A few weeks ago I blogged about the "summer slide"—the learning loss that sometimes occurs in children during summer break—because a professor at the University of Tennessee has found that giving low income kids access to books during the summer can decrease the learning gap. Several media outlets have reported on this study (we cited an article from the Christian Science Monitor) and now the New York Times is weighing in.

Tara Parker-Pope (author of the just-published For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, reviewed in the June issue of BookPage) begins her Health column with a provocative question: "Has your child cracked a book this summer?"

Her advice is to allow your kids to choose their own books.

“A child’s interests are a door into the room of reading,” said Ms. Galinsky [president of the Families and Work Institute], who said her own son turned away from books during grade school. Because he liked music, she encouraged him to read music magazines or books about musicians. Her son later regained an interest in reading and has a Ph.D.

“If your child is turned off by reading, getting them to read anything is better than nothing,” she said.

So. Has your child cracked a book this summer? What are they reading?

For book suggestions your kids might be likely to choose, see this post on books for boys or subscribe to BookPage Reading Corner, a kid-friendly e-newsletter.

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