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Books FTW! Summer Reading Challenges to Hook Kids on Books

Inspire kids to keep reading over the summer with these challenges for all ages, interests, and reading levels.

For many kids, summer means trading in reading logs and library visits for screen time and "summer slide." But summer can also be a great time to catch up on all the awesome books you might have missed during the school year. To encourage kids to keep reading over the school break, we've come up with a few ways to introduce some friendly competition into the mix.

These "challenges" will not only provide you with some fantastic reads for kids of all ages, interests, and reading levels, they'll offer you tons to talk about together, from faraway cultures to scientific facts to the importance of tolerance and friendship. Whatever your family's reading style, there's something here that will help your kid feel inspired and motivated to read all the way up to the start of the school year.

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

Film adaptations of books are always popular, but most people agree: It's better to read the book first.

  • Discover book-based movies, including classic read-aloud faves such as Paddington, Stuart Little, and The Wizard of Oz.

Challenge 2: Find a new favorite.

Give your cherished copies of your all-time faves a summer vacation, too, and try these similar picks.

Challenge 3: Read around the world.

"Travel" to faraway places and learn about new cultures with these diverse picks.

Challenge 6: Crown the best of the best.

All these picks have been honored by major literary awards, but which are really the best?

Frannie Ucciferri
Frannie Ucciferri is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she earned a degree in cognitive science and taught a class on "Arrested Development and Society." Her passion for reading and writing is paralleled only by her love of Bay Area sports, especially baseball. When she isn't playing with her dogs or trying out great new restaurants, you can probably find her watching Pixar movies, Parks and Rec, or one of her favorite girl power movies and TV shows.