2023 Summer Reading Guide Kicks Off With Emerging Readers (Ages 5-9)
May 18, 2023 § Leave a comment
I’m delighted to kick off this year’s Summer Reading Guide with a round-up of new favorites for emerging readers. (In the weeks ahead, we’ll be covering Elementary Readers (8-12) and Middle School Readers (10+).) Below, you’ll find selections for those just learning to read, those starting to get their reading legs underneath them, and those who have strong reading skills but aren’t ready to make the transition to the longer chapters and more complex plots of middle-grade books.
The pressure on parents to keep new readers from backsliding over the summer can feel like a lot. I’ve been there! A couple things to remember:
- Leave books within reach! Dining tables, sofas, bathrooms, playrooms, cars…they can’t complain they’re bored if a book is RIGHT THERE.
- Embrace comics! Our children are coming of age in a highly visual world. Comics not only help with decoding, but they give kids the same instant gratification that they long for from screentime.
- Have a kid who has trouble getting started? Thinks every book looks boring? Scaffold the onboarding experience by reading the first few pages or chapters to them.
- Incentivize with reading challenges, BINGO boards (we’ve got a great one coming to Old Town Books!), or make up your own treats to reward their progress.
- Picture books count as reading! In fact, their rich vocabulary and gorgeous art make them just as attractive and valuable to elementary children.
Hopefully, the recommendations below—all new releases!—will help you kick off a terrific summer of reading. (And if you need more, check out last summer’s guide here!)
Titles are arranged from easiest to hardest, with age ranges provided at the top of each description and an interior photo at the end to help you gauge words per page. Especially if you’re local, I thank you SO much for shopping at Old Town Books, where I do the kids’ buying and where I’ll be hosting office hours on Sunday, June 4 and June 25 from 10am-4pm, if you want personalized recommendations. Come see me!
Let’s begin!« Read the rest of this entry »
Spring Break Reading: New Graphic Novels for Ages 7-14!
March 14, 2023 § Leave a comment
Today, I’m kicking off a few posts to help you gear up for Spring Break. Whether you’re staycationing or jet setting, a change in routine and a lack of homework can be the perfect chance to (re)engage kids with reading. Maybe you have time for a family read aloud. (I’ll have suggestions in Thursday’s post.) Maybe, while you’re all sharing a tiny hotel room, you can mandate quiet reading time before bed, a chance for you to model your own reading as your child snuggles in beside you with their own book. (A person can dream, right?)
As always, links will take you to Old Town Books in Alexandria, VA, where I’m the kids’ buyer (thanks for supporting us!), though I’m very happy for you to support an indie closer to you if you have one you love.
First up are my favorite graphic novels released in the first three months of 2023! Your kiddos should have no problem diving straight into these, a mix of realistic fiction, superhero lore, comedic horror, inspiring stories, and nail-biting non-fiction.
Before we get started, there are a couple titles not below that will likely pique the interest of your readers. First, the third in the Batpig series (ages 7-10) comes out later this month; our family are huge fans of Rob Farrell’s wildly clever series, and I believe it to be one of the best (and most underrated!) “things to read after Dog Man.” While we’re on the subject of hooking readers with humor, you’ll thank me for mentioning that the hugely popular Investigators series (also 7-10) has a new spin-off, titled Agents of S.U.I.T., which focuses on Mango and Brash’s eccentric co-workers. Oh, and did I mention the new Hilo is out?
Without further ado, the titles below are arranged from youngest to oldest, so if you have middle schoolers, scroll to the end!« Read the rest of this entry »