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Today I’m excited to be a part of Pam Torres’ blog tour for her new middle grade book IT’S NOT JUST A DOG that released in April. Details of the giveaway are after Pam’s guest post.

So here’s Pam.

Rockin’ Summer Reading: Ten Ways To Encourage Kids To Read

It’s beautiful outside. A slight breeze wafts through the trees giving just the right amount of relief from the warmth of the sunshine. Flowers are blooming in bright splashes of reds, pinks, purples and yellows. An occasional hummingbird takes a quick respite on the sugar feeder and birds are flittering throughout the branches above. A perfect day to open a book and relax…

Unfortunately, the idea of lazy summer days sometimes gets lost in the busyness of day camps, lessons, summer school, sports. So where do they squeeze in time to read, daydream and just enjoy being a kid? What do you say when you’re met with, “C’mon I want to play my X-box!” I love Jen Robinson’s article on her blog. She writes,”Summer reading should be a joy. Summer vacation should be a time to stretch out on a hammock or curl up in an armchair and dive deep into a fun, engrossing, fabulous read. Kids who spend time reading during the summer go back to school in the fall with their reading skills improved.” How can we encourage the children in our lives to read? Here is a list of ways to encourage reading:

1- Make or find a reading list. Before school lets out, ask your child’s teacher or librarian for a book list that is at your child’s reading level.

2- Take advantage of your local library’s reading program. They usually have incentives for kids to read and keep a list of what they’re reading. Make it a once-a-week visit.

3- Make sure there are always books and magazines around. Keeping all your books tucked away in a bookcase makes it less likely a child will pick up something to look at or read. Put some in different places, the bathroom, the family room, the kitchen. Make them readily available to spike their interest.

4- Write a personal letter about what you’re reading. If you’re long distance, or even if you’re not, you can write a personal letter encouraging the children in your life to keep a list of what they read. Reward them in some way.

5- Heading out on the road, bring books and audio books. If you always have books on hand, waiting time can be enjoyed by reading or listening to a book. Modeling this type of waiting can help them develop the same reading habits.

6- Inspire buddy reading. Reading can be a social thing. Why not buy two of the same book for your child and his best friend to read together?

7- Read a book out loud. I read to my children until they were well into junior high and even then they liked to hear me read. It’s important to model this behavior. Show them you make time to enjoy reading. Don’t let your reading rituals fall by the wayside because it’s summer. MAKE TIME FOR READING!

8- Subscribe to a magazine. Starting a subscription to a magazine is a great way to encourage reading. I have a great list on my blog here.

9- Make a reading log or tracker. This can be as simple as a piece of paper but if you’re the creative
type you could create something amazing. You can find several printable templates on Pinterest here and here.

10- Model reading for pleasure. All my grandchildren call me the reading grandma. They know that I not only write books but I’m interested in what they’re reading. I’m always reading and I talk about reading. They count on me to grow their personal libraries and I take that opportunity very seriously, with messages to them in every book. I’ve even told them if they finish a book I’ve given them and tell me about it, I’ll give them another.

What ideas do you have for encouraging reading this summer?

You can find Pam at:

You can find It’s NOT Just A Dog! at the online stores below:

Here’s a blurb of IT’S NOT JUST A DOG:

School's out for the summer and straight-talking Madison and her friend Cooper have big plans for the summer: working at the kennel, training service dogs and creating a dog-walking business—besides writing her dog-blog. Her stepdad has agreed to make Lilly, Madison's foster puppy, a permanent member of the Morgan family, and Madison wants to make the adoption special.

When an injured dog is abandoned, Madison's determined to discover the truth about the orphaned dog. To crack this crime she'll have to sneak around some shady characters. It'll be tricky since her dad isn't happy about her animal detective activities. Her promise not to get into trouble won't be easy. Madison convinces Cooper to strike out on their own, but Lilly is dognapped and Madison finds herself locked in a shed with no way out. She regrets her crime-fighting obsession and realizes her snooping has endangered everyone she cares about. Cooper rallies an unlikely group of rescuers to bust her out.
n the end Madison learns she can depend on her friends and her stepfather. And when it comes to people and dogs, relationships are never simple, and a dog is never—JUST a dog!

