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08.04.2016
I have amazing memories of summers spent on vacations, relaxing by the pool, sneaking in a half hour to read every now and then. Amazon Kindle prices are, in many cases, exceptionally less than cover prices (hard- and paperback).
Even better than buying one, enter to win an Amazon Paperwhite Kindle and a gift card through our Summer Soltice Giveaway! Tip: To turn text into a link, highlight the text, then click on a page or file from the list above. It’s a great way to ease into summer and to remind kids that they still have to keep their brains moving over the long, hot months. We always make it super-casual, and we always keep it fun.A  This year, we kept it even more simple by having Maddy, Owen, and Cora walk home with some swim and dive buddies, books in hand, ready to swap. The cool thing is that anyone can host a Summer Reading Book Swap.A  And the par-tay can be done in the backyard, basement, or playroom.
You can make your Book Swap a potluck where everyone brings something to share, or you can do what we did–provide snacks. Our pals packed the main courses of their lunches (a sandwich or bagel) and we had fruit, veggies, chips, and drinks to share. Kids ate lunch when they first got here, because hungry kids post-swim practice are no fun for Book Swaps!A  So with full bellies, we were ready to move into the swap. Then I said, Okay, guys, we have to figure out who has the shortest and who has the longest and everything in between. Once the kids put themselves in order from smallest straw to tallest, I gave each child a sticker with a number 1-10. We went through the groups a few times so that each child could grab 3-5 books, and if they really wanted another, after everyone went, they could grab another.
If you log your minutes read on the Scholastic Reading Timer, you can help beat Scholastic’s World Record from 2012 of over 95 million minutes read. The Challenge runs from May 6th- September 6th, so there’s still a LOT of time to get involved!
I showed them the Reading Timer on the iPad, and after our guests left, I registered Maddy, Owen, and Cora for this year’s Challenge. Knowing how close we keep our iPads and phones, I know that updating the times will take no time at all.


The two words every student groans at when ending any school year is "summer reading" -- especially since at the end of the school year, the last thing we want to think about is homework.
In fact, the majority of my summers can be matched with the books I read and where I was as I read each book. With the least expensive price of a Kindle being only $69, you’ll more than save money this summer if you purchase a Kindle and books at the lower Kindle price.
Read my 2011 review of Kindle with advertisements (you’ll see how unobtrusive the advertisements really are and why you should select this option. It can be in the beginning of the summer, middle, or even the end of summer–morning, afternoon, or evening.
So take a few minutes, figure out who has what and put yourselves into perfect straw-size order.
Some schools are even doing it together and the winning school will get a visit from the author of Captain Underpants! It only takes a few minutes to sign them up, and I know they’ll love logging their minutes. Cool incentive for our tech-savvy kiddos, too, to be able to log on and log time after they read.
All of the books I had freshman year were interesting and amazing, and the same goes for most of the books I had for sophomore year. If you start going on about how awful the book is going to be or how much you don't want to do the writing assignment, the entire fiasco is already spiraling downhill before you even begin, and it's all going to seem that much worse.
If you understand the basic plot and themes, it'll help keep you from getting lost or confused, especially if it's a complicated book with a lot of archaisms and allusions.
Find any interesting facts on how the author first started, what problems the book went through before it was published, the success of the book, famous people who have read the book, or anything else that may interest you. Take it apart and take the assignments little by little, gradually increasing the amount you do.
When a book doesn't necessarily ring my bell, I can usually at least respect all of those rhetorical devices and structures the author used or the beautiful writing or the style and so on.
This list isn't foolproof and not everyone is going to find it helpful, but hopefully there are some tips you can try to use. In this example, I calculated the cost of 8 of the books on this list: Kindle and paper or hard cover copies, as prices were listed at Amazon on June 22, 2014.


A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise. Despite that fact, by the time August rolls around, students start to scramble to finish reading all of those books and completing all of those additional writing assignments. Sophomore year was the first year I actually got summer reading since I moved to a new city and school where the teachers actually gave out summer reading. Instead, try to get yourself pumped up and tell yourself it's not going to be bad and that you can do this -- a positive mindset will get you through without feeling like you want to die every five minutes.
Also, while you're doing your research, find out why the book is highly acclaimed or why people like it. This will help keep you from getting immediately overwhelmed, and the slowly increasing amount of work will help you get back into school mode so you don't get completely shocked when the load drops on you. Try setting up a reward system for reaching your daily goals like getting a little treat or find something you really want and only let yourself buy after you successfully finish your summer reading assignment.
Make sure you give yourself short breaks every now and then, clear your mind or take time to reflect on what you just read, and get a snack in you to keep your energy up!
If you need to be interactive with the next and read it out loud or act out any dialogue, do so.
Seeing as I only moved a few days before school started, though, my summer reading basically became homework on top of the homework I got the rest of my classes, and every assignment I couldn't complete because I hadn't finished the book became additional homework on my plate. Let your curiosity soar, and the more interesting things you find related to your book, the more interesting the book itself may seem. That was completely awful and a million times worse than summer reading actually done in the summer. You can also find audio versions of just about any book -- you can listen to them in the car or when you're bored, and you can read along, as well.
In fact, the meaning behind the book is always my favorite part about reading, whether it's Nicholas Sparks showing us the power of love or Dante giving us lessons on the worst crimes a person can commit in life, such as becoming a traitor to your benefactor.



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