Summer reading challenge: week 1

The iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge kicked off this week.  You and your kids can sign up for the free six week program here at the website.  Once you sign up you’ll begin receiving daily emails with literacy tips and activities from Scholastic and PBS Kids. To add to the fun there are daily contests and prizes, too.

Canadian readers:  a Simple Kids reader let me know about a great free Summer reading program for you, as well.  Steph says, “If you are in Canada, you can also sign up at any public library for the TD Summer Reading Club.”

Our Summer reading so far …

On Jillian”s list (age 10)

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine  In Jillian”s words, “I thought it was really good.  I like princess books where the princess isn”t just a normal princess but where she goes out and takes her life into her own hands.  The book was kind of like the movie, which I like, but there were more forest creatures in the book and more details.  I read the book in two days because it was so good I wanted to see what happened next.”

Max and Lucy, read-alouds (age 4 and age 6)

A Very Young Rider by Jill Krementz  I found a copy second-hand a few months ago and I couldn”t resist it! I loved this book when I was a girl and I had a feeling that it would go over big with Lucy, who loves all things horses.  We don”t often read every word cover to cover when we sit down with this book, but we flip through it at least once a day and Lucy asks me a lot of questions about the pictures and she loves to look at the pictures of the horses. She is learning terms like bridle, mane, curry comb, trot, gallop, and more and talks often about the things horses need and how you take care of a horse.  She is certain that some day she will have a horse of her very own and, it must be said, she has just about convinced me that it will happen, too.

Book finder, printables, and more

Looking for some books to get you and your kids started on your own Summer Reading Challenge?  Check out the PBS Kids Book Finder.  You can also take a peek at the Simple Kids archives for some of our favorite books.

While you are the the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge website, be sure to check out the free Summer reading party printables, including bookmarks and a reading chart.

There is also a brand new ebook that I want to tell you about from Life as Mom: Fifty Books to Enjoy with Kids, written by Jessica”s mother Veronica Getskow, PhD.  A reading guide for parents of kids ages 2 to 8, the ebook gives titles and descriptions of 50 “must read” books for young children, as well as story extension ideas.

Learn more about the ebook in this short video from Life As Mom:

The list price for this ebook is $9, but for a limited time it is available for only $5. Please note that I am an affiliate for Life As Mom, and so do receive a portion of the proceeds when you use my links to make your purchase.  Thank you!

What reading adventures are you and your kids having? Do you have a favorite reading guide?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. We just read “Press This” and “City Dog Country Frog,” both of which my toddler seemed to really love. I don’t have a regular go-to guide, but whenever I come across book lists, I always jot down the titles I’m interested in!
    Sleeping Should Be Easy´s latest post: Ask the readers: consistent rules or pick your battles?

  2. So far this summer we’ve read Big House in the Little Woods as a read aloud, and we are now on An Ordinary Princess. Next up is The year of the Dog, bonus that our favorite aunt is home from China to read it with us.

  3. We will be re-reading some of our favorites
    Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds´s latest post: I Was Only A Child………

  4. Thanks for the good tips and reading encouragement! My kids love to read and I attribute a lot of the younger tots’ love to read to the oldest one’s love of it. It rubbed off. She just finished The Penderwicks and enjoyed it. Two oldest are reading 39 Clues series (or 31??? I can never keep it straight) and the youngers will look at just about any- and everything as long as pictures captivate them!
    Kerry @ Made For Real´s latest post: Super Simple Meal

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