Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Reading Club: Inspiration from People Who Made Waves

Make Waves at your library can be a very inspirational message to teens this summer. Teens like to be noticed at least some of them do, on occasion. It sometimes can be amazing how much more in tuned they are about the world around them than we give them credit. It is inspiring to hear them talk about the causes that are important to them from the environment, to pro-life issues to gays in the military. Their ideas are as wide and varied as they are. This idea of making waves in a community, or a movement or in profession is not a new concept. Let’s face it, if we didn’t have an Edison we might be still using candles all the time. Here’s a challenge for your tweens and teens, have them pick out a quick picture book biography of someone who made “waves” in the world. A co-worker of mine complained that this was too “academic” for the teens during summer, after all they have been in school all year round, give the kids a break! This may be true, but what is wrong with a teeny bit of learning? Why do parents take their children to Washington D.C. if not to teach them about the great history of the United States. With this in mind, trick the tweens and teens into learning about someone famous. A picture book is perfect for accomplishing this because it condenses the life story making it a quick read. It often has trivia facts that just may come in handy when there playing Trivial Pursuit. Often times I have found inspirational quotes from these famous people. Finally, it may spark the dream that ignites young minds to learn more so that they too can make waves in our world. Without further ado, here are a dozen titles that really stood out as educational (groan) and entertaining (yeah!) and enlightening (inspriation!)

A Picture Book of John and Abigail Adams / David A. Adler 2010

America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle / David A. Adler 2000

Young Pele: Soccer’s First Star / Lesa Cline-Ransome 2007

Young Thomas Edison / Michael Dooling 2005

What To Do About Alice? / Barbara Kerley 2008

Houdini: World Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King / Kathleen Krull 2005

Lincoln Tells A Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country too!) / Kathleen Krull 2010

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum / Robert Andrew Parker 2008

Big George: How A Shy Boy Became President of the United States / Anne Rockwell

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right Vote / Tanya Lee Stone 2007

Dizzy / Jonah Winter 2006

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau / Dan Yaccarino 2009

Of course, this may lead tweens and teens to begin picking out other titles on a particular person. If it does, great. If it doesn't that's good too. The point of this exercise in reading is to have fun while getting a teeny bit of learning in during summer.
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