Summer reading tips, book list shared

The Sylvan Learning Center, which serves the New Milford area, has offered tips and a book list for children's summer reading.

A recent survey from Sylvan Learning found, on average, children spend significantly more of their free time playing outside (30 percent), playing video games (17 percent) and watching TV (18 percent) than reading (12 percent).

Additionally, research has shown children should read at least five books during the summer, yet 46 percent of tweens are reading four or fewer books, according to their parents.

Following is a summer reading list for tweens in grades four through eight, based on the most popular books on Sylvan's Book Adventure website at

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid," " Harry Potter," "Percy Jackson and the Olympians," "The Hunger Games" series, "Charlotte's Web," "Hatchet," "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory," "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing," "Holes" and "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

The learning specialists at Sylvan Learning also offer the following advice to help parents get their kids excited about reading this summer.

Let kids choose: Instead of requiring kids to read the classics over the summer, let them choose a book they are interested in reading.

Rewards can work: So many of today's popular tween books are also movies, and a trip to the movies can be a great reward for finishing a book. Forty percent of parents said watching the movie after reading the book helps get their kids excited about reading.

Find out what their friends are reading: Forty-six percent of parents said their child gets interested in reading a book because their friends are reading it.

According to parents, the most popular genres among tweens are humor and fantasy.