Summer is a long-anticipated break for most students. Sleeping in, staying up late, outdoor fun, vacations and adventures make summer the best time of year; for some, the absolute best part about summer is no school. Books, tests and homework are shelved for a few months, and kids’ only focus is to have fun.
Yet, all that focus on fun means that a lot of the reading and math skills students worked so hard to improve during the school year will start to decline, a phenomenon referred to as the summer slide. It is possible, though, for kids to have an incredibly fun summer and not lose what they’ve learned in school. By checking out some of the “Notable Children’s Books” below recommended by the American Library Association’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), kids will be able to keep their reading skills sharp during summer break.
Preschool through second grade readers—(up to age 7)—will delight in discovering frogs of all sizes in the picture book “Fabulous Frogs” by Martin Jenkins. “Go, Otto, Go” by David Milgrim will transport readers out of this world as they follow the journey of Otto the robot. Kids will relate to the difficulty of getting to sleep in the comedic story of “Good Night Owl” by Greg Pizzoli. Even class pets want some time off from school, and “The Great Pet Escape” by Victoria Jamieson will thrill readers with its tale of adventure.
Readers in grades 3 – 5 or ages 8 – 10 will be captivated by all that Frank and Lucky discover in “Frank and Lucky Get Schooled” by Newberry Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins. The supernatural tale, “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill, is sure to captivate imaginations. Technology and the natural world collide in the enchanting story of “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown. Readers can tag along on a magical adventure in “The Secret Keepers” by Trenton Lee Stewart.
Readers in grades 6 – 8 or ages 11 – 14 will be inspired by the incredible accomplishments of the first African American military pilots depicted in “You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen” by Carole Boston Weatherford. In the mysterious “The Lie Tree” readers will be transported to Victorian Britain. Readers will connect with the emotional struggle of Nick, a 12-year-old coming to grips with his parent’s divorce in “Booked” by Kwame Alexander. The 2017 Newberry Honor Book “Wolf Hollow” by Lauren Wolk is a coming-of-age story of a young girl’s courage in the face of bullying.
Finding a great read is a gift, any time of the year. During summer, though, it is an even greater gift because books will not only entertain young readers and fuel their imaginations, but also help strengthen their reading skills so they are ready for success in the fall.