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6 Summer Reading Challenges to Hook Kids on Books over the Break

Common Sense Media logo Common Sense Media 5/15/2017 Frannie Ucciferri

Getting kids to read during summer vacation can be a huge challenge, especially with so many games, apps, and other fun media distractions available to them when school's out. But there's a ton of value to hitting the books, even when it's not required by a teacher. Reading over the summer is the most effective tool against "summer slide," and research shows that students who read when school's out enter the next grade better prepared than students who don't.

But convincing kids and teens to crack open a book when they could be swimming, streaming video, or socializing is no easy task. That's why we've come up with some summer reading "challenges" that the whole family can get behind. Some friendly competition might be exactly what you need to motivate even the most reluctant readers. These aren't your standard "read as many books as you can" challenges either (although we do have suggestions to keep your biggest bookworm occupied). These lists and guides have something for kids of all ages, interests, and reading levels, so that they can find the perfect book that will inspire them to keep reading all summer long.

Pick the challenge that best suits your family!

Challenge 1: Read the book(s) before you see the movie.

Get film fans excited with these books -- and then see them on the big screen.

  • Books to Read Before They're Movies in 2017
  • Movies Based on Books

Challenge 2: Find a book your reluctant reader will love.

For many people, a love of reading is just a matter of finding the right book.

  • Books for Reluctant Readers
  • How Comics Helped My Kid Love Reading
  • Books Tweens and Teens Recommend to Friends
  • 9 Ways to Get Teens Reading

Challenge 3: Have a tech-free vacation.

Stay occupied (and off devices) on road trips, on the beach, at summer camp, and more.

  • 8 Tips for a (Nearly) Tech-Free Vacation
  • Great Books for Summer Travel
  • Great Audiobooks for Kids
  • Beach Reads
  • Summer Camp Books

Challenge 4: How fast can you finish the series?

For speedy readers or anyone who wants to stay with their favorite characters a little longer.

  • Best Book Series for Kindergartners
  • Best Book Series for Early Readers
  • Best Book Series for Tweens
  • Best Book Series for Teens

Challenge 5: Get ahead for the next school year.

Fight off summer learning loss and enjoy some great books at the same time.

  • Summer Reading List
  • Kindergarten Books
  • Best Books for First-Graders
  • Best Books for Second-Graders
  • Best Books for Third-Graders
  • Best Books for Fourth-Graders
  • Best Books for Fifth-Graders
  • Best Books for Sixth-Graders
  • The Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers

Challenge 6: How many essential books have you read?

Still need something to read? We have you covered with hundreds of amazing books for kids.

  • 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12
  • Essential Books Guide (with more than 150 suggestions!)


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