Summer Reading = Make a Difference

summer reading

Summer is coming!!!

That means its time to break out the slip-and-slides and do a happy dance. (I know the beauty of summer wears off when the sibling fighting begins.) But, for a moment let’s join together and embrace the beauty of the approaching moment.


Reading can be a big part of summer break.

Summer reading = Make a Difference

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1. Read Creating Room to Read:

Add Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy to your reading list.

John Wood left a lucrative career at Microsoft to found the non-profit Room-to-Read, one of the partners of Girl Rising. The heart of this book is the stories of the students who are changed when given the chance of literacy.

Consider saving your giving bank change and participate in the students helping students program. 

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2. Visit We Give Books

Read digital books on-line with your family. Through your families reading efforts books are donated to We Give Books charity partners around the world! Share the gift of literacy!


3. Check out my Make a Difference Kids Books board on Pinterest. 

Head to your local library and add some of these books to your summer reading list. Kids relate to other kids! We are giving them a great gift when we open their eyes to the greater world and how they can be involved. I can’t wait to keep adding to this list!

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4. Learn more about Reach and Out and Read 

Reach and Out and Read is a non-profit that incorporates books into well-child exams and partners with medical providers. At your child’s next well-child exam share this non-profit with your health care provider. Sometimes families just need a little extra encouragement to make literacy an important part of their home.

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5.  Spend some time exploring Citizen Kid Central

Kids Can Press has some of amazing books for kids about global issues. I’m working on some fun story times with this series, generously donated by Kids Can Press to About Proximity! On the website you can watch videos that correspond to the stories.

What is your favorite book series from when you were young or for your own kids? 

11 thoughts on “Summer Reading = Make a Difference

  1. One of my favorite topics 🙂

    And new links to look at (and another book to add to my list!)

    Some of the favorites of the kids I taught were a bunch by Andrew Clements (not the baby-ish ones…they were too old for those) – Frindle, etc. I’m guessing he has some sort of faith background, also, because they’re some of the only books where you’ll see mentions of the lead character in each book often going to Sunday School or church or something. The Things Unseen, Things Hoped For, and one more I can’t remember are kind of a trilogy for older kids rather than more 1st-5th-ish grades like the others sort of are. The kids LOVED when I read those (other more standalone ones, in particular) to them. And there was usually some sort of message/theme underlying in them.

    And the Mysterious Benedict Society, too. The younger of the brothers that I taught for years was so funny. One day after recess I read for a bit, and later that his mom texted and said after school that he went down and told her she needed to fire me. She asked why on earth that was the case. He said because I had left off at a suspenseful point in one of the MBS books. Ha ha.

    A while later I used just a couple of paragraphs of one of the early chapters of the first one for an illustration in a high school writing class I was teaching. That started things all over again 🙂 We ended up doing a day long Christmas/cookie/MBS read aloud thing at my house – all the kids sprawled around my house and having me read and read and read. Way too long of a book to finish reading out loud in a day (and my poor voice couldn’t handle doing multiple long days like that..and even as high schoolers they LOVED being read to and wanted me to read it!) so they all ended up asking for it for Christmas. They were a riot!

    I’ve bought the rest of what Clements has written since I stopped teaching the boys, and the latest MBS books, as well. They’re in my ‘collection’ for when I (God-willing hopefully) have kids of my own at some point.

    I have a whole (ridiculously long) list of books/series for kids that I think are great. I should email it to you since I know you’re a bookie too 🙂

    Oh, and just because I think YOU would like it, I just finished Tales of a Female Nomad. She’s not a believer, but big on diving in and developing community, learning about other cultures, etc. She basically travelled the world living with people in their homes and learning language, doing life with them, really – and supported her lifestyle by continuing to write books for kids along the way.

    Actually, she’s still doing it from what I can tell (the travelling and staying places at length bit of it). At the end of Tales of a Female Nomad (I think it came out in like 2001 or so if I remember correctly) she put her email address, which everyone said not to do – obviously that was WAY more unheard of back then – and connected with even more people after that. From the second book (not as many of her own stories) it sounds like she is still answering every single email she gets!

    It was a fascinating read (I’m sure I’ll blog about it at some point) and she went to a number of pretty diverse places. The crazy small world part of it was that after years in Bali and then other parts of Indonesia, she REALLY wanted to get to Papua (the Indonesian side). That’s so not where people normally go in Indonesia – logistically it’s not an especially easy place to get to. So she gets there, and then ends up getting herself to the little town where my aunt and uncle lived for years. And then she wanted to go to some small villages very reminiscent of where they’re at now. Really, places only accessible by air on an MAF flight, or in a few cases, walking a tremendous number of miles from somewhere else. Well that’s what my uncle does….he’s an MAF pilot. It was so surreal! Her talking about fog/flight issues/ferrying pigs…exactly what happens…so, so weird!

    Ok….I should have just emailed you. This “comment” is teetering on turning into a book itself. 🙂 But I will send you the book list if you want it!

    Hope your Wednesday is wonderful, my sweet, encouraging friend!

    • You know I would LOVE the book list! You are an awesome book finder and reader and advocate! The ones you mentioned are all new to me too 🙂 I love finding great books. Isn’t that funny, older kids do like to be read to. I think I remember in some of my English classes still enjoying that in high school. I guess its kind similar to listening to npr or something. Getting to imagine it is kind of wonderful.

  2. Lisa, my kids loved the Berenstain Bears books. Couldn’t get enough of them and they always came with such vaulable life-lessons in a fun-to-read way.

    We are a reading family and I can’t imagine a world without books! (Ohhh, the horror! 🙂 )

    Thanks for the links!

    • My brother and I practically wore out our Berenstain Bear books! I have them memorized by heart I think 🙂 I agree, a world without books would be so sad!

  3. Lisa, I love this post. My boys are avid, dare I say fanatical readers. I love the idea of having them read books about and by kids. I think they’d love that. We’ll probably be reading a lot of Star Wars this summer. ‘Tis the age.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • I love that your boys are readers! My son really like Star Wars too. His Dad has been reading him The Hobbit and now Lord of the Rings. It’s funny how well they pick up on and relate to these stories. Sounds like you have probably burned through the library shelves 🙂

  4. Pingback: 100 Ways to Give Back over Summer Break. | about proximity

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