As school librarians we often provide summer reading recommendations to our students. This year our libraries wanted to provide something to support the entire family regardless of age or level. We came up with six different family packs. Each pack contains books at various levels with common themes. This way the entire family can read and discuss similar topics.
More than a year ago the post below appeared on Twitter. One of my colleagues shared this brilliantly borrowed idea. As a department, we felt it was a perfect fit for our summer reading recommendations this year.
Putting the Packs Together
The six family packs that we created were:
- Geek Out! – These books are focused on nonfiction books that include facts and statistics in a unique way.
- Blast from the Past – These books are historical fiction or nonfiction books about historical events.
- Favorite Books Go Graphic – These are classic stories that have been turned into graphic novels.
- Laugh a Minute – Books that focus on humor. They are light and fun.
- Story of our Lives – These are biographical stories or those that reflect the author’s life experiences.
- Couch Explorers – These books include some form of travel or take place in another part of the world.
Each set contains fifteen to twenty books that were collected collaboratively. We created a LibGuide to share the sets with the school community. Each book is listed with the title, author, and a brief description. Since the books were collected in one list, we wanted to give people an idea of the target audience. We did not want families to worry about the exact level so we created a label that gave a broad range. In the end, many of the books had multiple labels.
The labels included:
- Picture books for all ages
- Beginning reader/Chapter books
- 4-8th grade
- 9th and up
Finally, each book was linked to bookshop.org. That way if a family wanted to purchase a book they would be encouraged to support a local bookstore. Check out the family packs!
The recommendations have been shared widely with our school community. The LibGuide was e-mailed by each school librarian to families. Additionally, it was also shared in school newsletters at the building and district levels. It was also posted on library websites and became part of a final lesson for the school year. We are hoping that families share the books they have read on social media using a hashtag that was created.
Reading is an excellent way to encourage conversation and bonding. We felt like these family packs might provide families with a greater opportunity to share and grow together through books.
What summer reading program do you have planned? I would love to hear about it!
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).
Categories: Blog Topics, Collection Development
What a great idea! I may steal it next summer.