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5 Ways to Celebrate Reading This National Literacy Month

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • September 09, 2021

With all the distractions of modern life, it can be hard for anyone to settle down with a good book, especially kids. But as we all know, there are tremendous mental, emotional, and health rewards that come from reading. To celebrate National Literacy Month, here are five tips for getting kids hooked on books.

1. Join or start a multi-generational book club.

You may already belong to a book club with your peers, but how about one that includes both adults and older children? Here are some books we have enjoyed sharing with our tweens and teens.

For tweens:

For teens:

2. Engage young readers in a book-to-screen reading challenge

This is a great way to get kids excited about reading! Pick up the books to read in advance of watching the show and make a project out of comparing and contrasting the two experiences. Here are some recommendations for a range of ages:

3. Keep family storytime going.

No matter how old we get, there's nothing quite like having stories read aloud to us. Here are some of our favorite read-aloud books for all ages:

4. Hone in on Your Kid's Interests

Kids are their own people and will be more receptive to stories that zero in on their favorite things. For example, a tween or teen who loves swimming may enjoy one of Lynne Cox's wonderful memoirs, like Swimming to Antarctica, chronicling her open-water swimming adventures or Grayson, about her encounter with a lost baby whale when she was a teen.

On that note, if your child is into animals, there are no end of great options like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien or A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry. A simple internet search will help you find great lists of books that cater to your child's specific passions.

5. Tie books to life-changing experiences.

Similarly, we can tailor books to big changes or dramatic experiences in a young person's life, like a new school, the loss of a loved one, or a mental health challenge. If a child's family is traveling or moving, you could look for books set in the new locale. Reading can be a great way to process feelings about new or challenging experiences.

Of course, one of the best things you can do to encourage your young people to get lost in a good book is to model that behavior yourself. So don't forget to pick up a few new titles for yourself as well!

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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