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Summer Literature: An Adventure on Every Page

on June 15, 2011

Whether you are preparing for a vacation, or looking for a free “armchair” trip, a visit to your local library or bookstore can get your adventure started.  Books can open a whole new window on our world, and one beauty of summer reading is that we often have a greater chance to choose our own literary path.  Young or old, no matter our interests or experiences, regardless of our background or current finances, and whether we seek an exciting journey or a peaceful escape, there are books to fill any reader’s desires.

To get you started, Rita Arpaia from has provided some fun activities to go along with Canadian author, Farley Mowat’s, animal story, Owls in the Family.  Find this helpful information under “Howls with Owls” at: 

Mowat also wrote a number of other well-loved books.  His love of nature and Canadian settings combine to make entertaining and unique stories. Adventurous young boys (and girls) might also enjoy Lost in the Barrens, a story of two teenaged boys in the northern wilderness.  Perhaps Mowat’s most famous novel now is Never Cry Wolf, due at least in part to the enjoyable movie of the same name released in 1983.  (Although the novel is probably best as an adult read, this interesting and scenic PG movie would be appropriate for most young-teens and some pre-teens.  It includes brief nudity –think innocent skinny-dipping– and mild language.)

Rita Arpaia also provides some detailed suggestions about how to choose books, focus on genres, set up your own curriculum or book club, and really place yourself into the setting/action of the stories in her article, “Taking Your Class on a Literature Journey”, also available at:  If you or your child is having trouble deciding on their next book, this might give you some ideas.  Then, if they enjoy the first selection, you may find that’s genre approach helps fuel a whole summer’s worth of great reading.

For information on a variety of authors and titles focusing on outdoor stories for kids of all ages, check out  Sara L. Ambarian’s “Classic Nature and Outdoor Fiction for Kids and Families” at:  You will find a booklist and links to free online resources, as well as discussions of each author and/or title’s most appropriate audience.  The list includes read-aloud books for very small children, read-alone books for early readers and elementary school kids, some “girly” books, some rugged adventure stories, and other books which could be enjoyed by kids or adults – or shared by a family as a summer read-aloud project.  The unifying feature of all the works is that they take you back to a time before our lives revolved so much around computers, TV, cell phones, etc., and they make you want to get out and enjoy the beauties and adventures nature holds.

Whatever you read this summer, we hope you will find something new and inspiring that you truly enjoy!

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