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Book Corner: Summer perfect time for kids to get hooked on a book series

Book Corner: Summer perfect time for kids to get hooked on a book series

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Summer is the perfect time for kids to dive into a book series.

The freedom to make their own reading choices in the summer means that kids can go all-in with a favorite character or author, be transported into literary worlds they love, and feel the satisfaction of completing a series or reading all the books by a beloved author. Especially in the summer, when adults are working hard to keep our kids motivated to read every day, getting them hooked on a series or particular author can relieve some pressure on us by keeping kids self-motivated and begging us for the next book instead of us begging them to read.

“Elephant & Piggie” by Mo Willems. This series is funny, focuses on friendship, and has enough books to keep a child engaged for days (even weeks, if they want to read them over and over, as many children do). Elephant and Piggie’s silly bantering back and forth defines two distinct characters and makes these especially entertaining to read aloud. If your child is an emerging reader, it’s great fun for you and your child to each take a character and read aloud together. Children will be having so much fun with the funny dialogue they won’t realize they are practicing their reading. Titles in this series include “Pigs Make Me Sneeze!,” “A Big Guy Took My Ball!” and “Elephants Cannot Dance!”

If your child enjoys “Elephant & Piggie,” and you are looking for more books with a similar layout and approach to humor, check out the “Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!” series, which features books by various authors that have the same look and feel as Willems’ series. Titles in this series include “The Good For Nothing Button!” by Charise Mericle Harper, “We are Growing!” by Laurie Keller, and “The Itchy Book!” by LeUyen Pham.

“Ordinary People Change the World” by Brad Meltzer. Writing engaging informational books for children is challenging. These books have to be interesting and factual, and must compress a lifetime’s worth of events into a book short enough to hold a child’s attention. Meltzer’s series does all of that. Each book focuses on an influential person, and tells their story in a way meant to inspire children to be leaders and make a positive difference. There is a wide range of individuals for young readers to choose from; their areas of influence vary widely, as do the time periods in which they lived. Readers can learn about influencers in science (“I Am Albert Einstein” and “I Am Jane Goodall”), arts and entertainment (“I Am Jim Henson”), politics and military (“I Am George Washington”), social justice (“I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “I Am Rosa Parks”) and more.

“The Questioneers” by Andrea Beaty. This series is about curious kids with a particular passion such as architecture, the scientific method or inventing. In each book, characters are faced with challenges that they use STEM skills to solve. They sometimes doubt themselves, and others doubt them, as well, but the message here is that tenacity pays off, as they complete projects such as inspiring classmates to do a building project together, finding the source of a community disturbance and inventing contraptions to help family members. The bouncy, rhyming rhythm of the text keeps the storytelling light and the messages about perseverance and failure inspiring. Titles in this series include “Iggy Peck, Architect,” “Ada Twist, Scientist,” “Rosie Revere, Engineer” and “Sofia Valdez, Future Prez.”

Darcie Caswell is Youth Services coordinator at Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

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