Summer Reading Incentives

I had a conversation with my book group a long time ago, about kids and whether they are born to be readers or if that is something that is learned. I still do not know the answer to that one. When I was pregnant with my son, I did the whole “reading to the fetus” thing even though people looked at me strangely. When he came out to join us, the kid wanted nothing, and I mean NOTHING to do with books. The only time that I could get him to sit down for a book, was while he was taking his bath and let me tell you, a lot of his books ended up wet, pulpy, messes!

Now his lil‘ sis.. she came out and I swear she was reading, or trying to read, at the age of 3 months. She is now almost 5 and she is the one that races to the bookshelf every, single night. I did nothing different with her, yet she is the one that enjoys it the most.

I remember summer and the anticipation of the summer reading lists that the library posted every year. I remember being surrounded by Nancy Drew books as I spent the entire day at the library with my pile of “goods”. I want my son to feel that way too. So.. I decided to create a summer reading incentive. I thought about creating a list of beloved books for him to read, and then offering a reward at the end of the summer for reading. I thought it would have to be something fantastic like a trip to a theme park or a new game for his Wii or something like that. So I mentioned it to him and you know what he said? He said he wants a $15 iTunes card. Hey! I can do that!

Since the idea went over so “swimmingly”, I am now looking for three books for a 10 year old boy. I want these books to really strike a chord with him. So if you know of any that might fit the bill, let me know. Preferably, one that has not been made into a movie (I know, hard to find). Lil’ Sis said that she wants to have a “sumber reading progwam” too but she is easy.

I hope to have the list by June 13th (last day of school). I will post it here once I do.



The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards

I just finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards. A doctor, unable to get his wife to a hospital during a very bad snow storm ends up delivering his own twins. The doctor realizes that one twin has Downs and the other baby appears to be normal. He gives the baby to his nurse so she can take the child to a “home” but the nurse decides (last minute) to raise the child as her own. The doctor’s wife is told that the child died after birth.

The rest of the story deals with secret that the father holds, and how that secret affects his family, as well as the nurse that ends up raising his daughter. It’s a sad story about grief and loss and although some of it is written in a very touching way, many of the characters seem too horrible, or too good. I watched the TV version of this on Lifetime after finishing the book and the TV version did a much better job of portraying pain and loss within the characters. Also, the nurse is played by Emily Watson and she is always so fantastic to watch.

Overall, it was an interesting premise but the book fell a bit short for me.


Chatting with friends about books and life…