Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dreaming Big - Reading 1,000 Pages

One of our most beloved summer activities is signing up for the Summer Reading Program at our local library.  The theme this year is "Dream Big."   I was a little nervous signing up at first because this is the first year that Gess transitions from counting how many books she reads (20) to reading 1,000 pages.  Not only must you read a certain number of pages but the books must be from the Juvenile, Young Adult or Adult section of the library.  She also has to read out of at least 3 of the following categories: Fiction, Fairytale, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Biography.

I really do not know why I was nervous, I mean Gess' strong point is reading.  She loves to read and is really great at it.  The only struggle she has is reading smaller font.  Even with glasses the font has to be fairly large or she struggles and complains that it's too hard.  Of course when the librarian saw that I was a little concerned she carefully whispered to me, not to worry about it.  They are going to help me find books that fit Gess' visual needs and we can modify her page requirement if necessary, but you know what?  I don't think we will have to!

Gess had already been getting most of her books in the juvenile section anyway, especially non-fiction books about the weather, animals, the human body or any other science topic that hit her fancy that day.  She has gotten some novels there, but she seems to not read them as often as she would the easier books.  Again, the font has to be just perfect for her to be able to read it and then the topic has to be of interest to her as well. Because it's so hard to quickly find something Gess will usually just head back to the easy section and grab some of her favorite early chapter books like Mr. Putter & Tabby.  Then it hit me, I knew how to get Gess to read a novel from the juvenile section.

We went to the card catalog computer and looked for books on tornadoes.  Now I am not talking about the non-fiction books as she's seen all those anyway.  I started looking for non-fiction books about tornadoes.  Of course The Wizard of Oz is quick to come up, but that truly is beyond Gess' level.  Yes, she could read it all but that one book would take her all summer and the size of it really put her off, but we did find a few others that were shorter.

Twister Trouble is a Magic School Bus chapter book and it was the perfect beginning because it included all those facts Gess loves to read about within with the story.  It only took Gess a couple of days to read this 76 page book.

Then we came across Tornado.  This book begins as a twister is spotted and everyone needs to take cover.  Pete the farmhand keeps everyone calm by telling stories about his beloved dog named Tornado.  Gess has not finished it yet, but she is more than half way through it's 49 pages.

I certainly hope I can find more "disaster" type novels (with large font) at the library this year!  She loves those.  Of course we are also working on the other categories.  Gess has already finished two non-fiction books, one on plants and one on bears.  She is also working on poetry and is halfway through Laughing Time.

These books may not be following the theme of Dream Big, but they are certainly fulfilling my dream of seeing Gess complete (without any special modification) the library summer reading program requirements.  She hasn't needed any help yet and I can already see that she won't this time either!  That certainly is a mommy's dream come true.

Does your library have a summer reading program? Are your kids in it?  What are you doing for summer reading fun? Do share!  And be sure to hop aboard the Schoolhouse Blog Cruise if you want to read about more summer reading!


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