Have Geeklets, Will Travel: Storybook Vacations

Image: Chrisbulle via Flickr
Image: Chrisbulle via Flickr

Welcome back to Have Geeklets, Will Travel, a summer travel series that will help you think up cool travel plans that will appeal to both kids and adults. From geocaching expeditions in your backyard to factory tours in far-flung states, we’ll be providing ideas all summer long to get you out of your house and on the road for great adventures.

Ever wanted to step into a book? A new site called Placing Literature can help you visit the locations of your favorite books, and you can help put characters on the map. It’s a two-part activity that comes with some give and take with your kids. During a rainy day, help build the app by leaving a site or two for others to visit, and then when you’re ready to take a day trip, grab a location for a reading excursion.

Visit Chincoteague, VA and bring along the book Misty. Schedule an outing at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and bring along From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Walk around Portland, Oregon with a Ramona Quimby book. Visit London and take in all the Harry Potter sites.

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Actively going to where a story is set opens a fantastic starting point for discussing a book: Why here? Location can become an integral part of a story, as important as the characters themselves. Harry Potter simply wouldn’t be Harry Potter without Hogwarts. (And yes, you can go to Scotland and ride the Hogwarts Express right now!) Eloise couldn’t be Eloise anywhere other than New York. And yes, you can even sort of visit Middle Earth if your goal is to get inside Tolkien’s head and see how environment can influence the plot line (even if… uh… Mr. Tolkien wrote those books in Oxford, England and not New Zealand).

The point is to influence your child’s imagination and help them build those visualization skills that are so important when deconstructing a novel down the road. And you get a vacation to boot!

So which book would you like to jump into and take your kids along for the ride?

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Melissa Ford writes women's fiction, but she does it while wearing a Superman shirt. A geek to the core, she is also the author of the award-winning site, Stirrup Queens which the Wall Street Journal named one of the top ten motherhood blogs. You can find her in all sorts of places around the web including Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, Google+, and Amazon. She completed her MFA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She lives outside of Washington, D.C. with her writer husband, Joshua, and their twins.