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The Summer Reading Tree: A-Z Ways to Get Kids Reading

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Summer Book Reading tree

There is never a shortage of Summer Reading programs for kids once school ends and many offers prizes, points, graphs, and charts as a way to keep your child reading during the summer months.

This is not a bad thing at all. But as a lifelong learner, educator, and mom I can tell you that many kids will do better with reading if they don’t feel it’s “mandatory.” Sometimes when things feel a little too much like homework during the summer break, your young readers can slam on the proverbial brakes!

Reading Tip #1: The best way to motivate your reader is to know what inspires them!

Making reading an adventure and not a “task/ chore/requirement” during the summer months is a great way to help the increase the desire to read and keep them interested as well. Sit down together and pick out your summer reading or make a family trip to the library. Here’s some more tips:

Reading Tip #2Skip the List-Make the Shelf:

Make book reading like a seasonal shift in your wardrobe. One of our first family activities when school gets out is to make The Summer Shelf. Off come the passing seasons books and on comes the fun books of summer. Some are old friends and others are new, but The Summer Shelf is a way to herald in the summer reading season.

summer reading

Reading Tip #3: Leave ’em Hangin:

You can leave your readers “hanging” and create a desire to come back to the story by pausing your read-aloud jjjussst before the end of a chapter. This creates so pretty big anticipation to keep them engaged and wanting more. Amp it up by throw in a little book-jumping adventure to go along with the story as well. While reading Tom Sawyer to my kids I practiced  the “leave ’em hangin” method and threw in spontaneous bouts of white washing, cave touring, and river rafting. These activities created great anticipation and had them asking “what’s coming next?”

I’ve had very different experiences with all of my children on when exactly to plan our little reading adventures. My eldest daughter and youngest son like to intersperse their reading with related activities, while my second daughter insists that the entire book is read completely before we dive into the pages. By mixing up everyone’s reading and book jumping preferences, will help to keep them clamoring for the next reading session.

Reading Tip #4: Reading in Snippets:

Reading isn’t just for books only. On the breakfast table, family room and screen porch coffee tables, and in certain bathrooms, I leave bite size reading materials like trivia, jokes, riddles, and quizzes which keep readers engaged. Reluctant readers do especially well with “snippets” of information.

Trivia for kids

Reading Tip #5: Take-Alongs: Reading Gear for Families on the Move!

Reading while in the car traveling has been an absolutely life-saver. As a family we tend to travel a lot and even more in the summer months. The back pockets of the car seats are brimming with some of our favorite kids magazines. Magazine are a great “portable” reading options for kids and again, is “bite-sized” information to keep them interested and learning. There are so many wonderful and educational kids magazine available theses days too. Some of our favorites include:

The A-Z Summer Reading Tree

The Leaves of the A-Z Book Jumper Tree

A. A summer of reading starts Special Reading Place. Where’s yours?

B. Be a Dream Collector (with some help from a Big Friendly Giant).

C. Challenge yourself: Try a new skill or craft.

D. Discover the wonders of Gravity or Ballet.

E. Explore your world with cool new booklists

F. Discover news ways to make our World more Beautiful.


G. Go Rediscover the Library: Check out your local library and sign up for kid’s reading hour.

H. Have a books swap and trade books with friends.

I. Investigate a good mystery!

J. Join in the learning of new ways to love and support birds and bees.

K. Kenny and the Dragon is just one way to discover that Dragons Are Real!

Dragons are Real

L. Love Abraham Lincoln? Here’s the Ultimate Abe Lincoln Booklist

M. Magazine! Kids love Magazines that are created just for them. See the list above.

N. Native American culture and traditions are fascinating. 

O. Oceans away! Discover great books about pirates and our oceans.

P. Poems, Poems, and more Poems!

R. Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson books are all the rage. If your reader loves Books Like Percy Jackson, go here. 

S. Swing through the Jungle! Well, not really, but you’ll love my Jungle Book review and “jungle-y” activities!

T. Teach Kindness. The world needs more kindness.

kindness booklist

U. Unite, talk, snuggle, play and reconnect with your family over a good book.

V. Visit places like South America and Africa through the pages of a book.

W. Wonkalicious! Team up with Willy Wonka and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory for some wonkalicious activities!

X. eXplore: Explore new Kidlit Summer Releases that your kids will go crazy for!

Y. Your Imagination is your guide to all the wonders of the world. Start by pulling books of shelves and stories of pages today.,

Z. EnthuZiasm! Read can be fun if you work with your kids to help make it enjoyable and interesting. Read on!


What are your summer reading picks?

**Some of these links may contain book reviews with affiliate links

FREE Gift! Free 180 Multicultural Book Ideas ebook to inspired fun Summer Reading!

School is out and our youngsters are settling into a new summer routine of sleeping in and hopefully doing some exploring and discovering. With the hectic days of summer just beginning, oftentimes one of the first habit to go by the wayside is the habit of daily reading.
Reading is always an important part of our children’s lives no matter what time of year it is so I decided to wrap my knowledge of fun kidlit books and activities up with my experience as one of the co-founders of the very successful Multicultural Children’s Book Day and create a unique resource for parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer. Reading is important, but so is helping our young readers learn about other cultures, religions and traditions through the pages of these books. Here are some great booklists and resources that I have created over the years at Jump Into a Book that will not only give parents and readers great ideas on diverse kids’ books, but fun activities related to books that will bring stories to life!
180 Multicultural Book Ideas for Summer Reading!
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