries provide a welcome challenge to our brains on long summer afternoons. They also give you and your kids a mystery to work out from clues in the book!

Science Fiction

Based in the future, these books include imaginative technological advances.


The improbable and fantastic characters and events can be found in these books.

Realistic Fiction

Kids will be able to relate with some of the experiences and feelings of characters in realistic fiction.

Summer reading is a valuable exercise for everyone in your family – the time reading by yourselves or together will not be wasted!

Kelly Wilson is a former elementary school teacher and a freelance writer who loves to read. For more information about using books to teach kids how to maintain healthy smiles, make an appointment with Dr. Ben Aanderud, a Dentist in Sherwood, Oregon.






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