Fill out the Rafflecopter Form to enter Pam’s contest:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Packages
Grand Prize- Set of illustrations signed by the illustrators, set of bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series, and a dream catcher. 
First Prize- 3 illustrations signed by the illustrators, bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, hard copies of both books in the series.
Second Prize- 2 illustrations signed by the illustrators, bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series.
Third Prize- 2 illustrations signed by the illustrators, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, bookmarks, magnets, stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series. 
Swag Packages- One 5x7 signed illustration, bookmarks, magnets, stickers, an ebook in the format of your choice. 

More chances to win…

Facebook Page Contests- During the month of June the Project Madison Facebook Fan Page will be conducting contests and giveaways, so be sure to check there frequently for a chance to win some great prizes.

Attention Teachers and Parents:Anyone who emails (torres dot pam3 at gmail dot com) a JPG of a tween student holding my book, the student will receive a personalized letter from Madison and signed by Lilly dog.

In addition, they will also be entered into a special drawing for an entire classroom to receive copies of the book and a visit from the author. (Sorry, this is for Washington State Teachers only.) One entry per child, per picture. Be sure to include your school name, teachers name and contact information.

And here’s the rest of the Blog Tour:
19- Social Cafe Magazine
20- This Kid Reviews Books
Week Four 
23- That’s Another Story
24- Pretty Opinionated
25- The Reader’s Perch
26- That’s Another Story
27- Reads 4 Tweens
Week Five
30- Tales Between The Pages
July 1stBuried In Books

Here’s what’s coming up:

Next Monday I have an interview with Lindsay Cummings and a giveaway of THE MURDER COMPLEX, her YA futurist thriller that I really enjoyed.

Next Wednesday I’m interviewing debut author and follower Jessica Lawson and a giveaway of her MG historical fiction book THE ACTUAL & TRUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF BECKY THATCHER. This is a fun read and I loved Becky, the adventurous middle grader who has a great voice you can’t help loving.

Then I’ll be off until Wednesday, July 2nd when I have a guest post by Tara Dairman and a giveaway of her MG contemporary novel ALL FOUR STARS.

The Monday after that I’ll be participating in the Just Couldn’t Put It Down Blog Hop. I’ll have lots of great choices for you.

And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!


S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats on the release of IT'S NOT JUST A DOG!

I've always found that modeling behavior is very important when molding children's likes and dislikes. If they see you reading and know it's important to you, it will be important to them. Conversely, if they see you on the tablet or gaming system all the time then that is what will be important to them.

Beth said...

Love these suggestions. It's got me wondering how to encourage my older teenagers to read more this summer!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great suggestions there. I was a huge reader as a kid, so my mom didn't have to do anything to encourage it. In fact, she sometimes had to pull me away from my books.

To help my sons, I read aloud to them. Well into their teens. I introduced them to Heinlein, Crighton, McCaffrey, and even Mary Higgins Clark. :D

Sam (Realm of Fiction) said...

This is a good list with some great suggestions. I especially think reading aloud to kids and giving them audiobooks is a brilliant way to develop a love for stories. My love for reading definitely came from enjoying hearing stories, at least. Thanks for sharing! :)

Crystal Collier said...

Very cool. I've actually got the opposite problem. I have to tell them to STOP reading so they can go to bed. I blame it on the weekly library visits or the fact I'm constantly reading. =)

Unknown said...

Thank you! Well said, it is really true, children are more inclined to remember what you do, than anything you say!

Unknown said...

I think it's getting more challenging to keep kids reading. My granddaughter is super involved this summer with fast pitch and a missionary trip. It's going to be a challenge for her to make time to read a book.

