Kids Club Picks

Any chance yours is the kid who is… how-shall-we-say–less than thrilled about your local library’s summer reading program? While other families are clamoring for the librarian’s desk, eagerly awaiting that boardgame-style map, charting their child’s page-by-page, book-by-book reading progress through the summer, you’re loathing that library excursion for this very same reason?

As it turns out, you’re not alone! Plenty of parents feel the burden of encouraging, cajoling, coaxing, even begging their child to read to avoid that notorious summer slide. However, before you hit an anxiety tailspin, remember—reading doesn’t need to look the same for every kid. Especially in 2019, with are so many ways to consume literary content at our fingertips, reading doesn’t have to follow the traditional pattern of scanning left to right, hunched over a tablet, nodding off after you read the same paragraph for the umpteenth time.

Instead of tangible, tactile books, why not give audiobooks a chance? Despite what you may have heard, they’re not just for adults anymore! The Kids Club at Libro.fm offers fantastic kid-centered content, all priced at $10 or less. Best of all, it’s free to join, and there are no monthly commitments or restrictions, so if it’s not a good fit, you have that flexibility.

This month, my daughter and I listened to two new-to-us audiobooks while commuting to and from ballet practice. The first, Islandborn, by Junot Diaz is a realistic fiction novel about a young girl named Lola. Lola is an immigrant, living in the United States, thriving in a multi-cultural, diverse school. Her teacher, intending to celebrate the class’ diversity and cultural backgrounds, creates an assignment in which each student will be asked to share about their family’s ancestry.  Lola is left flummoxed, confused on how to proceed, as her family left the island which holds her entire identity when she was a baby. As such, she can conjure up absolutely zero images about this faraway place to which she has such deep familial and cultural roots. Reluctantly, she confides to her teacher, who smiles and encourages Lola to seek the help and guidance of her family and friends to fill in the blanks. While Lola obliges hesitantly, she ends up unearthing a treasure trove of memories, both joyous and heartbreaking, which along with Lola’s imagination, bring her heritage and her family’s story vibrantly to life. “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”

Another title we explored was the non-fiction chapter book Malala, the memoir written and narrated by Malala Yousafzai, a young Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist, best known for standing up for girls’ education in Pakistan. Malala is no ordinary teenage girl. After observing her mother’s struggles being illiterate, Malala became determined to defend the right of girls to attend school, a privilege and belief not accepted by the extremist regime. Her commitment to her cause led Malala to endure significant criticism and even violent consequences, though inevitably she prevailed. For girls and boys alike, Malala serves as a role model of determination. Her story is one of bravery and resolve.

For Islandborn, Malala, and other titles hand-picked for a young audience, check out the Kids Club. When you buy audiobooks through Libro.fm, your purchases support the local, independent bookstore of your choosing. Get your kid started on audiobooks today! Sign up for Kids Club and YA Club, and you’ll receive emails about the select audiobooks available for $10 or less each month. Kickstart that summer reading program with an audiobook experience!

Written By

Michelle Zapalski

Michelle Zapalski is a former elementary school teacher, copyeditor, and content creator based in the Seattle area. You can find her on instagram @lovely.little.reads.

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