So, you’re looking for good summer reads for your favorite third through sixth grader?  I have scads to offer, but we better clear something up first.  Middle grade readers, that is kids aged 7-12, come in many shapes, sizes, and colors.  Most importantly, for our purposes here, their passion for reading varies.  A lot.

Books have INTENSE competition these days, and though we grown-ups may long for nothing more than a beach chair and a great book–and a good beach, I guess. . . oh, and good weather, and maybe a cool drink with an umbrella in it. . . delivered by a cabana boy who resembles George Clooney.  Anyway, my point is that a lot of stuff is vying for kids’ attention these days, and at first glance a plain old book with immovable print and nothing to click may not hold the same appeal as a Game Boy or YouTube.  But that’s only at first glance. I feel likes it’s our personal mission as parents and teachers and authors to show kids that a lot of those plain old books are far more satisfying than a temporal– albeit flashy– mission to find the missing puffle on Club Penguin.  I ask my students,  “Did a game on your Play Station ever make you cry? Laugh really hard?  Did you remember that game over and over in your imagination because it illuminated something about life as you know it?  Did it introduce you to an unforgettable character?  Take you on a heart-stopping journey that felt so real you wanted to chew it?”  Some wise guy will try to answer “yes” to my questions.  “Oh yeah?” I say. “What if the power goes out?  Or your batteries die? Then where are you?”

Seriously, kids know what I’m getting at:


But sometimes they haven’t experienced it for themselves.  Yet.  That’s why I’m here, and probably why you’re here, too.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Rachel
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 19:34:59

    you NEED to write more


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