Unknown said...

I have such fond memories of my mother reader to me. Bravo, Donna. Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Sam. I have been impressed with Audio.com and their program for discounted audio books. I love listening to books when I'm walking.

Unknown said...

Hi Crystal,
Thanks for stopping by. I had a couple of readers and a couple of reluctant readers. It took a while for the reluctant readers to catch on that the readers got to stay up later, because they were snuggled in their beds reading, where they had to have lights out. They eventually figured that one out and became readers.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Natalie. I appreciate it immensely. You always have such engaged readers on your blog.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Be the example, because if your kids don't see you reading, they'll have an excuse not to read, too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And take away all of their electronic devices! That helps.

Unknown said...

It's nice to meet you Diane. Yes, I agree that is the best thing you can do. I was reading a study that said that if Dad's read for enjoyment the children are more inclined to be readers, too. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that Mom's are always telling their kids things they should do..?

Unknown said...

Always great to see you, Alex. The trick with that is it can be seen as a punishment to read. I think it's more about balance. One of my daughters has a son who is very into video games. She made a deal that for every minute he reads earns him extra minutes over his daily, 30 min.

Brenda said...

Love all the suggestions, for some reason it has been a struggle this summer. Maybe it is all the rain the last few days. I think I will try putting up the pup tent (indoors) with lots of comfy pillows and bribe with some snacks for a little reading versus electronics time. Or maybe go with a timer.

Jocelyn Rish said...

I always loved summer because I could feed my reading addiction without concerns about reasonable bed times.

And since I'm a life-long doggie fanatic, this book sounds perfect for me. :-)

DMS said...

So excited for Pam! Her latest book sounds excellent and I am sure it will be a great book for kids to read this summer. I love listening to audio books. Visiting local bookstores could be another fun way to get kids interested in summer reading. :)

Thanks so much for the amazing giveaway.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Congrats Pam on the release of Its NOT just a dog. What a coincidence, I am also writing a dog book now.

~Sia McKye~ said...

That's a good list of suggestions to get kids reading. With all the electronic gadgets and games out there it's sometimes a struggle to get kids to remember books and joy of reading. Kindles used by several of my friends for kid adventure night--story adventures, :-)

btw FYI: Nat--I believe you might have a hacker with your email.

Jessica Lawson said...

What great advice for summer reading! Love it :) And the book sounds fun and adorable!

Heather said...

I love this so much I'm bookmarking it! In today's world it's only grower harder and harder to do. Congrats to Pam on her book!

Rosi said...

Congrats on your book, Pam, and good luck with it. I have grandchildren here three days a week this summer. We all have an hour of quiet reading time each day. They love it and so do I.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

When I have children, I plan on reading aloud to them on a regular basis :) I've always dreamed of doing that. Happy Friday!!

cleemckenzie said...

I remember reading out loud to my son. The best thing was when he was home from college one summer, he said he remembered those nights, too. And loved them. It's a great thing to do with your kids or anyone for that matter.

Wonderful to see Pam here. Here's wishing her the best of luck with her book.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I love suggestion number 4. I wish I had done that with my daughter. I had my students write letters to me about the books they were reading, once a week. Keeping kids enthusiastic about reading is so important.

Karen Lange said...

It's nice to meet you, Pam! Wishing you much success. I love these ideas for getting kids to read. The world holds so much more potential when a child reads.

Natalie, thanks for the intro. Have a great week!

Cherie Reich said...

What a great list! I always loved the summer reading incentives at the library.

Unknown said...

Those are helpful tips. Luckily, when I was young there was nothing I loved more than reading during the summer. People had to kick me out of the house and drag me to do things with them. And as soon as it was done, I'd run back to reading my book! :)

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic list! I have my son doing a literacy program at his preschool. He loves seeing his school friends during the summer, so getting him to read while he's doing that is a bonus!