Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Summer Reading Challenge (and Book Lists!)

Hi!  If you're new here, welcome!
If you're an old friend, I'm so glad you're back!
If you've ever read this blog before, you know how much I love
recommending good books, and you know I only recommend things
I feel very strongly about -- in a good way!  I only provide links to 
products and books that I heartily endorse.  This post is no different.
If you click on a link and purchase something from Amazon, I get a
*small* commission at no extra cost to you, 
so that I can keep my kids reading more good stuff
through the the summer and all year.
THANK YOU, from all my family and me :)

*   *   *   *   *   *

There are very few things that could drag me up out of a major blogging slump... but if anything can do it, it's the chance to talk about kids' books :) :) :) 

We always try to do lots of extra read-alouds in the summertime --- I fondly remember a few summer's ago when I read The Jungle Book and an abridged Moby Dick outside in the yard while the kids drank copious amounts of lemonade while they lounged and listened.  Last summer's big excitement was introducing the boys to Tolkien, listening to The Hobbit in the afternoons while the little kids rested.  I think it was last summer too, that we all laughed and laughed at Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (I always read that one at lunch time.)  

Again, I have a list of read-alouds ready for this summer (I already started Heidi with the girls <3 ) and a list of audio books we'll get from the library or Audible.

But I knew that this summer I also wanted to get my three oldest kids doing even more silent reading than we usually do.  Between the library, Amazon, and our own book shelves, I pulled together a stack of books for each child from which each can choose his or her "Challenge material."  I'm a bit of a literary control freak, so I keep a pretty tight rein on what they read.  I picked about 8 books for each kid, and they can pick from that stack.  

The "Challenge" is really just a reward plan.  For every book they finish they get to pick their own personal box of whatever cereal they want from Aldi.  This is painful for me (because sugar) but they're feeling motivated!  And at the end of the summer, if they've read four or five (?) books, they get a one-on-one date with Mom or Dad.  Mini golf or bowling, maybe?  (I know they'll pick Dad, but I just put my name in there for equal opportunity purposes.)   

So here are the stacks I pulled together ---

For Aaron --

The Shadow of His Wings   a graphic novel of the life of Fr. Gereon Goldmann, by Max Temesou

Old Yeller , Fred Gipson

The Chestertons and the Golden Key, Nancy Carpentier Brown (I chose this because he's read and loved Brown's Fr. Brown readers.  I highly recommend those also!)

St Benedict: Hero of the Hills, Mary Fabyan Windeatt

St. Paul the Apostle: the Story of the Apostle to the Gentiles, Mary Fabyan Windeatt

McCracken and the Lost Island, Mark Adderly (hooray for more Catholic adventure tales!)

Travels With Gannon and Wyatt: Hawaii, Patty Wheeler (the most recent in the series, Aaron has read the others)

Shepherds to the Rescue, Maria Grace Detano, FSP (Gospel Time Trekkers series. This is the first book, so we're checking it out.  I don't know much about the series.)

For Dominic -- (Wow.  This was a tricky list to put together, but I love my Dominic and I loved this challenge!  Dominic has always been a struggling reader, though he has been working with an Orton-Gillingham tutor since Nov and has improved a ton!  But moms with kids who read far above or far below their grade level know how hard it is to find books that your child is able to read, with content to match his maturity level. I had to stretch a bit above his reading level and a bit behind to find a stack of books that I think will grab Dominic's attention and that he'll be able to work through this summer.)

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain, Alice Dalgliesh (This is such a fun book, and it's only $2.49 on Amazon right now.  You should check it out!)  

Logan Pryce Makes a Mess (Tales from Maple Ridge), Grace Gilmore 

Ranger in Time: Rescue on the Oregon Trail, Kate Messner (Seriously?!?  A time traveling golden retriever!!  It's historical fiction with man's best friend.  It's got to be good!)  

The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson, Ann McGovern 

The Sword in the Tree, Clyde Robert Bulla

My Father's Dragon, Ruth Stiles Gannett

26 Fairmount Avenue, Tomie DePaola  (we have the whole series, so hopefully this will be the first of many (all!) that he'll read)

Race the Wild: Rain Forest Relay, Kristin Earhart (another first book of a fun series)

For Ruth --

Nate the Great, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat 

The Adventures of Sophie Mouse: a New Friend, Poppy Green 

Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parish (Ruth got a box set of these for her Birthday, so I'm guessing/hoping she'll read a few of them :) )

Any books from my favorites series for early readers - Mouse and Mole (Wong Herbert Yee), Dodsworth (Tim Egan), Billy and Blaze (C.W. Anderson.  Not entirely sure she's ready for these yet, but we'll try), Frog and Toad (Arnold Lobel), Zelda and Ivy (Laura McGee Kvasnosk), Iris and Walter (Elissa Haden Guest)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Summer Reading Challenge is a roaring success.  I'll try to keep you posted.  And maybe I'll even be back here in a few days to give you the low-down on our read-alouds, audio books, and more :)  

Join the conversation -- I loooove getting book recommendations for kids so comment with your best ones.  What are your kids reading these days??  

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