The Summer Reading Challenge is upon us, and with it comes the challenge of persuading people in your house to read during the summer. If the young folks in your home are already pretty motivated – they know what they like to read, they know how to find it at the Library or in our catalog of downloadable titles, they read of their own free will and not just when they trip and fall accidentally face-first into an open book – then it’s pretty easy.
But if the young people under your roof struggle to find reading material that interests them, encouraging summer reading can be a chore, especially since age-specific, grade-specific and lexile-based reading guides are usually pretty one-size-fits-all and no two kids are exactly alike. Well, except in terms of haircuts – some kids have the exact same haircut. But choose any first-grade classroom at random and you’ll find a roomful of young individuals with totally different vocabularies, comfort levels, personal interests, and attention spans.
So to help get kids started, here’s a sampling of great books of all kinds – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphics – loosely clustered by grade level. Your third-grader may really like the sound of one of the second-grade books, or your second-grader may want to try one of the fourth-grade titles. They should go for it. Why not? It’s summer! #YOLO!
It’s never too early to start thinking about how words and art shape the way you see the world, and how you can translate what you see in the world into words and art.
They’re darling. They’re daring. They know their shapes! They’re chicks on a mission—and on this, their first (mis)adventure, the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition. Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they’re too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime.
Grace Lin is the New York Times best-selling author of the Newbery Honor book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. In Ling & Ting, Lin crafts a charming tale about a pair of Chinese-American twins who insist that, despite their physical appearance, they are NOT alike. Ling can’t use chopsticks, no matter how hard she tries. And Ting can’t sit still-a characteristic that makes the twins more different than ever after a small mishap at the barbershop.
“It’s a dog’s life! Every dog has a tail to wag . . . and a tale to tell. Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest asked a collection of canines to speak up—and so they do, in words, barks, and yips. Captured here are accounts of happy days filled with squeaky toys, good smells, plenty of naps, and the very important jobs they do for the people they love to love.” ~ Amazon
Sometimes your whole year can be complicated by something as simple as a bump on the head or as substantial as a hearing aid apparatus. But if you’re persistent enough, sometimes you can build a life out of your dreams.
Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful–and very awkward–hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear–sometimes things she shouldn’t–but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.
Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has developed good relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents and learned many important lessons.
An introduction to one of the most famous ballerinas in history describes how she was inspired to pursue dancing after going to the ballet as a child and how her achievements have inspired subsequent generations of dancers.
In which life starts to get a little more complicated, and so does the literature. Squirrels, vacuum cleaners, school plays, and life and death at the local mall.
Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived.
Hoping to land the lead in the class play, Hank freezes during his audition and is only able to buzz like a fly, inspiring his teacher to create a special role for him as a silent bookmark that saves the show when a rival suffers an attack of stage fright.
One of these books is about a made-up word. One looks like some kid’s English class poetry journal but turns out to be something more. And the other was illustrated entirely with three colors of ballpoint pen.
“No education is complete without a large slice of Greek mythology. All the great gods and goddesses of ancient Greece are depicted in this big, beautiful classic, lovingly illustrated and skillfully told. Young readers will be dazzled by mighty Zeus, lord of the universe; stirred by elegant Athena, goddess of wisdom; intimidated by powerful Hera, queen of Olympus; and chilled by moody Poseidon, ruler of the sea. The D’Aulaires’ illustrations have a memorable quality: once pored over, they will never leave the minds of the viewer. No child is too young to appreciate the myths that have built the foundation for much of the world’s art and literature over the centuries. This introduction to mythology is a treasure.” ~ Amazon.
Presents the life of the Mexican artist, José Guadalupe Posada, who became famous for his drawings of skeletons in multiple everyday poses which have become identified with the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.
Featured Image Credit:The Bark Ages by Eric P.
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