For many, the summer months mean camps and beach trips, camping excursions and amusement parks, county fairs, and long days with extended family and friends. It means busy. It means change -- frequently away and seldom at home.
For others, though, summer is long and lazy. Endless days at home. These folks rely on books to take them on adventures. Many, many children escape in the summer months to new lands, far away places, and mysterious new worlds.
Here are six books that will allow your children to travel without leaving home -- six books that will take your kids to places far different than the comfort of your home.
- Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling (ages 7 and up). Move with Harry to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, meet his new friends Ron and Hermione, and experience together all the amazements of the first year of Wizardry school. With adventures around every corner and learning along the way, this book takes readers on an adventure like no other, stretching the mind and imagination.
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (for ages 8-12). Travel from the Wisconsin woods to the Kansas prairie and through the Minnesota plains, all the way on to the Dakota Territory as the Ingalls family searches for a better pioneer life. Despite hard work, minimal means, and difficult times, Laura and her family still manage to find time for fun. It's a great read-aloud for families.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (for ages 8 and up). Many children know the story of the Wizard of Oz, but few have actually read the book. Take your children for a walk along the yellow brick road, and try on Dorothy's ruby red slippers. Enjoy Oz in a way that's entirely different than viewing it on the big screen.
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (ages 8 and up). Written 200 years ago, this story tells the tale of a shipwrecked pastor and his family and how they survive -- and thrive -- on a desert island.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (ages 8 and up). Travel through a wardrobe door into the frozen land of Narnia -- a great escape during the hot days of summer. In a land where magic and a Great Lion rule, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy meet with an endless winter, talking animals, and an adventure than none could have dreamed.
- Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll (ages 9 and up). A rabbit hole leads to a world of excitement, confusion, and awe for Alice, and readers will be eager to travel alongside her through Wonderland. Many children are familiar with the story, but reading the poetry, rhythm, and lyrical language themselves will allow them to enjoy it from a different level. Though some of the text may be difficult for them, with support, reading about Alice's adventures will liven up the summer for adults and children alike.
What works for your kids? What gets them eager to crack open a book? Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on twitter @teachmama and let's continue the conversation!