by Adam Winger, director, North Logan City LibraryEvery Hero Has a Story

Summer is a great time to inspire a life-long love of reading, after kids shut the textbooks for the school year and chart their own reading course. The simplest way to raise literate children is to show them that reading is an enjoyable activity. This means finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books and turning them loose.

I don’t think there is a bad book for children. We need our kids to get onto the reading ladder, and if graphic novels are the first step, then we must encourage them to climb onto the initial rung.

Our approach to summer reading at the North Logan City Library is simply using every tool at our disposal to encourage kids, teens and adults to keep climbing the ladder. We award prizes for submitting reading logs and have fun events outside that might appear to have little to do with reading, but look deeper and you see the immediate impact. Get kids active and interested in a subject then watch the books fly off the shelves. For example, we have a magic show and 30 minutes later there is not a single magic book left in the library. The same thing happens with each program each week.

So parents, when you hear the phrase “summer reading” don’t limit your imagination to mandated reading lists of 20th-century classics and shrink from the task of getting your kids to read. Take them to your local library, turn them loose and watch them as they are pulled with a magnetic force to something that they beg you to check out for them.

Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email. We need to read and write comfortably and citizens who comprehend what they are reading understand nuance and make themselves understood.

Reading for pleasure is the spark that ignites a life-long passion for the written word in all forms including audiobooks and podcasts.

It is our obligation to raise the next generation not simply as the consumers of information, but more importantly as the creators of knowledge. The National Summer Reading theme is “Every Hero Has a Story,” so help your kids discover and read about their heroes, and they will surely grow to be super.