So many of the local libraries offer fun programs for children each summer. Children of any age can sign up to read any number of books and receive small prizes or treats as a motivation to keep going.
One summer when my kids were younger (around 8 and 10), I took them early in the summer, very excited to have them choose great literature to read on those lazy, hot summer days. My dream quickly died when I realized they were overwhelmed with the mere number of books from which to choose. Every time they did manage to choose a book, I found myself quickly shooting down their selection as “not appropriate,” “not age-level,” or just “not great.” We all left that day rather discouraged.
When I got home, I remembered a book that had been recommended to me entitled Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. This resource has hundreds of book titles for children ages preschool through teen. The selections are wholesome literature with a range of genres, including fantasy, biography, and poetry.
I took the book, made a list of thirty titles for each of my children in their age group, and we headed back to the library. This time, I was confident that I would be okay with any book off this list they selected, and they felt they still had choices because the list was so large. It also turned out to be a fun sort of scavenger hunt as the kids searched on the computer or down the aisles for their books. Our library did not have every book on their lists, but out of thirty, probably ten to twenty per child were available. It was a good starting point, and the list lasted us throughout the summer.
-Christy B. 🙂