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5 Ways to Cultivate A Love Of Reading In Your Child This Summer 

by Heather Novotny, Librarian 


This time we are living through together feels foreign and strange. Many things we once took pleasure in, and even took for granted, are currently denied to us and to our children. However, please remember the refuge and the solace of reading are still here for us and our children. Here are five ways to cultivate a love of reading in your child this summer.


  • Provide choices. Kids read more overall and for longer durations when they choose their own books. While we all prefer in-person visits to bookstores and libraries, we may need to browse online library catalogs¹ and bookseller’s websites² together instead.
  • Include graphic novels and graphic nonfiction. Lots of kids who don’t self-identify as readers simply have a preference for a different format. Graphic novels, as successors to comic books, are sometimes reviled and misunderstood, but many are of outstanding quality -- and one received the 2020 John Newbery Medal. 
  • Build your home library. More than any other age cohort, children prefer to read in print. I firmly believe in the benefits of reading in any format. However, if you are able, invest in print books. As Jim Cooper, Director of Salt Lake County Library, says “Buy the best, and borrow the rest.”
  • Try an e-Book or an e-Audiobook. Downloadable e-books and e-audiobooks from our local public libraries are free and easy to use, and since public libraries are redirecting acquisitions funds into e-book and e-audio collections, the choice has never been better. The McGillis School recently contracted with Overdrive, the biggest vendor of library e-books, so students will be able to check out free e-books from the McGillis library and their public library using the same app, Sora. Additionally, epic! will continue to be free until June 30, and TumbleBooks will be available to students all summer long.
  • Join a book club… or start one! Reading together is twice the fun! Book Clubs support independent reading by reinforcing a shared love of books. Start your own book club, or join a McGillis Club. 

Summer Reading Lists

Kindergarten - 1st Grade Reading List
2nd Grade - 3rd Grade Reading List
4th Grade - 5th Grade Reading List
6th Grade Reading List
7th Grade - 8th Grade Reading List


Wishing you all a peaceful summer, full of books, learning, and fun.


Are you interested in learning more about The McGillis SchoolRequest a tour. 


¹ In reaching out to public library leaders statewide, I have learned that we can expect a phased return to in-person public library service, with contactless curbside holds being the first phase. Phased reopening is being planned very deliberately to minimize risk, and although we don’t have dates for the City Library and Salt Lake County Library, many smaller libraries are already offering this service. Check your library’s website for details.
² The King’s English is currently offering curbside pickup of online and phone orders; see their website for details.