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Kick Off Summer Reading with Ancient Heroes

5 ways to get kids excited about reading this summer
on May 07, 2013

Now in its 7th year, the Scholastic Summer Challenge is dedicated to stopping the “Summer Slide” and encouraging kids to read more books this summer. This year, kids are taking reading to new heights (represented by famous historical and natural landmarks around the world, like the Taj Mahal, Mount Everest, The Eiffel Tower, and more)! Kids log the minutes they spend reading as they Read for the World Record, enter sweepstakes to win fabulous book prizes, and earn digital rewards when they complete weekly reading challenges. They can start logging their minutes right now.

This week’s milestone is the Coliseum, and we are hoping mythology, ancient heroes, and gladiators will get your child get excited about reading this summer. Here are 5 ways to help your kids reach this fun milestone:

  1. Clash of the Titles game. Two books go mano a mano, and kids vote for the winner. May the best book win!
  2. Percy Jackson Readalikes. Percy Jackson fans will love these other fantasy books about ancient mythology for ages 9-12.
  3. Coliseum Book pair. Pair this fiction book with this non-fiction book to extend kids’ learning about Ancient Rome. The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers: A King’s Ransom by Jude Watson. Cahills across the globe have been kidnapped by a new enemy, the Vespers, and it's up to Amy and Dan to perform a dangerous ransom: a race that will take them from the hidden tunnels of the Roman Coliseum to the ancient city of Timbuktu. If Amy and Dan can't stop the Vespers...the whole world will pay. Rome by Leigh Grant. Rome depicts every aspect of imperial life in a series of dramatic and detailed scenes. It's all here, including the Forum with its temples, senate, and courts of law; the Coliseum, where gladiators fought for their lives; and the hustle and bustle of the street, including apartments and shops, jugglers and acrobats entertaining the crowd, and two-horse chariots racing over newly built Roman roads.
  4. Start a Summer Challenge Reading Log. Print out a copy and post it on the refrigerator where it will be a constant reminder of your child’s reading progress over the summer.
  5. Kids who log their minutes from 5/1 – 5/31 will be entered in the sweepstakes for a chance to win one autographed copy of The False Prince and one autographed copy of The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Kids can find out more about the books and read sample excerpts here.


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Get the latest advice, tips, and resources on helping your child read at every age and every stage. Each week, find kids' book reviews, ways to extend the reading experience, and tips on how to spark a reader's interests from our expert contributors and editors.

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