Summer Reading IdeasDo you need ideas for new books and authors to read? Do all the authors you've been reading lately sound the same? Why not find a new author by checking out one of our recommended sites? Also, by going to the children's web sites below, you can help struggling readers or get a young children started with a lifelong habit of reading.
When I find a good author, I really love to read all the books written by that author, especially if he/she has written books in a series. Here are some of my favorite web sites for find new books and authors to read. I was a middle school librarian for many years, and I love young adult books as well as adult books. If you haven't read some of the latest young adult books, you are missing out on some great reads!
KidsReads.com, a web site for elementary aged students, from The Book Report, offers book reviews of new titles and a huge collection of books listed by author. You can subscribe to their newsletter to keep updated with the latest news on books for elementary children. They have contests and special featured articles, especially for their audience. You can also read about series of books, with a listing and summary of all the books in the series.
Reading Rockets is a web site sponsored by WETA Public Television in Washington. You can find all sorts of ideas to help children with their reading, such as author interviews, themed book lists, tips for parents, how to help children choose books to read, all about non fiction, summer booklists, holiday booklists, award-winning books, and reading topics from A-Z. This is a perfect place to find ideas about helping struggling readers, or to get young children reading on their own.
A Book and a Hug is a reading web site run by Barb Langridge, who has a reading-themed television program in Baltimore. On her web site, she includes author interviews and book recommendations for all ages. Her web site offers recommendations for boys, for girls, by genre, and by reading level, from the very young to mature readers, ages 14 and up.
Teen Reads, also a web site from The Book Report, includes reviews of new titles by title, author, genre, and date. There is a listing of authors, with a biography about the author, an interview with the author, and a listing of all the books written by the author. One of my favorite features is the Teen Ultimate Reading List, which lists over 400 titles by genre. The genres are sub-titled with fascinating descriptions such as "Books to Keep Your Eyes on While Big Brother Keeps an Eye on You," for Dystopian Literature.
Other features of Teen Reads include "Books on Screen", with reviews of books that gave rise to current movies, plus "Adult Books You Want to Read", with reviews of adult books that are of interest to teens. Finally, there is a newsletter to which avid readers might want to subscribe.
NoFlyingNoTights, run by librarians and book editors, reviews the latest in graphic publications, and includes anime, manga, plus the categories of action and adventure, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, humor, mysteries and thrillers, non fiction, realism, romance, science fiction, and superheroes. They have over 45 librarians, book editors, and student editors and reviewers who contribute reviews to the web site. NoFlyingNoTights recommends the best of manga, anime, comics and "must haves" for kids, teens, and adults. This is THE web site for readers of graphic novels and comics.
GoodReads is a great place to keep track of the books you have read, and to find new authors and books to read. It works a lot like Netflix; you select genres that you like, then you rate books that you have read by giving them a "star" rating and even writing comments if you want. Once you have a number of books in your book list, GoodReads will offer recommendations for books to read in each of your favorite genres. As in Netflix, you can rate the books if you have already read them, state that you are not interested in the title, or click the button that says "want to read." Once you have rated a number of books, you will always have recommendations waiting for you. The recommended book will include a summary plus reviews by other GoodReads readers. This is almost as good as having a librarian helping you. (Can you tell that I'm a retired librarian?)
One advantage of GoodReads is that now you have a place to keep track of all the books you have read, so that you don't buy or check out duplicates needlessly. GoodReads also has surveys, trivia, quotes of the day, and an ongoing discussion of specific book titles.