Summer reading programs are not just for kids.
Every year my local library hosts a special kind of program for its’ adult patrons. They call it ARKS which stands for Adults Reading Kids Stuff. It is something I look forward to every summer.
The basic idea is obvious from the title. The program challenges participants to read a variety of genres all found in the children’s section of the library. And even better, they give out prizes when you do.
Besides taking me back to my childhood days of summer reading, I have benefited from this program in two main ways:
1. It reminds me that children’s books are not just for children. I have discovered books that make me laugh, have a depth that move me, transport me to another world and even change my perspective. Plus, the fact that many middle grade/children’s books are relatively quick reads make them an outstanding choice for summer reading.
2. It connects me to my kids. By reading what they are reading, or recommending what I’m reading, it gives us something to talk about and connect over. It creates a shared experience that brings us together in little ways that I love.
Reading "kids stuff" has been such a good thing, I want to challenge you to do the same.
Commit some of your time this summer to reading kids’ books.
Read a new release and an old classic.
Start a series, either one you remember reading as a child, or one your kids are reading now.
Grab a biography from the juvenile section.
Pick a book simply because you like the cover.
Ask your kids’ for a recommendation and read whatever they suggest.
Grab a graphic novel or a novel in verse.
Every time you take a trip to the library with your kids, pick out one book (from the children’s section) for yourself and read it.
Let’s fill this summer with books and reading for our kids and for ourselves too.