A post by About.com's guide to Children's Books points out that it's Mary Pope Osborne's birthday today, and that reminded me of the many summers I was frantic to find books for my kids' summer reading routines, and how well Osborne's Magic Tree House books filled that slot for a time. They're a great option for struggling readers of a certain age -- chapter books, so you don't have to be shamed by still reading picture books, but simple enough in plot and language to get through with a clue as to what you read. And of course, there are a ton of books in the series, so if you find success with one the library or bookstore has many, many, many more.
The Magic Tree House books are included on my list of book series for kids who can't hack Harry Potter but still want a little magic in their reading. See what else is on the list, and use it as a start for your own summer reading planning. (Another good source of ideas, for parents of reluctantly reading boys, is the site Guys Read. Adventure books by Max Elliot Anderson are also good, straightforward, blessedly easy-to-read boy-book choices.) How do you inspire your reluctant reader? Share your ideas the Readers Respond page, and download the bookmarks pictured here for some extra inspiration.
Stop by here every Saturday for a family activity, a site for the kids, a shopping site, a site offering humor or inspiration about parenting children with special needs, and a site that's just silly or fun, all designed to get you through your weekend with kids amused and spirits intact. Today's list:
- Activity: Scratch and Sniff Painting
- Kids' Site: Highlights for Kids
- Shopping: Strider Bikes
- Inspiration: "Celebs Honor Teen With Terminal Cancer By Performing His Music"
- Just for Fun: Top Baby Names
If you're looking forward to sitting down on Tuesday nights at 10 in the fall for new episodes of Parenthood, surprise! You'll be watching Chicago Fire instead. Don't worry, Parenthood has indeed been renewed, and for a full season instead of the shortened batch of episodes of past seasons. But the Bravermans are moving to Thursday nights at 10 on NBC's new fall schedule announced this week. That pairs Parenthood (a 2012 Readers' Choice Award finalist for Favorite Special-Needs TV Show and a favorite for its inclusion of a child with Asperger syndrome among all the brothers and sisters and cousins) with The Michael J. Fox Show, another program with potential special-needs appeal, since both the star and the character he plays have Parkinson's disease.
As a recent Disability Scoop post points out, there are a couple of other new special-needs-related shows on NBC's 2013-2014 schedule, including Ironside, with Blair Underwood as a wheelchair-using detective (debuting in the fall), and The Family Guide, with J.K. Simmons as a blind dad ("coming soon," says NBC). Have you noticed any other new shows with disability-related plotlines? Looking forward to seeing actors like Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) and Lauren Potter (Glee) on your screen again? Mourning the loss of Gary from Alphas and all the special-needs metaphors on Fringe? Share your TV thoughts in the comments.