The dog days of summer are here! And what better way to stay cool in the shade or the a/c than with a book? It’s a chance to go on an imaginative adventure, to be sure, and the value of summer reading can’t be understated. In addition to the entertainment value, summer reading helps kids maintain their language skills and avoid the dreaded “brain drain” that allegedly happens in the summer when kids may have little or no academic engagement. (Oh, and by the way, reading for pleasure counts on that score!)
Summer reading is also an opportunity for kids to discover books they love, not just books they “have” to read for school. We talked to author Bill Doyle about his new book, The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place. This is the imaginative tale of a boy and his family who set out against all odds to win a huge contest, only to discover what the real prizes are. Written with Doyle’s trademark sense of style, fun and adventure, the story is full of great characters that kids will get a huge kick out of.
For me, I have wonderful memories of spending hot summer afternoons in our air-conditioned local library and coming home on the bus with an armload of treasures. My two favorite places to read were under a huge, old oak tree in our yard or in a big chair on our screened porch. It’s there I made the acquaintance of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, the Hardy Boys, Miss Marple, tons of biographies and many others. One book I remember explicitly was called “No Boats on Bannermere.” Long out of print, the story of a group of adventurous kids has stayed with me for years.
Reading for pleasure is a gift that lasts a lifetime. As a solution to boredom, a chance of enrichment and a way to foster young imaginations, there’s simply nothing like it.
What are your favorite summer reading books?