Lure your kid to read and discuss.
- Host a reading marathon. Challenge everyone in the house to read a minimum number of pages or books over the course of a month. Offer prizes such as a bookstore gift certificate.
- Start a book club. Get together with other families and choose a book to read and discuss each month. Check out the Children's Notable Books lists at the American Library Association Web site: ala.org.
- Play book-into-movie critic. Read the book, then rent the movie based on it. Debate which one was better and why. Some good choices to get you started: Because of Winn-Dixie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Indian in the Cupboard, Ella Enchanted, and The Princess Bride.
Connect your kid's personality to a great read.
For Your Adventurer
- Midnight Magic, by Avi. Harry Potter fans will love this story about a magician and his servant who try to discover who's haunting a beautiful princess.
- The Conch Bearer, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. An Indian healer asks Anand to help him return a magical conch to its home in the Himalayas.
For the Budding Poet
- A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children, edited by Caroline Kennedy. Some are famous, some unfamiliar, but all of them rock!
- A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, compiled by Paul B. Janeczko. This anthology features a range of poetic forms, from limericks to sonnets.
For the Sports Fan
- Snowboarding on Monster Mountain, by Eve Bunting. A story about two girls, snowboarding, and friendship.
- The Warriors, by Joseph Bruchac. When Jake leaves his Iroquois reservation for a boarding school in Washington, D.C., lacrosse helps him bridge the cultures.
- Copyright ? 2006. Reprinted with permission from the July 2006 issue of Parents magazine.