Every June Half Price Books hosts a party to kick off their summer reading program. At the store in Humble, we’ve made it a habit of inviting local Fireman Ricky Meehan out for the fun. He reads to the kids while we pass out snacks and brochures, and talks to them about being a fireman and shows off his gear. Last year he read Curious George and the Fireman, this year we laid out some fireman titles but got requests for favorites from the likes of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein.
He read for nearly a full hour, kids came up and rotated out using the chairs. We maybe had about twenty smaller ones over all, but there were lots of tweens and teens that hung back, browsing the young adult section while munching on their snacks, pocketing the brochures so they could log their time and get the coupons too. HPB’s summer reading program is designed for kids 14 and under. If your child is too little read like mine, no worries, you can read to them and it still counts!
The Humble location will continue to do Wednesday morning story time at 10:30 am on a weekly basis throughout the summer. We wont have a fireman handy, but children’s authors have been known to do book signings on those days. Just last week we had local author Temara Moore read “Bloop! Bloop! Goes the Poop” later this month we’ll be visited by M.G. King, author of Librarian on the Roof.
A few of my personal favorites to keep an eye out for this summer:
Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series is an obvious favorite amongst kiddos now days. I didn’t have these as a child, but I’m already collecting them for Ayla. Don’t forget to keep a look out for the Research Guide non-fiction companions to each fictional story. They are fun, exciting, full of factoids, and will keep your kid sharp over the summer. I plan to present them to Ayla in their appropriate pairs.
Every kid should spend a summer with old school greats like The Hardy Boys, The Boxcar Children, and Nancy Drew. When they are exhausted on those fabulous mysteries, most kids can handle Sherlock Holmessooner than they are given credit for.
Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes is awesome. I read this at the beginning of sixth grade as a kid and I thought it was brilliant. The Giver by Lois Lowry and The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill are other really great ones for that age range.
A great series for older kids to get into is Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars trilogy. The Looking Glass Wars is a less girly, more intense Alice in Wonderland story. The guy that did the design art for Star Wars: Epiosodes I and II movies (Doug Chiang) was commissioned to do the concept art for this series while Frank Beddor wrote it, and quite frankly, its awesome.
Whatever you pick, if you’re 14 and under you should log your minutes and cash them in! More information can be found at the links below.