School gets out at the end of the month. It means an end to homework, more time to play, and enjoying the lazy days of summer. But it shouldn’t mean a break in reading. According to Scholastic, “Research confirms that students who don’t read four or more age-appropriate books over the summer typically score lower or stagnate on reading comprehension tests when they return to school”.
The book experts at Watchung Booksellers have compiled a great list of summer reading recommendations for kids. For some great recommendations for yourself, check out Watchung Bookseller’s list over at Baristanet.
The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
A thoroughly original fairy who is a true force of nature. What would happen to a fairy if she lost her wings and could no longer fly? Flory, a young night fairy no taller than an acorn and still becoming accustomed to her wings — wings as beautiful as those of a luna moth — is about to find out. What she discovers is that the world is very big and very dangerous. But Flory is fierce and willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
Zac Power series by H.I. Larry
A new series featuring 12 year old Zac Power who is a secret agent for the Government Investigation bureau who frequently saves the world. Ages 7-9.
Magic Tree House: Games and Puzzles from the Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
The best activity book for kids who love the Magic Tree House series!
Travel through time and around the world with Jack and Annie to help them solve mazes and crossword puzzles, break secret codes, play games, draw pictures, and more! They’ve seen the age of the dinosaurs and the high-tech future; they’ve visited freezing Antarctica and scorching deserts–and now Jack and Annie need your help.
Middle Readers, ages 7-11
Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Pierce
He is the classic clever kid who hates school and whose antics land him in ever-hotter water with grumbly teachers. On this particular day, he wakes up feeling fine, sweats a bit about an upcoming test, then opens a fortune cookie at school that reads, “Today you will surpass all others.” So, he dutifully goes about trying to best other kids at everything but seems to only have a knack for racking up detention slips. For the Wimpy Kid crowd.
The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow
Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang are best friends with one goal: to crack the code of popularity. In this notebook they write down their observations and carry out experiments to try to determine what makes the popular girls tick.
Boom! by Mark Haddon
An explosive, highly charged, and hilarious middle-grade adventure from Mark Haddon, acclaimed author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
From the moment that Jim and his best friend, Charlie, bug the staff room and overhear two of their teachers speaking to each other in a secret language, they know there’s an adventure on its way.
The Keeper by Kathy Appelt
To ten-year-old Keeper, this moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong…and so much has gone wrong. But she knows who can make things right again: Meggie Marie, her mermaid mother who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that’s exactly where she is headed — in a small boat, in the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and a seagull named Captain.
Seventh Level by Jody Feldman
Lauer Middle School has a super-secret society–The Legend. No one knows who is in it. Or how they pull off the spectacular schoolwide events. Seventh grader Travis Raines may be about to find out. A shiny blue envelope marked For Your Eyes Only mysteriously appears in his locker. You have been chosen, the message says. Non-stop action with clues to solve. Ages 10 and up.
Big Swim by Cary Fagan
When his parents send him to summer camp for the first time, Ethan has just three goals. First, to survive. Second, not to be hated. Third, not to be the worst at anything. Instead, Ethan’s real challenge comes in the form of a new cabin mate.
The Kind of Friends We Used to Be by Frances O’Roark Dowell
Kate and Marylin are best friends forever…. Well, except for last year when they weren’t friends anymore….And except for this year when they both want to be friends again, but just don’t know how. Funny, realistic, and incredibly insightful, Edgar Award-winning novelist Frances O’Roark Dowell explores the shifting terrain of middle-school friendship in the companion book to the well-loved The Secret Language of Girls.
Little Klein by Anne Yivisaker
Harold “Little” Klein can’t seem to measure up. Surrounded by the “Bigs,” his boisterous gang of older brothers, and the bustling, bighearted Mother Klein, Harold often feels little and left out — until the day a stray dog named LeRoy becomes his inseparable companion.
Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye by Bonnie Shimko
“All a person needs in life is one true friend.” So says Grandpa Thomas, the only member of Amelia’s family who cares about her one bit. That true friend finally arrives when Fancy Nelson, the first Negro kid Amelia has ever seen in person, walks into her fourth grade classroom. As Fancy’s special sort of magic rubs off on Amelia, she slowly comes to understand her trainwreck family and her place in it–and Fancy discovers a surprising secret about her own past.
Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities by Jason Shiga
Chocolate or Vanilla? This simple choice is all it takes to get started with Meanwhile, the wildly inventive creation of comics mastermind Jason Shiga. Jimmy, whose every move is under your control, finds himself in a mad scientist’s lab, where he’s given a choice between three amazing objects: a mind-reading device, a time-travel machine, or the Killitron 3000 (which is as ominous as it sounds). Down each of these paths there are puzzles, mysterious clues, and shocking revelations. It’s up to the reader to lead Jimmy to success or disaster. Ages 8 and up.
Zebrafish by Peter H. Reynolds
Several friends, led by the purple-haired Vita, try to figure out how to make their band work despite the fact that no one knows how to play anything. But when Vita, whose older brother is a cancer researcher, learns that band-member Tanya has leukemia, she begins to wonder how their upcoming performance might be put to a greater good. Ages 9-12.
Clock without a Face by Gus Twintig
This is true: 12 emerald-studded numbers, each handmade and one-of-a-kind, have been buried in 12 holes across this fine land. These treasures will belong to whoever digs them up first. The question: Where to dig? The only path to the answer: Solve the riddle of The Clock Without a Face. Ages 8 and up.
Red Pyramid, The Kane Chronicles, Book 1 by Rick Riordan
Author of the hugely popular Percy Jackson and the Lost Olympians series turns to a new subject, Eyptian Gods. To stop Egyptian god Set from going after their father, siblings Carter and Sadie embark on a dangerous journey across the globe–a quest which brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
Tell Us We’re Home by Marina Budhos
Jaya, Maria, and Lola are just like the other eighth-grade girls in the wealthy suburb of Meadowbrook, New Jersey. They want to go to the spring dance, they love spending time with their best friends after school, sharing frappes and complaining about the other kids. But there’s one big difference: all three are daughters of maids and nannies. And they go to school with the very same kids whose families their mothers work for. A wonderful story of friendship and belonging.
The Line by Teri Hall
A psychological thriller about values, choices and the dangers of complacency. What a great way for young readers to contemplate these ideas, because the difficult subjects being debated today will be shaping our world in the near future.
Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner
Janni Lee Simner brings the fierce romance and violent passions of Iceland’s medieval sagas into this twenty-first-century novel, with spellbinding results. After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.
Chronicles of Nick Vol 1: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
It’s got zombies, werewolves, vampires (duh!) and vampire slayers. By day the quarterback is a dumb jock, by night a werewolf and of course a la Buffy, the head cheerleader is a slayer. Maybe not the most original of ideas, but it looks like fun, mindless reading. Perfect for poolside reading.
Fat Vampire by Adam Rex (August 1st)
Doug Lee is attacked by a vampire and finds himself cursed with being fifteen and fat forever. I can totally relate, although I think being a vampire might have added to my uncool status. Looks like fun and it has a great cover.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (August 24th)
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway (August 3rd)
Three sisters, with three different powers. I know, a total rip off of Charmed, but without the eye candy of Alyssa Milano. Who wouldn’t want special powers to help them navigate the pure hell of high school, but could they have a greater purpose? Stay tuned……..
What will your kid be reading?