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How to Keep Reluctant Readers Reading over the Summer

It's been six years since Robert took his first look around his kindergarten class and said, "Just how much more of this do I have to do?" He still thinks writing, spelling, math, science, and social studies are annoying, but most of all, Robert dislikes reading.

This summer, read Robert the riot act. Read him his rights, read him the directions, the ingredients, the computer manual, and the back of the cereal box. Read to, read on, read up, read around, read along, read with him and through him, but this summer, get reading and Robert together. It's good for him and for you, too.

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body," said Joseph Addison, an early eighteenth century English poet, playwright, and essayist, and centuries later his words are still right on. Especially for beginning and reluctant readers who have more attitude than answers when it comes to this complex skill. Reading consistently and everywhere during any long breaks from school is critical for kids like Robert.

The following tactics will keep reluctant readers involved in books all summer long. Unless otherwise noted, they apply to kids in grades four through twelve. At the end of the chapter, find book titles listed by age level. They are recommended by kids who loved them though they swore they'd never, ever feel that way about a book.

Next: The basics >>

More on: Summer Learning


From Teacher Says by Evelyn Porreca Vuko. Copyright © 2004. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, visit or click on the book cover.

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