This post is sponsored by Disney-Hyperion who is partnering with me for a giveaway. It also includes affiliate links
My two middle schoolers are counting down the days until the end of the school year and looking forward to summer where required reading for English class gives way to reading for pleasure. There’s no shortage of good books out there but finding ones that your tween or teen wants to read is the trick. This summer, help your middle schooler rediscover reading for pleasure and prevent the dreaded summer slide by doing any of these 7 things.
7 Ways to Help Your Middle Schooler Rediscover Reading for Pleasure
Make a Book List
My 8th grade daughter always keeps a running list of books she wants to read on a piece of paper. It includes books she has heard about, ones her friends have read and recommended, and others she’s spotted in bookstores. Now is a great time to ask your middle school what books they’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten to. As summer approaches, revisit the list and have your kid rank them. Put the top 2 on hold at the library, download them to their Kindle, order them from Amazon, or purchase them at a discount from BookOutlet. That way when summer starts, they’ll have books they’ve been wanting to read right there waiting for them.
Start a Series
When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ended, I couldn’t wait to devour the next book and the next book and the next book all the way until the end. The great thing about series, is that once kids are hooked on the first book, they want to keep reading the books that follow! Trilogies are a great place to start but older readers who want a challenge, may like a longer series like Percy Jackson and the Olympians. With 5 books in the series, Percy Jackson continues with another 5-book spinoff series, The Heroes of Olympus.
My mother, a teacher for over 30 years, always said it didn’t matter what we were reading- as long as we were reading. Prevent the summer slide by letting your kids re-read favorites from their bookshelf. Sometimes they’ll even be enticed by a new cover on a longtime favorite.
With new cover designs released in April, The Kane Chronicles trilogy has a new look for fans who will want to go back and read Rick Riordan’s funny and exciting take on Ancient Egypt. The newly designed editions even include Percy Jackson-Kane Chronicles crossover stories and witty, relatable heroes, gods & monsters, prophecies, curses, and non-stop action. Even tweens and teens who have read the series will remember why they love learning about Ancient Egypt through this imaginative storytelling.
Explore Companion Titles
The beauty of some books is that they lead to other titles that your kids want to read thanks to familiar characters. Rick Riordan is the master at crossover stories that take characters from one book and put them in another. Familiar characters who pop up in other books keeps kids interested.
- Fans who have read the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series will enjoy The Trials of Apollo because of the references to familiar characters and places. If your middle schoolers have already read that, try Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes, the companion to the national best seller Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods.
- Those who love The Kane Chronicles will enjoy Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual. This Kane Chronicles companion is a must-have guide to Ancient Egyptian deities and creatures, and Carter and Sadie Kane’s world of magic. It features favorite human, divine, and animal characters for the bestselling Kane Chronicles trilogy. Middle grade readers will love the information about Egyptian mythology in laugh-out-loud entries with surprises like snarky comments from Sadie Kane and a dastardly plot by an old enemy.
Use a Fiction Title to Expand Knowledge About a Favorite School Subject
From historical fiction that provide a new perspective on time period to titles inspired by mythology, books can be used to help your middle schooler learn more about a favorite school subject in a fun way.
- Rick Riordan’s The Trials of Apollo is a modern way of teaching Greek mythology to kids in a fun and memorable way through characters that they identify with. Recently released The Trials of Apollo Book #3, The Burning Maze, continues the story of the formerly glorious god Apollo who was cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus and is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. Familiar and new friends emerge in The Burning Maze and Percy Jackson fans will be glad to know that all of the beloved characters from Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter will aid Apollo in his quest!
- Want to know more about myths around the world? Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual is a guide to Ancient Egyptian deities and creatures that features a wealth of information about Egyptian mythology. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard introduces tweens and teens to Norse mythology!
Use Movies to Motivate
In high school, I had a teacher whose entire year-long curriculum consisted of read a book, watch the movie, write a paper comparing and contrasting the two. I eliminated the comparison paper and made watching the movie an incentive to finishing a book in our house. It worked liked a charm and without being prompted, my kids always had lots to say about similarities and differences to the books vs. the movies. Great books to read include:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
- The Fault in Our Stars
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Not familiar with these books or the movies? Read the reviews on Common Sense Media.
Let Them Choose Their Books
While you can provide suggestions and offer rides to the bookstore and library, the best way to get your middle schooler to rediscover reading for pleasure is to let them read what they want. Throughout the school year they’re been subjected to reading the books that their English teacher has selected as part of the curriculum so let them have the freedom to choose what they want to read.
Help Your Middle Schooler Rediscover Reading for Pleasure with the Summer of Magic & Mazes Giveaway from Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan wants to keep your middle schooler reading throughout the summer and one (1) very lucky family will win a Summer of Magic & Mazes beach tote plus these seven Rick Riordan books:
- The Trials of Apollo series — with an autographed copy of The Burning Maze!
- The Kane Chronicles trilogy – plus new companion book Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual!
For more information:
- Visit ReadRiordan.com
- Follow Read Riordan on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
- Check out hashtags #ReadRiordan, #TheBurningMaze, #Trials of Apollo, #KaneChronicles
I received copies of the aforementioned Rick Riordan books for review purposes and was compensated for writing this post and hosting the giveaway. Affiliate links are included.