School is out and the lazy days of summer are here. It’s time to enjoy the pool, the beach and our friends. As parents, we may feel our children are maxed out and need a break from working their brains. However, all that hard work they put in throughout the school year can slowly slip away over the summer months. In fact, research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer vacation. This has prompted some systems to extend their school year or modify their school calendars.
Fortunately, there is a fun and easy way to keep the learning going! Reading over the summer, even if just for a few minutes each day, will help keep your child’s mind active and engaged.
Check out the summer reading challenges being offered at your local library or sign up for one at Barnes & Noble. There are also national reading challenges, like the one from Scholastic, in which your whole school can participate in.
Below are some suggested titles from The Washington Post. For the full list, click here.
Grades K – 3
A Nest Is Noisy
By Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long. $16.99. Grades K–3.
Whether it’s the foamy home of a frog or the sandy one of a sea turtle, this book reminds readers that all nests bustle with activity.
Ice Cream Summer
By Peter Sís. $17.99. Grades K–3.
Sís cleverly slips lessons on history, vocabulary, and math into this tale of summer fun as Joe narrates everything he’s learned in a letter to his grandfather.
Grades 4 – 6
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
By Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath. $16.99. Grades 4–6.
In letters to her dearly departed abuelita and others, Sophie worries about missing L.A., her dad’s unemployment, and poultry thieves. Her voice rings true in this tale of family, adventure, and raising chickens.
Gone Crazy in Alabama
By Rita Williams-Garcia. $16.99. Grades 4–6.
The award-winning author rounds out a trilogy about three sisters as they travel from Brooklyn to Alabama to visit their grandmother.
Grades 5 – 9
By Alice Hoffman. $16.99. Grades 5–8.
In a place where monsters might be real, 12-year-old Twig stores up her hurts “as if they were a tower made of fallen stars”—until she finds a friend to help her break a curse and release her family’s secrets.
By Pam Muñoz Ryan. $19.99. Grades 5–9.
Set before and during WWII, this magical tale follows an enchanted harmonica and the lives it touches as it travels through space and time.