Reading expert shares tips to help kids avoid 'summer slide'

As most Minnesota students wind up classes, parents are thinking about how to help their kids avoid falling behind with the so-called summer slide. 

A key part of that is keeping young students reading, and Lisa Von Drasek, curator, Kerlan Collection of Children's Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries, spoke to FOX 9's Leah Beno to share tips for parents looking to help their children stay engaged with books over the summer.  

Her tips included:

Find joy: Encourage reading, but don’t be too prescriptive. Let your kids find joy in reading and adapt to find the material that's right for the moment. 

"When we're making dinner, we could be reading a recipe aloud. When we're out at the beach at that beautiful day… we could be reciting poetry," Von Drasek said.

Self-selection: Ask librarians and teachers for recommendations and reading lists, but also ask your child what interests them. No one wants to be told want to read. 

E-Books: You can download a wide selection of comics and books from eBooks from E-Books Minnesota. 

She also left a list of recommended summer books by grade level:

Grades preK-1

How to Count to One (And don't even think about bigger numbers) by Casper Salmon and Illustrated by Matt Hunt, ages three and up.

The World and Everything in It, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, ages three and up.

Sometimes I Feel Like a River by Danielle Daniel, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, ages five and up.

Cat Kid Comic Club Collaborations written and Illustrated by Dav Pilkey, ages six and up.

Grades 2-3

Sam and the Incredible African and American Food Fight by Shannon Gibney, illustrated by Charly Palmer, ages seven and up.

Wind: Discovering Air in Motion written and illustrated by Olga Fadeeva, translated by Lena Traer.

Backyard Birding for Kids by Erika Zambello, ages seven and up.

Grades 4-6

Katie the Cat Sitter by Colleen AF Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue, ages nine and up.

Maisy Chen's Last Chance, by Lisa Yee, ages nine and up.

Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet and the Secrets behind the Systems We Use Everyday by Dan Nott.

Grades 6-8

Science Comics: Periodic Table of Elements, Understanding the Building Blocks of Everything, written and Illustrated by Jon Chad, ages 10 and up.

You Are Here: Connecting Flights edited by Ellen Oh, ages 10 and up.

Momo Arashima Steals the Sword of the Wind by Misa Suiura, ages 10 and up.

Harboring Hope by Susan Hood, ages 12 and up.

High School

How to Money: Your Ultimate Visual Guide to the Basics of Finance by Jean Chatzky, Katheryn Tuggle, and the HerMoney Team.

Improve: How I Discovered Improv and Conquered Social Anxiety written and illustrated by Alek Graudins.

Dread Nation Series by Justina Ireland.

For Parents and Teachers

Boxes Writing Boxes: The Reading/Writing Connection in Libraries by Lisa Von Drasek.