Summer should be a break from school, not from learning. Making sure that kids are reading throughout the summer is a great way to keep their minds active and ensure a smooth transition back to the classroom come fall.
This is especially important during the tween years when activities such as playing sports, attending summer camp and watching TV begin to compete more for your child’s free time. While all parents hope that their children will read for pleasure on their own, this is not always the case. To help give parents a list of books they can suggest to their kids this summer, Sylvan Learning has compiled the following summer reading list for tweens in grades four through eight for summer 2017:
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
2. Harry Potter series
3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians
4. The Hunger Games series
5. Charlotte’s Web
7. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
8. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
10. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
11. The Princess and the Page
12. The Warden’s Daughter
13. American Girl: Gabriela
14. Scar Island
15. Last Kids on Earth series
16. Wings of Fire series
17. Forget Me Not
18. Kat Greene Comes Clean
19. The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
20. Skeleton Tree
For most parents of tweens, merely buying their children a book isn’t enough to get them reading. Here are five ways you can encourage your tween to read this summer:
1. Let Them Choose: Kids spend all year long reading books that are required as a part of their school’s curriculum. Summer is a great time for tweens to explore their interests and pick a book that they WANT to read instead of HAVE to read. Giving your tween the chance to choose what book he or she wants to read significantly helps keep your tween interested in reading.
2. Reap the Rewards: There are a number of companies that give kids rewards for reading. Half Price Books has a “Feed Your Brain” summer reading program where kids up to age 14 can earn “Bookworm Bucks” by reading for at least 15 minutes each day in June and July. Finally, most public libraries also offer rewards and prizes for tweens that read throughout the summer.
3. Make it Social: Many parents of tweens said their child gets interested in reading a book because their friends are reading it. According to parents, the most popular genres among tweens are:
- Humor (e.g. Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
- Fantasy (e.g. Harry Potter series, Percy Jackson series)
- Action Adventure (e.g. Holes, Hatchet)
- Science Fiction (e.g. A Wrinkle in Time, 1984)
- Books Made Into Movies (e.g. Divergent series, The Giver)
Many libraries and recreation clubs offer age-specific books clubs. If your community doesn’t have this option, you can join with other parents to create your own book club and give kids a chance to make friends and socialize while discussing the latest novel.
4. Set a Good Example: If your children see you reading for pleasure, they may be more likely to do so themselves. Take it one step further and read a book along with your tweens. Many popular tween and young adult novels have universal themes that both parents and children can relate to. You can discuss the latest chapter over dinner or on the way to soccer practice!
5. Offer Incentives: So many of today’s popular tween books are also movies, and offering kids a trip to the movies after they’ve completed the book can be great motivation.
For more information about helping your child with his or her reading skills, check out Sylvan’s reading programs.