Whether your child is five or fifteen, summer is the perfect time to nurture reading for enjoyment. With a more flexible and relaxed schedule free of homework and tests, young people can read what they want, try new genres of fiction and non-fiction, explore new interests and visit unknown places. In addition, regular reading for pleasure is one way to prevent the “summer slide,” which is the summer learning loss of academic achievement that often happens when kids are off from school.
For children, reading books can create lasting impressions. In particular, multicultural and anti-bias books have the power to instill empathy, expose children to people and places unknown, build self-esteem by telling stories that reflect children’s life experiences and inspire action to change the world.
Tips for Summer Reading
Below are tips for summer reading as well as links to multicultural and anti-bias books that might interest young people in your life.
- Help your child find a cozy place to read by discovering a special reading spot—a small nook or tent in their room, an outside space or a special place in the library or bookstore.
- Read yourself to model for them that reading brings pleasure over one’s lifetime. Or, better yet, create a family book club and read a book together and talk about it.
- Let your child choose their own books but be sure to help them by identifying books on their level and stories that reflect their passions. If you need suggestions, ask their teacher or a librarian.
- Make a consistent time to read each day.
- Take advantage of the resources in your community. The American Library Association reports that 95% of public libraries offer summer reading programs and Barnes and Noble, as well as many local bookstores, also participate.
- Even if your children read on their own, read aloud every once in a while before bed, in the park or on a special trip.
- Most importantly, make reading fun—take books on outings, celebrate the completion of a book by making cupcakes and discussing it or invite a friend over for an afternoon read-a-thon.
Multicultural and Anti-Bias Books for Young People In Your Life
Books Matter is ADL’s online directory of over 800 children’s and young adult books focusing on diversity, bias, bullying and social justice. You will find books…
- about people, identity and culture
- that challenge gender norms
- about being an ally
- that tell stories of racial pride
- that share information about people with disabilities
- with different kinds of families
- that inspire social justice
- that explore similarities and differences
…and many more!