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Summer reading lists for kids and families


Denver-area schools have been out for six-plus weeks, and summertime activities have begun. But the end of classes shouldn't signal a break in the learning cycle. Instead, now is a prime time to keep the habit alive.

Many area schools have compiled suggested summer reading lists for kids of all ages. Popular choices from many of the local K through 5 lists include these:

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (series) Exciting books about a clever boy who is often smarter than the impatient adults around him.

Junie B Jones (series) Funny and engaging stories told from the unique perspective of a young girl. 

The Black Stallion A classic tale of the unbreakable bond between a boy and his exotic horse.

Falling Up A collection of delightful poems and stories by beloved writer Shel Silverstein.

But the reading isn't just for the kids to do. An excellent way for parents and kids to bond, reading out loud affords families both the chance to share in the story as well as in the story time. Reading out loud is great for families with kids of all ages--infants and toddlers can build an early interest in reading and books, and they can begin to learn that reading is fun. Even more, countless studies have shown that, when parents read out loud to their kids, the children increase memory skills, show improved attention spans, and create an impressive vocabulary base.

Reading out loud doesn't have to be for only the youngsters. Many families have created traditions of book sharing--many summer vacations include long car rides to destinations; those rides are perfect for parents to read out loud and for having school kids read to the family.

Libraries are, of course, one of the best sources for a variety of books without an outlay of cash. JeffCo libraries, Denver Public Library, and Douglas County libraries are all rife with many reading-list titles; many of those libraries also offer inter-library loaning systems, online reservations, and phone-in holds for books, which makes finding and accessing the books very easy.

For people who prefer to build a library of their own, the Tattered Cover is an excellent source. Even more, the bookstore offers a couple of ways families can save and yet also give back. Their donation program involves a discount card that allows patrons to build up stamps toward a 25% discount and a book donation to Reach Out and Read Colorado programs. Furthermore, when customers sign up as members in the give-back program, 1% of proceeds can go to the customer's organization of choice, which could include the DPL, JeffCo libraries, and Douglas County libraries. It's a win-win, for kids, parents, and the community.