Oh, come on! I see that eye roll. But for just a moment, think about it! Pokémon has been a craze for decades. My own daughter was obsessed with collecting the playing cards. She had a whole binder of them. And with their newest app, Pokémon GO, why not turn it to your advantage! See, this is where being a sneaky parent gets fun!

It’s summer. The kids just want to have fun. You want to prevent summer brain drain–and keep them occupied. What if I told you that you could do both? Pokémon is more than just cards and games. They also have–wait a minute, let’s have a dramatic pause–BOOKS! Yeah, I know! Right?

Pokemon Level 2In all seriousness, why not use the latest craze to get kids reading. They are just as interested in Pokémon now as they were 10 years ago. Take your child to the bookstore or go online at Amazon. They offer a wide variety of books for children of every age and stage! They have beginner readers, Levels 1-3, for preschool children up to fifth grade.

For the older reader, there are the Pokémon Adventures. This series is for children in grades three to seven. They will offer a more advanced story line for the middle-grade reader.

pokemon graphicThere are still a lot of additional options such as activity books, strategy guides, and graphic novels. And let’s not forget those Pokémon collector cards and games. Those require reading and critical thinking, too!

Finally, let’s talk about that newest craze….Pokémon GO. By now I’m sure you’ve heard your kids talk about it. But have you actually tried it? I’m secure enough to admit I have! Yep, and I had a grand time capturing my fair share of Pokémon, too! My collection to date includes Exeggcute, Sandshrew Pidgey, Goldeen, Ekans, Jigglypuff, and more! Of course, I’ve just begun! Which is probably why that clever Arcanine managed a successful escape—or so I tell myself.  I must admit, it’s a little addicting. You don’t really expect a Pokémon around every corner….but surprisingly, that’s exactly where they’re hiding!

Pokemon-ScreenSo here’s my summer challenge to you. Encourage your kids to start reading something they are already interested in. It’s a great way to get them hooked on books! Don’t worry, they’ll expand their literary base later. But for now, they’ll just be having a fun summer. And how can you reward them for reading? Download the free Pokémon GO app and go have some family time! Take a walk and set about on a scavenger hunt. Enjoy the warmth of the day, the relaxing summer eve, and all the laughter in between.


In my attempt to keep this article light-hearted, I hope to share with you the ease in which to get kids reading. The main idea is to present books of interest to them. It’s so easy to do, but sometimes we just can’t help but try and over-complicate it. We want them to read great literary works. In an effort to broaden their mind, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that we first have to instill in them a love of reading. And, to accomplish that goal, we first have to let them read what they love.

Here is one phenomenon I didn’t expect, the other evening my husband and I decided to go out for an evening walk. Instead of staying in our neighborhood, we drove over to our quaint neighboring town which is only a few minutes away. We love strolling their main street downtown area on the waterfront. We were amazed by the amount of people enjoying the summer night with their cell phones in hand hoping to catch Pokémon. We’re talking all ages from young kids, to families, to *ahem* older couples such as ourselves. The best part, everyone was friendly and talking to one another giving out advice and sharing a bit of camaraderie as they went along. Pokémon was actually bringing the community together. Whereas I was using this article to show how you can get kids excited about reading, there is a whole other lesson to be learned here as well.

Happy adventuring,

K. Lamb