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Recommended Summer Reading

Just because the kids are out of school for the summer, it doesn’t mean that children should put reading on hold. Children should read and/or be exposed to reading each and every day. Books are plentiful at all Omaha Public Libraries and the best part is — library cards are FREE. So get out there and explore some great books!

Research has shown that children who read six or more books during the summer maintain or improve their reading skills, while children who do not lose ground by the time school resumes in the fall. Summer reading encourages reading for pleasure and the development of  positive attitudes about reading.  In addition, reading provides constructive activities during this long break from school.

Although many children wish to put books away to enjoy outdoor activities, committing them to reading, even just a little each day, will go a long way in helping them stay on track.  Just as children must eat a variety of foods to remain healthy, they must also read a variety of books to develop good literacy skills. During the school year, children are taught a variety of reading strategies and are given lots of opportunities to become proficient readers. During the summer, parents must encourage reading by making an assortment of books readily available. Following are some tips for helping children enjoy summer reading and help them take their own mini book adventures:

1. Travel to a different destination
Experience another region of the country, or the world, with the help of a good book. Reading about National Parks, historic sites, and museums can make the region come alive for your family.

2. Visit a museum
Plan a visit to a local museum and prior to the visit, read one of the following books: The Field Mouse and the Dinosaur Named Sue by Jan Wahl, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, or The Explorabook: A Kid’s Science Museum in a Book by John Cassidy.

3. Visit a historical site
Learning about the past is another way to leave the everyday world behind while remaining in town. The Magic Tree House series, and the American Diary series are both popular collections, that tell engaging tales about the past.

4. Enjoy the great outdoors
Some books that help get your family in the mood for an outdoor adventure are:  Pet Bugs: A Kid’s Guide to Catching and Keeping Touchable Insects by Sally Kneidel; DK Nature Encyclopedia by Dorling Kindersely Publishing; and Animals on the Trail with Lewis and Clark and Plants on the Trail with Lewis and Clark by Dorothy Hinshaw.

5. See a play or a movie based on a book
There are many plays and movies appropriate for children based on children’s classics, and this may be a great incentive for completing a book.

For more resources visit www.omahapubliclibrary.org or www.bookwormomaha.com.

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