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The Joys of Summer Reading

It’s that time of year again when I head to the bookstore section labeled “beach reads.”

These are the books where I can lose myself in a story of finding love. You know the stories where just from reading the blurb you have an idea of the whole story, but still read them because they feel like an escape. I usually gravitate to these stories as I sit outside and need a light, fun read.

A few weeks ago, I visited the book store to begin gathering my books for this summer. My eyes were immediately drawn to a news release from Lauren Weisberger. I am sure you know at least one of her books (The Devil Wears Prada). I purchased her latest book without even reading the blurb. On the way home, I thought about why I added her book to my purchase pile without a second thought, but with the other books I purchased, I read the blurb, studied the cover, and even read the 1st couple of books pages. I think it’s because I am a fan of her style of writing. I appreciate her character development. I have also found that with each book that she has released, the women in the books feel around the same age as me. And even though I don’t have their experience, I can relate to that time of life. My summer reading life finds me returning to authors or series that I found comfort and enjoyment.

I know that summer reading is always essential, but this summer, helping readers build stamina and enjoyment feels crucial. This summer, some of the work we can do with readers is to encourage them to read something from an author that they love. Readers could discover a new book or return to an old favorite. We help readers to examine what it is they love about this author. When we talk to readers about the author’s craft some things, we can help them to think about are:

  • Think about some of the ways that the author brings their stories to life

  • Think about the words the author uses that help grow the picture in our minds

  • Think about how the author chooses to end most of their stories

  • Think about what is the same across a few books that help us appreciate the author’s craft moves

Another thing that we can do to encourage readers this summer could be to think about reading multiple books from a series. When we readers are series books, readers, we can talk to them about:

  • Similarities in characters across the series

  • Character relationships across a series

  • Ideas that we are growing as we read across the series

Some possible new series titles for beginning readers:

Level D

Puppy Mudge by Cynthia Rylant

Otto by David Milgrim

Big Dog Little Dog by Dav Pilkey

Level E

The Life of Max by Adria Klien

Level F

Pete the Cat: I Can Read Series by James Dean

Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Level G

My Dog by Bob Richardson

Harry by Harriet Ziefert

Level H

Brownie and Pearl by Cynthia Rylant

Sheep Blast Off by Nancy Shaw

Level I

Max and Zoe by Shelley Sateren

Max and Mo by Patricia Larkin

Level J

Minnie and Moo by Denys Cazet

Mo by David Adler

Hamster Holmes by Albin Sadler

Level K

Sofia Martinez by Jacquline Jules

Rafi and Rosi by Lulu Delacre

Level L

Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey

Infamous Ratsos by Kara La Reau

This summer, the most important thing that we can help readers remember is that reading is fun, and when we find an author or a series we love, we can lose ourselves in the story. If you need me, I will be outside (hopefully by the ocean), totally immersed in a stack of love stories!

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