Librarians will often try to make [looking for book suggestions] into a game, and it's one that parents can play as well. For example, you might ask your children to pick a children's book--any book--from a top shelf of the library....Another possibility: have your child head to a library bookshelf, close his eyes, choose three books at random from that shelf and then choose one to read.
These two examples come from my library's summer reading program....We also have bookmarks with various reading choices [listed on them]. Some examples: "read a book with a red cover," "read a book int eh 800-899 section of the library" and "read a book that shows you how to make or do something and then make or do it." Kids roll a pair of dice and choose a book that corresponds to the same number on the bookmark.
We do occasionally get questions from parents during the year if we have a reading program for the fall, or the spring. (Douglas County Libraries run a program every season in part because of the high number of year-round schools in their area.) I think it would be fun to think of developing a couple of different, easy to implement "programs" for our fall and spring "semesters." Maybe we could print up a Genre Bingo Card for the fall and a bookmark with crazy choices for the spring ("read a book with an author whose last name starts with Z").
Maybe we could move Summer Showdown to another season and adapt it? What did you guys think of Summer Showdown? Any comments or ideas?