When I say “summer reading,” you think about … a good novel, right? I have a couple of suggestions.
Every kid should have these two books tucked in their beach bags, ready for a car trip, or packed for summer camp. Seriously.
In between the reading out loud of those novels you’ve been saving up all year, or the listening to an audio book on the car radio, or the flashlight reading in the pitched tent in your backyard, I hope you will share these books. They’re stuffed with facts presented in the most delicious ways.
Sometimes a story is overwhelming during a busy day but your readers and non-readers can dip into these books, read one paragraph … and they’ll be hooked. If they only read two pages at a time, so be it, but the discussions that will follow can be priceless.
“I have not failed 10,000 times; I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” (Thomas Alva Edison)
“Life will be up, life will be down … You can laugh at it or you can cry at it, and laughing feels better.” (Rachael Ray)
I love that there are intentional mistakes on these pages, daring the reader to find them … and I appreciate that there’s an answer key.
There are outrageous inventions memorialized. Reddi-Bacon? Coca Cola, that headache reliever? McDonald’s Hula Burger?
Many people stand firmly on these pages. Michael Jordan. Tina Fey. Albert Einstein.
You can read about one topic, laugh, learn, question, discuss … and find it irresistible to turn the page for more.
Everything is presented in a highly visual way with graphic design and layout that makes reading easier.
For your second magic act, you can add MasterMind, another National Geographic Kids book. In case anyone wonders why you’re handing them a book on failures, this book finds your inner genius.
Once again highly visual, this book relies on reading, math, science, and common sense to address the games and puzzles. Many of the pages include a little-know fact. Do you know about supertasters? Do you suspect you are one? Enjoy that next anchovy pizza.
While you’re playing the games and tackling the experiments, you’ll learn about how the brain works … and we all need to figure that out.
It’s another ideal booking for dipping into when time allows, but especially perfect for lazy days at the cabin and long car trips.
Don’t miss out on providing a well-rounded reading experience for your young ones.
Both books will work well for that middle grade, ages 8 to 12 group, but I suspect the adults in your family won’t be able to keep their hands off of them either.
National Geographic, 2016
Mastermind: Over 100 Games, Tests, and Puzzles to Unleash Your Inner Genius
Stephanie Warren Drimmer
National Geographic Kids, 2016