Summer Reading Program


As a mother of two, I love the local library’s summer reading program.  We’ve been yearly participants since before they could read. Yes, that’s right. At first, I read the books to them and listed them on the form. We must have read every picture book and easy reader in the building, plus those at home.

Once they could read, they took pride in tracking the books on their own. Not a small amount of competition occurred between the two, to see who would read more.  Any printed material is eligible, books, comics, short stories- it’s all good.  As long as you are reading, mama’s happy.

Now, that they’re older, the books tend to be heftier and required for school. That last one I hate, it takes them forever to read. 

This weekend we signed up for the reading program, school ends on Friday. Yippee! My oldest thought for a moment and settled on a reasonable number, I think an even dozen. She reads at a leisurely pace and is easily board.  Finding books that interest her can be difficult.  That’s where the comics and graphic novels come in handy. My youngest took a bolder approach and signed on for 150 books.

A little background on the young one: (she’s 11 now)

When she was small she chewed on every book she could find.  As she grew, I tried to teach her to read with the same Bob books I used with her sister.  She refused.  At one point she brought me one of her favorites, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do Your See? She read the whole thing!  I was stunned, until I realized she had memorized it.  It wasn’t until she went to my parents house and found my mother’s old Dick and Jane books that she finally decided to learn to read.  Even then, it was hard to tell if she was reading or if she’d already memorized the book.  Now, she will read anything.

She checked out 20+ books including The Magic Tree House (ones she hasn’t read yet), Judy Blume, Mercy Watson, and The Mother Daughter Book Club Series (The entire series). This is the same kid who’s read Oliver Twist 3 times. I think she read 7 books by the time school started Monday.  She see’s the reading program as a personal challenge.

A little background on my eldest:

She was a breeze to teach to read.  We spent many hours curled up on the sofa reading to each other.  As she grew, it became harder to find books that interested her.  Required reading was a form of inhumane torture. Judy Moody, became a close and personal friend.  My eldest likes “girl” centric (is that a thing?) books that are a series. She likes a them with adventure and mystery and a bit of fantasy. BUT she has to start with the first book.  She’s the same with her comic books. Currently she is looking for book 1 of Generation X!  She will scrounge around the library and bug the librarian until the first one can be found or ordered from another library.  I’ve never seen a kid happier than the day she discovered you could request the library to buy a book, and then be the first to read it! Now, that she’s 12 and on the edge of teendom, she wants to read “older” books.  Books across the hall in the young adult section. She took Sherlock Holmes to school with her today and has plans to finish off the Hunger Games this summer. Her usual summer reading involves a certain boy with a lightening scar on his forehead, this summer is book 6.

She checked out a dozen or so books, and has already put half back in the library bag.  For whatever reason, they were deemed unworthy and must be returned.  I’m thankful this summer’s required reading is a book she’s already read and enjoyed, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I’m not telling her she has to read Charles Dickens in 7th grade.  I’m accepting book suggestions for her.

Four days and counting until the end of school. I’m not sure who’s more excited, me or them.

What are your summer reading plans?