Summer reading may not be a priority for children, yet it’s important to make it one. Why? Summer reading is critical to a child’s ability to retain information learned, and grow in knowledge and critical thinking skills, in order to maintain literacy skills learned throughout the school year.
Reading, in general, is highly effective at building up a child’s knowledge in a vast amount of subject areas including English, math, science, and history. Studies have discovered a greater intellectual progress in vocabulary, spelling, and math when children read more than what is required at school. Research has further credited reading as a strong tool for growing comprehension skills and gaining a greater understanding of the world. Children who read with consistency throughout the summer are able to stay ahead of their classmates during the school year.
The selection of books we have curated for summer reading are intentionally different from books children might read during the school year. Some are fanciful or fantasy (dogs that accompany their kid-owners to school, for example), most have pictures (illustrations and infographics, or graphic novels); and most can be read in short fragments, for example in the car or during thirty-minute reading bursts – which work especially well in building capacity in reluctant readers. We hope you will enjoy one or more of these books – or others you find while browsing library stacks or visiting your local book store.
Grades Kindergarten to Second
The Rock From The Sky written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
A beautiful work of art with a hilarious story to go with it by Caldecott winner Jon Klassen. This picture book will be read and re-read by your family, and each time the thoughts and discussion around the story will be different. Turtle and Armadillo leave one stone unturned when it falls from the sky, right in Turtle’s favorite hangout spot. It’s a good thing he meandered out of the way in time! This inspires their simple chats about the ever-changing landscape, including the potential ominous cryptid creatures that might make their way into their environment. It’s not really possible to perfectly sum up a Klassen book – it’s truly something one needs to experience to fully appreciate.
Have you Ever Seen A Flower written by Shawn Harris
Vividly drawn illustrations that are very relatable to kids are the highlight of this absolutely perfect picture book. It almost smells like summer, it is so well done. A young girl and her dog take a journey from the grey, drab city through bright fields of flowers, learning a lot about themselves and the wonder of nature on the way. It opens the way to discussions between parents and children about the importance of wildlife, beauty, flowers, bees, and happiness.
Grades Third through Fourth
Scientists Get Dressed written by Deborah Lee Rose
Have you ever wondered what kinds of clothing and personal equipment are needed for a volcanologist or a glaciologist? Eighteen different people are introduced with the gear they need to collect data for their scientific studies and protect themselves. In addition to briefly describing what they actually do as scientists there are lots of facts about the sorts of things they research. Colorful and packed with photographs, the book uses two fonts and types of information, one for younger readers and one with more information for older readers.
Two Dogs in a Trenchcoat (series) written by Julie Falatko
Hilarious stories about dogs that wear clothes so they can attend school with their owners. Dog antics and adventures include starting a school club, going on a class trip, and even participating in a school play.
Grades Fifth through Eighth
Me and the World: An Infographic Exploration written by Mireia Trius, Illustrated by Joana Casals
This fascinating book pairs visual literacy with data literacy, using colorful illustrations and infographics to present information in a way young readers will understand. The infographics focus on personal things like family structure, most popular names, living spaces, and breakfast foods in different places in our world. It also looks more broadly at things like world population, city populations, traffic in cities, schools, and homework. There are more light hearted infographics too like most popular dog breeds, summer vacations, sports, and birthdays. The author found a way to make data and statistics fun!
Click (series) written by Kayla Miller
This graphic novel has an introspective approach, as we follow 5th grader Olive on her search for the perfect friend group. While she is friends with everyone, she realizes she hasn’t “clicked” with anyone in particular and doesn’t have a “bestie.” She ultimately determines that she can find happiness both within herself and in her different groups of friends. Three more novels, Camp, Act, and Clash continue the story with diverse characters and issues of love, friendship, and families.
We hope this list provides your child with a jump start to reading this summer. Keep up the work by encouraging your child to choose books on his/her own and help make reading interesting and inviting. When we do our part to make reading over the summer a priority, perhaps it will become something fun to share as a family!
Looking for more ways to bring out your child’s best this summer? Check out our Summer@Stratford camp, complete with all the fun and enriching activities they love, at stratfordschools.com/summer!