Beware the summer slide. That’s a warning about the decline in reading skills that kids can experience when they’re out of school for the summer. How do we cure it? Books. Hooray for reading!

But telling a kid to pick up a book because they need it is much different than inviting them to have a blast in a story of their choosing. What if we flipped the script? Instead of being a warning, what if the summer slide was a metaphor for a whoosh into adventure, drama, history and magic? What if instead of using books as medicine, we offered them as opportunities for kids to fly?

June has been full of celebrations: LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, Juneteenth, Black Music Month, Father’s Day. There are amazing book lists that explore these themes and many others. Here are a few to help kick off the summer slide into reading fun:

Skip the Screen

These titles were recommended by NC history museums. Books by NC authors including Tameka Fryer Brown, Michelle Lanier, Frances O’Roark Dowell, Carole Boston Weatherford, Kwame Mbalia and me are listed.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Summer Reading 2021

Get a We Love Reading yard sign and earn a free book by reading this summer. There are book lists, details about local story walks and much more.

Durham County Library Summer of Learning

Free books, free meals and the chance to win a tablet. Win-win-win. Check it out.

Wake County Public Library – Tails and Tales

Log your reading and collect points. Weekly drawings.

15 Books for Pride Month – Black Children’s Books & Authors

MrsChavezReads – Books for Dads!

Juneteenth Children’s Books

19 Books for African American Music Appreciation Month

13 Summer Reading Programs Where Kids Can Earn Free Books, Gift Cards & More

Always dreamed of creating a children’s book of your own? Register for my free Wake County Public Library workshop, So You Want to Write a Children’s Book. It will be held virtually on July 6 from 6:30-8 p.m. and is capped at 25 attendees. Learn more here.