My June Upper Bucks Free Press Article – Keep Kids Reading in Summer

I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the June issue! The online version was just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (see page 19).

Keep Kids Reading In Summer!

Boys reading

(Photo credit: kbowenwriter)

Most kids read during the school year because their school has a program the encourages them to read more than they would normally. Unfortunately it ends when school lets out. It is a great idea to keep kids reading over the summer for enjoyment and it will help them next year in school. I made a list of some suggestions on how to get kids into reading when they are on summer break.

– Parents can read more. When parents make it a point to try to read more, or make it into a family activity, kids will sit down with a book too. Reading aloud to each other is also a fun

Reading to children.

(Photo credit: San José Library)

thing to do even for older kids. Each member of the family can take turns reading aloud from a favorite book.

– Join a summer book club. Book clubs are fun to take part in. In the clubs, kids can meet new friends and talk about books they really like. If you can’t find a book club, why not start one in your neighborhood? A cool idea is to have a club where you compare the movie to the book!

– If you are going on vacation, get your kid a book about, or that takes place in, the area you are going to. It will make the vacation even more special.

– Read the first book of a series. There are a ton of great series to choose from. When you get done reading the first book, it makes you want to read the next!

– Make “unplugged time” set aside for reading. Turn off the TV, Xbox, iPods, PlayStations and cell phones, find a comfortable chair, maybe even go outside and read!

A woman reading to children.

(Photo credit: San José Library)

-Remember that magazines and comics are great ways to get kids into reading too. Some kids may find these more interesting. You can make your own reward chart for time spent reading and encourage your kids even more.

– Spend extra-time at the library or in a local bookstore. Having a lot of books to choose from helps kids find something they want to read.

Speaking of libraries and bookstores, there are some great local events going on this summer to help kids keep reading.

The Quakertown Public Library has a great summer reading log program that starts June 22. Kids who read can earn entries for great prizes including a Nintendo 3DS or a family trip to The Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos! In addition to the summer reading logs, the library offers great programs for kids of all ages like storytime (including a special storytime called Kindergarten Here I Come for kids entering Kindergarten), science programs, 4H Pet Care, a Scavenger Hunt and a lot more! Visit the Quakertown branch of the Bucks County Public Libraries at to learn more!

The Doylestown Bookshop is ready for summer reading with their Summer Explorer’s Camp. There are camps for kids pre-K – 8th grade. It is a six week camp that meets once a week. Each week of the camp has a different theme like “It’s Good to Be Green” and “That’s Hilarious!” The Doylestown Bookshop also offers a Young Adult Book Reviewer club for kids ages 14 and over. In the club the kids get advanced copies of books that haven’t been released yet to review! To learn more about these programs visit

Harleysville Books has a great summer reading program that benefits kids and their schools. The more kids read from either The Infinity Ring or Junie B. Jones series they can earn discounts at the store and when they shop at the store, their school’s library will earn credit towards new books! Harleysville Books also offers camps, book clubs, and family events to keep summer reading fun. Visit for more information.

The Upper Perkiomen Valley Library in nearby Red Hill has a lot of fun events planned also. They offer a free summer reading club in which kids who sign up at the library and read books though the summer, can earn tickets for activities at the mini-carnival held by the library in September. To learn more, visit

For book reviews and more on reading, please visit my blog at

Happy summer reading!

Categories: Newspaper Columns

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20 replies

  1. Extremely well-written and well-thought-out article, Erik. It’s exciting that you write for Upper Bucks!

  2. Super post, Erik. We’ll be doing many of these suggestions, too. I have one more that I wish more parents did–set daily time quotas on media (tv, movies, video games, ipod time, Facebook, etc.). My kids get two hours they get to mix up however they want each day in the summer, but their reading must be done first.

  3. What a great post, Erik. I too have been thinking/blogging about how to keep my kids reading this summer. We normally have an hour of quiet time in the afternoon when everyone reads or plays quietly in their rooms.

  4. Good write! Erik! And here you are encouraging parents to spend more time reading to their children. Great stuff! And you are letting people know about reading programs. You really are an inspiration..

  5. You are a journalist. Very well-written and informative. Great article to start the summer.

  6. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas for Summer Reading Erik. It’s so true that reading can cease to be the priority during the summer, but it ‘s so easy to set aside the time to read even for just 30 minutes. Or, if it was up to me, 2 hours! 🙂

  7. Great article. I especially like the idea of a special vacation book. The trilogy hook is a gig done too- it always sucks me in!

  8. All great ideas! Here’s another: Read a book and THEN rent its movie counterpart like Bridge to Terabithia, or Holes, or How To Train Your Dragon!

  9. Great ideas Erik. I loved summer when I was growing up because that was when I had time to read way more books. I still read many books on my holidays. (I guess it became a habit)

  10. I love this post! What great ideas for parents and kids. As a teacher, I know it is so important for kids to read over the summer. Many of my students come to school at the end of August and admit that they didn’t read at all. It makes me so sad. I am going to share your article and hope it gets more kids reading! Thanks for sharing!

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