Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Reading Lists

My kids came home with their summer reading lists yesterday.  They opened the envelopes and sighed.  (Well one sighed; the other had a few choice words I won’t repeat) Spouting off about the merits of good literature, I grabbed the list from their hands and read it, only to find myself equally disappointed.  There were, of course, the required classics, which I pulled of my well stocked book shelf.  The rest of the titles I’ll have to buy. 

Their biggest complaint – they don’t have choices.  My daughter’s list had the requisite classic, three sci-fi novels, and one historical non-fiction.  No don’t get me wrong, I love sci-fi; I write Speculative fiction.  But my daughter doesn’t.  She hates it with a passion. Toss her “The Scarlet Letter” and she’ll be fine; make her read boy-centered sci-fi and she will fight her way through it.  And she has to read three this summer, not one.

My son . . . well in his box-of-a-world, he doesn’t have time for reading, not when there are baseball games to be played and friends to hose down.  Oh, he’ll read them, complaining right along side my daughter.

And thanks to an awesome tweet by agent Jennifer Laughran a few weeks back, I already know what I am going to do with both these lists.  I am going share them with my local Indie bookstore, maybe pick up a read for myself while I am there!

How about you – what’s on your kid’s summer reading lists this year?


  1. My childrens school doesn't require them to read, but published a suggested reading list. I took them to the library this past weekend, and my son found only 2 on his list, both books he wasn't interested because of the female protagonist. Lol I'll be picking some better choices for him this summer.

  2. Oh wow, they've got a lot on their plate huh? We get handed a small reading list and a huge work packet. That makes me groan more than them. My 3rd grader's reading list for himself personally involves the last in the Artemis Fowl series and the final book in the Big Nate series. But for school - not sure yet...we'll know Friday:)

  3. So far, we've only had suggested reading lists. I've been looking through my shelves to see books we might take on vacation to read while we're away. My son is looking forward to a few reads he didn't know I had!

    As for specific books-- I think I'd rather they suggest a genre and let me/my son look through and choose ones out of it that appeal to me. Although, I do understand wanting to broaden the horizons a bit!

    Best of luck with your search. Hope your son's baseball games are going well and that your daughter can find a sci-fi she likes!

  4. We didn't get reading lists this summer - and hearing what you say, I'm happy.
    I did make a little deal with my boys though - if they read a book a week on their reading level (for my older son it will be a book every 2 weeks), we will take a trip to Target for a reward.

    Also, Borders has a summer reading incentive. If you lists 10 books you read this summer on their form, you get a free book. You choose from a small but decent list of books.
    Well since we are reading anyway...

  5. Luckily we're not at that point yet. Our summer reading is still Dr. Seuss. :)

  6. My school system was usually pretty good with summer reading. One summer, we were even given the option of choosing what genre we wanted and were then told what books we had to read based on that. I have to say though, every once and a while, I'd get a book that was such crap that I don't know how anyone could think it a good idea to mandate it for the entire school.

    <3 Gina Blechman

  7. Our summer reading list is still suggested reading, not required. But my DD is doing the summer reading program at our library as well as the Barnes & Noble summer reading program (read 8 books and earn a free book!) I think giving kids choices inspires a love of reading rather than making it feel like homework. Hope your kids get through the requirements and find something they love to read.

  8. So sorry to hear that your kids do not have a good selection of books to read! Right now my daughter is just 2 so it's just books about shapes and colors and some of her favorite cartoon characters. Not even sure when she goes to school if they even have a reading list for the students...I've been out of school for 12 years and they never gave me anything like that!

  9. Gosh, that sounds too proscriptive. Surely they realise that if they gave a choice they'd have a better chance of the children enjoying it, rather than resenting it.

  10. I only have one that gets a summer reading list. We haven't gotten her list yet, but it will probably include The Kite Runner. It sounds like your kids will be VERY busy.