What to Do Over Winter Break: Pick up a good book

You're about to have two weeks out of school to... see family? Celebrate a holiday or two? Why not also pick up a good book? Winter Break starts next Saturday, December 21, but why should your child spend that time with his brain turned off? Surely he can carve out some time to exercise his mind and dive deep into a new book.

Here are just a few ideas for reading and literacy fun over Winter Break:

Check out a book from Limitless Libraries - The last day for delivery before winter break is this Tuesday, December 17. Delivery resumes after break, and if a book becomes available while we're out of school, Nashville Public Library will hold it and deliver when school starts back in January. If you have an item that's due before January 7, you need to return it to school by this Tuesday or any branch library by the due date. Otherwise... late fees.

Write a letter to an author - Letters About Literature is a really cool contest that asks you to write a letter to an author (living or dead) who wrote a work you feel strongly about. "The letter should explore those feelings and why you reacted the way you did during or after reading. It's a great way to get young people to think critically about something they're reading right now or something they've already read." There are cash prizes on the line, along with a scholarship to the Tennessee Young Writers' Workshop. This website has a lot more about how to enter.

Visit the Nashville Public Library for books and cool events - The libraries will be closed on December 24 and 25 and January 1, but they're open for the rest of break. There are events for kids, teens and adults. Oh, and they also have a few books, CDs and DVDs you can check out. Check out the Library calendar for more.

What else is happening? How do you keep your child engaged and learning over long breaks?