Teresa’s Summer Reading Challenge

Teresa is a contributor to the Los Angeles Moms Blog, but has thus far resisted the call to establish her own little corner of the Internet. However, she can sometimes be found in Café World or playing Scrabble on Facebook – when she can wrest the computer away from her sons, that is. She has guest-posted here before, and I’ve been lucky (so far) that she hasn’t taken the opportunity to rat me out in any way. We’ve known each other since shortly after she was born, since she happens to be my younger (and taller) sister.

Please welcome today’s guest blogger to The 3 R’s, as she considers a parental twist on the summer reading challenge.

This past school year I had the privilege of being the PTA Library Chairperson at my sons’ elementary school.  This past year marked my tenth year of reading to my oldest child.  This year I had the opportunity to hear some children’s authors’ speak.  An active reader, I am challenged by raising two reluctant readers.  I am not one to run away from challenges.  This summer I will take on the “keeping” challenge…keeping my kids reading.
My favorite time of day with my boys is our reading time.  During the school year, I read with my first grader as part of his homework and again, at night, to both of my sons.  I love to snuggle with them and read. I hope to do more of this during the summer.  While helping in the school library this year, I kept seeing picture books that were well beyond 1st graders’ comprehension.  I found stories like The Polar Express author Chris Van Allsburg’s The Stranger and The Garden of Abdul Gasazi that were included in the third and fourth graders’ anthologies.  My first grader’s teacher encouraged me to continue to read picture books to both my children because the books are both rich in vocabulary and theme.  Because of some of the elevated themes, I think it’s important to still read with them.  Eve Bunting is a prolific author of picture books whose themes include homelessness, remarrying after divorce, and emigrating to America.  All of these present wonderful opportunities for children to question and parents to engage. 
Home Run: The Story of Babe RuthJohn, Paul, George & Ben (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards))Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryThe Sandcastle Contest                               As a lover of baseball, I usually read Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth by Robert Burleigh several times during the Little League season.  The pictures in this book are amazing and the language used begs to be spoken out loud.  It is one of my “keeper” books, the ones my sons know that I will never donate…I will keep them to read to their children and to myself probably, too.  My box of these keeps getting fuller.  Some of the books it contains include Harold and the Purple Crayon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever and The Sand Castle Contest. My collection will also include Barbara Jean Hicks’ Jitterbug Jam and Lane Smith’s John, Paul, George and Ben.
This summer I plan to read the first Harry Potter book to my 10 year-old-son.  I know he is capable of reading it on his own…but I want to read it with him.  I have a feeling that if I do, he will seek out the rest of the series when he is ready.  
I love to read “grown up” books, but having children has allowed me to indulge in re-reading classics, presented opportunities to explore Magic Tree House adventures, and given me a chance to spend a few lazy moments sharing the story of a boy (Henry) and his slobbery, huge dog (Mudge).  While they have selected books to read independently this summer, I hope they also will join me on our couch on a lazy afternoon so that we can escape somewhere through the pages of a book.

*A note from me: I am an Amazon Associate. Book links in this post are provided by Amazon.com and will generate a small referral fee for me if used for purchases.

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