Back to School to-do list: 5 ways to get kids reading this summer

It’s been a week since school ended. We bet your kids have done what my have done: watch a lot of TV, play a lot of video games, be like slugs.

Children listen to a story in their pajamas. Photo by Lee Hershfield

Of course, we need to get their bodies moving: RELATED: KIDS WANT TO PLAY MORE, BUT THEY THINK VIDEO GAMES COUNT

But we also need to get their minds going, too.

Time to get reading for fun. Sharyn Vane, our children’s books columnist has suggestions of new books this summer. She includes the latest from “Coraline” author Neil Gaiman, “Cinnamon.”

Austin Independent School District also offers a 5 Book Dive. Go online to  http://www.5bookdive.org/ and see a list by your kids’ age of great books to read. The idea is that by just reading five books this summer, you can prevent the summer learning slide. Download a bookmark to serve as your reading log. If you complete the log and turn it in to BookPeople, you’ll get a $5 gift certificate.  BookPeople is kicking off the program with a summer reading party at noon on June 17.
Other summer reading programs to check out: Austin Public Library has a reading log you can download and fill out to get two free books.

Half Price Book’s summer reading log, gives you Bookworm Bucks for reading 15 minutes a day or 300 minutes. It also has a list of 40 books every kids should read and more.

Scholastic Books has a Happy Camper summer reading challenge that lets you unlock rewards for reading and earn Klutz books. You can also see how many books kids in your area have read.

Austin-based children’s performer Ms. Staci Gray entertains at a room packed with kids and their parents as they try to burst bubbles during story time at Book People. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Here’s some more ways to pull your kids into reading this summer:

  1. Meet an author. Kayla Olson is reading “The Sandcastle Empire” at 5 p.m tomorrow at BookPeople.  It’s going to be turned into a movie, so you’ll want to read it before that.  This month you can also hear Cora Carmack: “Roar.” 6 p.m. June 24. Michael Merschel: “Revenge of the Star Survivors.” 2 p.m. June 24. Richelle Mead: “Midnight Jewel.” 6 p.m. July 8. P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast: “Loved.” 7 p.m. July 17. Jason Gallaher: “Whobert, Whover, Owl Detective.” 2 p.m. July 22. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com
  2. Attend a story time. Your library branch has story times most days and they are grouped by age. In Austin, there are also pajama story times and sensory friendly story times as well as bilingual story times. Just next week, there’s Chinese story time at Old Quarry Branch at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, a sensory story time at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday at the Carver branch and 11:15 a.m. Thursday at the Ruiz branch, a Spanish dual language story time at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Southeast Branch and at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Terrazas branch and 10:15 a.m. Friday at both the Pleasant Hill and Southeast branches, and a pajama story time 6 p.m. Wednesday at Windsor Park Branch and at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Manchaca Road.
    Barnes & Noble has story times at each of its stores 11 a.m. every Saturday and some of the more active stores have story times throughout the week. We especially love the 7 p.m. Friday at the Round Rock store.
    At BookPeople, story times are every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
  3. Join a book club. The Austin Public Library has clubs for teens, tweens, moms and daughters, manga-lovers. The NBTween Book Club is reading “Me and Marvin Gardens.” 4 p.m. June 14, Howson Branch; “Raymie Nightingale,” 6 p.m. June 15, Twin Oaks Branch; “The Wild Robot,” 6 p.m. June 28, Spicewood Springs Branch. “The Best Man.” 4 p.m. July 12, Howson Branch. “Full of Beans.” 6 p.m. July 20, Twin Oaks Branch. “Raymie Nightingale.” 6 p.m. July 26, Spicewood Springs Branch. “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairy Land in Ship of Her Own Making.” 4 p.m. Aug. 9, Howson Branch. “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.” 6 p.m. Aug. 17, Twin Oaks Branch.
    Teen Book Club is reading “Jellicoe Road.” 6:30 p.m. June 15, Spicewood Springs Road. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” 6:30 p.m. June 20, Howson Branch. “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You.” 6:30 p.m. July 18, Howson Branch. “My Lady.” 6:30 p.m. July 20, Spicewood Springs Branch. “The Impossible Knife of Memory.” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15, Howson Branch. “A Monster Calls.” 6:30 p.m. Aug 17, Spicewood Springs Branch.
    The Mother-Daughter Book Club is reading “The Girl Who Drank the Moon.” 6 p.m. June 21, Hampton Branch.  “The Dreamer.” 6 p.m. July 19, Hampton Branch. “Smile.” 6 p.m. Aug. 16, Hampton Branch.
    Teen Manga Book Club is reading “Soul Eater.” 5:30 p.m. July 13, Little Walnut Creek Branch. “Blue Exorcist.” 5:30 p.m. Aug. 10, Little Walnut Creek Branch.
    You can also test out books for the Bluebonnet Award. Camp Bluebonnet at the Austin Public Library is for grades 3-6. 3 p.m. June 12, Old Quarry Branch; 1 p.m. June 16, Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m. June 19, Old Quarry Branch; 3 p.m. June 26, Old Quarry Branch.
  4. See a story performed, then pick up a similar book. Literature Live Presents: “Wiley and the Hairy Man.” at Austin Public Library branches: 2 p.m. June 12, Windsor Park Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. June 16, Terrazas Branch; 3 p.m. June 20, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 23, Yarborough Branch; 3 p.m. June 25, Manchaca Road Branch; 6 p.m. June 26, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 29, Milwood Branch.  2 p.m. July 5, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 3 p.m. July 10, Howson Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 12, North Village Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 25, Old Quarry Branch; 3 p.m. July 27, Southeast Branch.
    Literature Live! “Predicts the Forecast: Fantabulous Finger Fun.” 3:30 p.m. June 7, North Village Branch; 3 p.m. June 19, Howson Branch. 2 p.m. July 7, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. July 13, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 14, Yarborough Branch.
    Bernadette Nason Presents “Stone Soup.” 2 p.m. June 21, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. June 27, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Hampton Branch. 3 p.m. July 3, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 6, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 11, Cepeda Branch; 3 p.m. July 16, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 24, Windsor Park Branch.
    Elizabeth Kahura Presents: Folktales for Africa. 2 p.m. June 8, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 27, Cepeda Branch. 2 p.m. July 5, Hampton Branch.
    Hey Lollies Present: “Iris Saves the Land of Black and White.” 2 p.m. July 3, Spicewood Springs Branch; 3 p.m. July 17, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 21, Yarborough Branch.
    Sandbank Shadow Factory Presents: Rapunzel. 6 p.m. July 3, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Ruiz Branch.
    Spotlight on Opera Presents: “The Coyotes and Rabbits.” 2 p.m. July 18, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, Hampton Branch.
    Literature Live! Presents: “The Fifolet.” For ages 8-12.4 p.m. Aug. 1, University Hills Branch; 6 p.m. Aug. 3, Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m Aug. 4, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. Aug. 6, Faulk Central Library; 2 p.m. Aug. 7, Windsor Park Branch; 3 p.m. Aug. 19, Recycled Reads Bookstore.
  5. Read to someone else. Reading can be a family event. Even if your kids are older, have a nightly story time. Or, have your kids read to you, their siblings, their grandparents, their friends or a pet. Don’t have a pet? Every Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Yarborough branch of the library, Bonnie the dog is ready to hear your stories.

And, if you have older kids who have summer reading requirements, do not wait. Go now. Pick up the books. School will be here before you know it.

 

 

 


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