Summer Reading Opportunities!
Summer is a great time to read with kids. It is a fun way to prevent the traditional summer brain rot, and they are not already braindead from long days at school.
Two specific titles we’ve recently read from local authors!
Science Wide Open-Mary Wissinger– there are currently three books in this series by SHE’s very own Mary Wissinger. In these books, Wissinger introduces Chemistry, Biology, and Physics’s basic concepts while also introducing the reader to prominent female scientists in the field. At first I was worried that the transition between the concepts and the scientists would be awkward, but the smooth transitions are amazingly well done. There is a good pace and sense of movement through the book. As soon as my kiddo finished the one on chemistry, she started “mixing experiments” of grass, water, and soap in the backyard…the results are still being calculated.
Mystical Rules for my Magical Daughter–DJ Corchin-I met this author at Wizard World this year, and he’s a delight. His illustrations are reminiscent of Shel Silverstein with ink/line drawings of fanciful creatures. In Magical Daughter, the author dictates specifics for a wizard in training like “Magic comes in many forms, and not all of it is spells.” My squirrel-attentioned daughter insisted I finish the 160 pages in one sitting. Great for kids and adults and a wonderful keepsake, this is a book you’ll re-read over and over, the lessons gaining greater meaning as the child ages.
Since all kids are different, Summer is a great time to tailor their reading lists to your family! So consider…
A Classic You Never Read- I never got a chance to read The Wizard of Oz as a kid. So, kiddo and I are reading it together. It’s a lot of fun to discover a new book together. I didn’t know that the color of the munchkins was blue, or that the “ruby slippers” were originally silver.
A Landing Pad for Excellent Questions- The average 6 year old asks 8.2 billion questions a day. In the summer with infinite time, they can discover some dozies. If you keep getting a repeat question, try finding a book or set of books that explore the topic. If you have the time and resources you could even pair their curiosity with a trip to a museum or exhibit. As long as they dig it, you can use it.
You can also find a book first, and then build on that. My daughter found 1oo Most Dangerous Things on the Planet at a book fair last year and has spent the last few weeks telling me my likelihood of dying in a variety of natural disasters. This has gotten her more interested in science. In summer, if you can, find something your kid is wild about, and go to the library. You’ll also learn how likely you are to survive a sinkhole….and that wolf spiders’ eyes are so large, they reflect light like deer….which is probably why I’ve not slept in a while….
Movie Tie Ins- While this often elicits a groan from readers, movie tie-ins are great for beginning readers in the summer. I’ve used this in two ways. Either I will start with “if you read the book all the way through by yourself we can see the movie” or “hey you liked this movie, maybe you’ll like the book.” I remember a long time ago, my mom said that if I read Patriot Games I could see the film (it was rated R and she was betting 10 year-old me could not finish the 540 page tome). However, I took it as a challenge and finished it in time to see the film in theaters.
Regardless of how you spend summer’s waning days, I wish you happy reading!
Lisa Pavia-Higel is a St. Louis based writer, educator and performer. By day, she’s a mild mannered Communication and Media professor at a local community college and runs her own small jewelry company, Geekery Gal. By night, she’s a stage combat fighting, comic reading, critique writing, productivity advice giving mama. She loves trying things that she’s really not very good at, like sewing, painting and writing succinct biographies. She is indulged by her little geeklet Sofia and intrepid feminist, geeky husband Matthew. She’s too long winded for Twitter, but you can tweet to her at @geekerygal