Let’s take a break from hair today and explore something I love just as much … reading. Summertime usually means more time to read for everyone, but this is especially true for kids. Even though we’re living in a digital world, don’t write the library off as some ancient artifact just yet. Your local library still has plenty of programs for youth during the summer. Also check out what your local Barnes & Noble has to offer.
Here are my summer reading picks for kids. Some are books that I enjoyed as a child and others are newer books and series that are receiving rave reviews.
- Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes. This book won a Coretta Scott King Book Award “Author Honor” in 2011. As can be assumed from its title, it is about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. It makes sense that Rhodes’ name may seem familiar to you. She has written novels for adults as well. I have not read Ninth Ward, but even though I’m an adult, it is on my list. The book is best for the pre-teen and middle school set.
- Matilda by Roald Dahl. One of the greatest children’s authors ever opened up a whole new world for kids when he decided way back when to write it. Regardless of age, most children are probably familiar with Mr. Dahl, even if they don’t know it. James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda have all been made into movies.
- Pretty Little Liars series. Oh how the world changes. When I was a kid, the series I read were Babysitters Club and the Girl Talk series. Now, there is Pretty Little Liars. Like all good things, Fox Family saw the need to turn this book series into a TV series. The series is about four friends who are high school juniors as the series begins. Their was once a fifth member of the group of friends, but now she’s disappeared. Someone must know something right, someone must be lying!
- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. This book was published in 1964 – twenty years before I was even born. This is not only my favorite children’s book, but one of my favorite books, period, of all time.
- Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. This book is probably why most teenage girls are so dramatic. There are few grown women that haven’t read it. There’s a reason for that, it’s excellent. What’s more awkward than being 15? Umm, being 30 and single? But I digress. Give this book to your daughter, niece, mentee.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. All kids I know love this series. Good for anyone 7 and up.
- I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and E. B. Lewis. This a picture book, good for any African-American girl who needs to understand that her hair is gorgeous and versatile. I own a copy myself.
- Game Changers series by Mike Lupica. Lupica is a renowned sports writer that currently has a syndicated column in the New York Daily News. This series could do the trick to getting your boys reading.
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. This is the ultimate children’s book in some people’s eyes, I was definitely required to read it more than once in my early education. Give your child a head start.