The sun has emerged and the nip has left the air. Children and parents alike are counting down the last 8 days of this school year. Over the next week, children throughout Houston County will be bringing home lists of books recommended for their grade level. They will then descend upon Houston County Public Library System in search of the same titles that every other student in their grade received. Yikes! Odds are they might be checked out when you get here… But I have some good news from Houston County School System’s Summer Reading Program –
This year we are introduing a new approach to summer reading that combines our commitment to life-long learning and the latest research in the field of adolescent literacy. This research supports the idea that when students have a choice in their reading selections they are much more likely to read the material and to gain a deeper appreciation for literature.” ~Retrieved from http://www.hcbe.net/media/273938/summer%20reading%20brochure%20ms.pdf
So in this vein, we’d like to suggest some other great reading lists that can lead your children, and you, to some literary jewels. There are some great places to mine for age/reading level appropriate reading materials. Here are some of our favorites beginning with the younger set:
- The Association for Library Service to Children compiles a list of the best of the best children’s books for those between birth and fourteen years. This year’s list is now available and a great place to find children’s literature recommendations.
- Young Adults enjoy the Georgia Peach Award selections because they are part of the process!
- A common request is for books that have strong Judeo-Christian values as well as falling within the appropriate reading level. A group of Christian homeschooling parents attempted to create an extensive, though not exhaustive, list of wholesome reading selections. They divided their 1000 titles into reading levels and made them available here.
Or here’s a novel idea ~ Browse the shelves! Each Houston County Public Library has a section dedicated to children and young adults. Sometimes a reading selection just needs to be a good fit for your current mood.
Speaking of finding a good fit, parents hopefully you’ll find a good fit for your summer mood. As you plan to spend your days in a lounge chair with the ocean breeze in your hair, we hope you’ll have a book by your side. There are a great number of referral sites available for locating your next great read. To try something new, consider Oprah or NPR. Oprah lists monthly recommendations, such as this one for May, and a yearly summer reading list. NPR develops a number of lists to tap into everyone’s interests. Their 2013 summer list isn’t available yet but you can find 2012 and an assortment of other lists here on their book page.
Whichever method you and your children decide to use to locate your next great read, we hope you consider participating in the library Vacation Reading Program. Registration begins Tuesday, May 28th. You may register at any time but we encourage you to consider attending a kick off event at one of the Houston County Public Library branches:
Centerville Public Library 2:00 – 4:00
Nola Brantley Memorial Library 10:00 – 2:00
Perry Public Library 2:00 – 6:00