Summer Reading Tips for Picky Readers

Summer Reading Tips for Picky Readers

For families with kids of all ages finding a “just right” book can be tricky. Handley Regional Library System staff offer numerous ways to help you and your reader try new genres or authors of books. Specifically, we have a service called BookMatch Junior! for ages 12 and under, which matches your reader with books to try based on a quick survey form you fill out. However, a generally good practice when helping to build strong readers in your home is the following:

  1. Choose a book that you think you will enjoy based on the cover. It’s okay to judge a book by its cover in this case!
  2. Read the first 1 or 2 pages of the book. (Try to let your kiddo do this on their own at first if they are working on reading by themselves).
  3. As you read, hold up a finger for each word you do not know the meaning of.
  4. If there are 5 or more words you do not know, then it’s time to choose an easier book.

Still have a picky reader? Why not try an at-home Book Tasting Party? Invite your stuffed animals or your neighborhood friends over to sample various books around the kitchen table? Pretend you are at a fancy restaurant and set the table as if you are going to enjoy a delicious meal. Set different types of books at the place settings with paper and pencils to have your guests record their reactions to the book covers and first few pages. You can draw or write your reactions as you share them out loud with others at the table. There are many ways to help make reading fun and not feel like a chore to do. Let your kids be a part of the process in all steps of choosing books.


Participating in the library’s "Oceans of Possibilities" Youth Summer Reading Program that runs June 4-August 10 in our system is a perfect opportunity to try out these “just right” reading tips.

  • Pre-readers ages 5 and under receive a free book and a virtual ticket for every 30 books read and logged. Brag tags for pre-readers will be earned at registration and at book benchmarks 60, 120, 180 and 240. Use the Beanstack Tracker app to make logging even easier!
  • Readers ages 6-17 receive a free book and a virtual ticket for every 6 hours (360 minutes) that is read and logged. Brag tags for readers are earned at registration and at hour benchmarks 12, 24, 36 and 48. Use the Beanstack Tracker app to make logging even easier!


Hopefully by the end of the summer, you will have a hungry reader who keeps going back for seconds! Explore more collections, programs, and services at