Summer Reading …

As summer approaches, I am preparing a summer reading plan for my boys which will include:

  • Trips to the book store and library.
  • Books for Silent Sustained Reading (SSR) or quiet time as we call it.
  • Books for bedtime (we won’t need to go through the process of picking books each night.)

Our goal is to motivate our oldest to read independently and not just for function. By function I mean: I can find what I want to watch on TV but that’s the extent of my reading. At one point he told us, “I didn’t read it. I just recognized the words.” Yes, well, that is reading.

We’ve discussed as a family that it’s time to move to CHAPTER BOOKS. And of course the boys think that means NO pictures but that’s not entirely true. Anyway, it’s decided. This summer we will read chapter books.

I was so excited because I couldn’t wait to share with my boys the books I read at their age. It was going to be great. I’d have these nostalgic moments with my kids. We would read some of my favorites:

Paddington Bear at Paddington Station


  • Paddington Bear
  • Ralph P. Mouse
  • Encyclopedia Brown

The boys wouldn’t necessarily be able to read these on their own yet but definitely great to cover a chapter each night at bedtime. We would be making new memories around some of my childhood loves.

Imagine my surprise when my oldest said, “Those don’t look good at all.” WHAT? How can he think that? I was at a loss. I started campaigning for my favorites which just led to bigger resistance. I was convinced I’d win them over. How selfish I was being!

I had to get over it. It’s not about me. It’s about them. I want my boys to have a love of reading which means I have to find things that interest them.

I started the great hunt. Had lots of conversation with the boys, my husband, and other parents who have kids in the same age range. Here’s what my husband and I agreed to explore:

  • Magic Tree House Series
  • Geronimo Stilton Series
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series
  • Big Nate Series

I’m open to others if you know of any that would interest kids who love:  action and adventure, science, dinosaurs, superheroes …

And then there is the other category. Bodily Functions. The response I get from other parents is interesting and sometimes funny when I mention the following titles. Keep in mind I am trying to meet my boys where they are … and they laugh about bodily functions … They are typical kids. So we will consider:

Cover of "Sweet Farts"The first Captain Underpants book.

  • Sweet Farts Series (Yes, “farts” it’s not a typo)
  • Captain Underpants Series
  • Stink Series

I don’t know what I will learn or appreciate about these books but if my boys will read it … I need to at least be open to it. I’ll keep telling myself:  IT’S NOT ABOUT ME.

Last night, I unveiled the official list and we went to the bookstore to make final choices. My seven year old said, “Those all look great Mommy! You’re awesome. Thanks!” Mission accomplished. He picked Magic Tree House (Book 19) – Tigers at Twilight. My five year old picked, Big Nate – In a Class by Himself; the thickest on the list.

Reading is fundamental and for me a way of escape. I learned so much about the world and my place in it from the pages of books. I learned to find answers to my questions and definitions. Books are doors to a lot of things. And, I want that for my boys.

This morning I got what I want. Both boys woke up and picked up their books instead of being glued to the TV. It made me proud and happy and excited for the worlds we will discover together.

This evening we purchased 2 books from the bodily functions category. Let the reading commence!

So I still get to have nostalgic moments but instead of them being tied to specific books … they will be tied to the love of reading.