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Enjoying Summer Page by Page: Reading for Kids

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Lily Schmitt, Scarlett Schmitt,

Lily and Scarlett Schmitt agree that one of the best accessories for a wonderful bedroom is having your sister to read with anytime.

Discover some real page-turners from these young Buzz reading experts.

Grant Brown, age 8, attends Annunciation Orthodox School and loves to read. His mom, Josie, says, “Grant enjoys having his nose stuck in a book...a boy after my own heart.” One of his recent reads was Holes by Louis Sachar. As soon as he finished it, he ordered the sequel, Small Steps.

The Schmitt sisters, Lily, who’s age 12 and attends The Briarwood School and Scarlett, age 11, who attends West University Elementary School, were happy to share the scoop on some of their top book choices. Lily says her favorite book that she’s ever read is Wish by Barbara O’Connor. Scarlett’s is Lucky Little Things by Janice Erlbaum.

Nicholas Leonard

Nicholas Leonard is reading his National Geographic Kids Almanac so intensely he doesn't seem to realize that the shark on the front cover looks like he's about to chomp off his fingers! (Luckily, Nicholas hands' were not harmed.)

When he’s not playing baseball with Bellaire Little League, seven-year-old River Oaks Baptist student Nicholas Leonard reads books like The Almanac, National Geographic and other fact-based books like The Guinness World Records books, which contains things like silly and spooky facts. He also enjoys the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne.

Kate Fuller’s current reading choice is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. She thought it sounded interesting and plans to read it over the summer since it has lots of pages. She made to sure to point out that it’s the longest book she’s ever read. Kate is 10 and attends Wharton Academy. 

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm is the book that 10-year-old Shlenker student Samantha Chavez just finished reading. She liked the characters, Ellie and her grandfather. Land of Stories by Chris Colfer is her all-time favorite book.

Carmela Hawley, Keenan Hawley

Carmela Hawley reading to her little brother, Keenan, who thinks she is the best reader in the world.  

Big sis Carmela Hawney, age 3, loves reading to her 14-month-old little brother Keenan. When they look at books together, Keenan stares at his big sister and soaks it all in. One of their favorites is the interactive book, Oink on the Farm. It has picture buttons next to the pages and when Carmela comes to a picture on the page, she pushes the matching button and it makes barn animal sounds. When they’re not reading together, Carmela especially loves her collection of fairytale stories and Keenan likes looking at My First Touch and Feel Cards: Colors and Shapes.
Their mom, Jean shared, “As a speech language pathologist and parent, I view reading as a very important part of our daily routine. I use this time to engage with my children and to teach them.” 
Jean especially enjoys the fact that the books do not include any technology and that children can focus on a task while having fun and using their imagination. 
“I use books to initiate conversations, model correct articulation and grammar, build vocabulary, promote critical thinking and to bond with my children. We enjoy going to the library and also exchanging books with friends.”
Jean said, “Generally my husband, Cormac, and I take turns reading to the kids every night and sometimes before naps. It is a special bonding time which we enjoy as much as they do.”
Rumor has it that Carmela often successfully negotiates additional bedtime stories (especially with her dad). 

Bonnie Kearney, Henry Kearney,

Siblings Bonnie, a third grader at Condit, and Henry Kearney, a sixth grader at Pin Oak, enjoy reading with their dog, Teddy. Bonnie likes the Harry Potter books and Henry suggests the Percy Jackson series.

Mary Kearney teaches Pre-K 4 at Veritas Christian Academy in Bellaire. “I think that summer reading is special because it is usually self-chosen. Frequently during the school year, kids’ reading choices are dictated by a specific book title or genre requirement. With summer reading, you are still ‘sharpening the saw’ but are getting to read whatever you like.
Mary said, “When I was a kid, I participated in the summer reading program at the Bellaire Library nearly every year. I loved any Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary book. But, my favorite children’s book of all time is The Velveteen Rabbit [by Margery Williams]... although I consider its message to be ageless!”

Whether you’re one or one hundred and one years old, we hope you’re able to enjoy some reading time this summer. 

Grant Brown

Grant Brown is in his happy place . . . kicked back on the couch and reading a good book.

Local Summer Reading Programs 

Houston Public Library 
“Explore the Unknown” – Through Aug. 1 
Receive a free book and lanyard just for registering. Then, earn more free books and pins to decorate your lanyard by reaching reading goals. See more details and library events here.  

Harris County Public Library
“A Universe of Stories” – Through Aug. 3  
Learn and step out of your comfort zone through HCPL’s summer reading program, which includes weekly Summer Reading Challenges and earn points toward your reading goals and prizes. See more details. 

Bellaire City Library
“A Universe of Stories” – Through Aug. 6
Children can read up to 50 books. For every 10 books read, kids will receive a prize donated by local businesses. Must go by the library to pick up your reading log. Bellaire City Library also offers summer reading programs for teens and adults.

Kate Fuller

Kate Fuller shows off the cover of Little Women, her new book with lots of pages.  

Brazos Bookstore
“Dive into Summer!” – Through Aug. 11
Kids can work to complete Brazos Bookstore's Summer Reading Tracker and earn prizes. See details and fun book events here.

Blue Willow Bookshop
“Super Summer Reading Challenge” – Through Aug. 15 
Blue Willow has summer-reading challenges for kids and adults, plus author events. See details here.

Half Price Books
“Feed Your Brain” – Through Aug. 29 Kids can earn Bookworm Bucks for summer reading. See details here.

Barnes & Noble
“Book Your Summer” – Through Sept. 3 
Barnes & Noble offers curated reading lists by interests and age. Earn a free book through the program. See more details.

Scholastic Books and Educational Materials 
“Read-a-Palooza” – September 6
Kids participating in the Summer Reading Challenge can help unlock a giveaway of at least 200,000 books from Scholastic in collaboration with United Way to kids in need across the country. See more details about how to give back.

Summer Reading Club – Through Oct. 1 
Read 10 books and record them on a reading log and receive a special t-shirt. See details here.

Samantha Chavez

Samantha Chavez loves reading and has enjoyed attending a fun reading camp this summer.

Chuck E. Cheese 
“Reading Rewards Calendar” – Through Dec. 31
Chuck E. Cheese's offers a Reading Reward Calendar. Kids can earn Play Points through their program. See more details.

Highlights for Children Magazine
Summer Reading Bingo 
Challenge your kids to a game of Summer Reading Bingo through Highlights.

Houston Public Library Kids Book Lists
Divided by age, topic and genre, discover great book choices for all types of readers.  

Editor’s Note: See Summer reading list by Andria Frankfort for summer book recommendations for adults.

  • Teddy Kearney

    Teddy Kearney likes any books about dogs. And passes on any books with cats.

  • Teddy Kearney

Teddy Kearney

Teddy Kearney likes any books about dogs. And passes on any books with cats.

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