Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Reading Book List

Speaking of the library, another common pattern in my life is pinning a ton of great books for my kids to read and then showing up at the library with zero plan, relying entirely on my ability to remember what books we should bring home.  FAIL.  Never works.  I subscribe and actually read (dork alert) literacy websites, the New York Times book reviews, and a lot of author blogs but there is a real breakdown in the "reading about great books" and actually getting those books in my children's hands.  I'm determined to remedy that situation this summer.  It's only taken me 13 years.  "Better late than never."   Put it on my tomb stone.

Following is a post I put together for our other website.  I thought I'd pass it along to you fabulous people (and I added a few to this list that are not available at our local library - and ones that are our personal favorites).

This list of books was taken from some of my favorite literacy websites.  I'm not going to group them by age range because children are always at different reading levels and let's face it - even though Where the Wild Things Are would appear on a book list for younger children, when I open it up and begin to read it even my oldest son makes his way over to the couch.  Some of these books are timeless, fun, and are so fantastic no "age range" is capable of containing them.

Of course this is an incomplete list, but I tried to include books for girls and boys and choose books that seemed like a great fit for summer days.  I'll admit though - this list is heavier on books that are winners for boys since girls are practically extinct in our home.

Here are the books we are hoping to enjoy and cross off our summer reading list:

Quick Reads

Our kids' love of Roxaboxen - this book captured their hearts.  Read here.

Activity Books

Great Summer Read Alouds
This is a broad group of books that are wonderful to read out loud or would work for older kids who are reading well enough to read chapter books independently.  These take longer to finish so we'll pick a few to read together and for our kids to read independently then see how far we get this summer.

favorite, favorite series...favorite!
or any book by Creech :)
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
If you're down with ol' Harry these are terrific books to read aloud
and the audio versions are extremely well made.

A great resource we've been using in our house is Common Sense Media.  Their slogan?  "We believe in media sanity, not censorship."  Our oldest son is a voracious reader and has reached that stage where we can't possibly read all the books he is interested in bringing home from the library.  Common Sense Media has been extremely helpful.  To find out more about Common Sense Media and how they are attempting to help families make informed decisions about media children are consuming, visit their "About us" section.  To read reviews of books your kids are interested in reading, check out their extensive list of book reviews.

Don't forget to see if your library has the audio versions of these books.  Our library carries a lot of these titles in audio form, and I'm in love with the idea of kids exercising their listening abilities.  Kids sitting quietly LISTENING?  It's such a dreamy idea.  Does this really happen in real homes?    

Guess what else our local library system does?  They let you request the books you want to check out online.  I sit at home in my pajamas and add books to my cart.  Then about 24 hours later I get an email that says my books are all sitting at the counter ready for me to pick them up.  I put on real clothes and drive to the library.  This is the ONLY reason my children are readers (due to my inability to fully grasp the alphabet or the devil Dewey Decimal System).  God bless the library. 

Did I leave any of your family's favorite books off the list?  Is there a series that has inspired your child to read?  Feel free to share other books and authors in the comment section.   Happy Reading!  Now I need to make a summer reading list for myself.  Hmmm.


amym said...

I discovered recently 'Adventures in Odyssey' which is like audio books but there is sound effects, etc. These have become a MUST have for traveling. I recently drove 7 hours with my four year old and two year old (I think that they are on the VERY young side for these) and they were quiet and captivated the whole trip. I only had to stop once. They also are great for them to listen to at bedtime waiting to fall asleep. They also listen to audio books once in bed for the night. They are focusing so much on the story that their body relaxes and zap...they are asleep :)
LOVE audio book in our family!

mandi said...

We love audio books around here. I sit and knit, the kids work on drawing or origami while we listen. It's blessed! For the primary grades I love Elsa Beskow. Peter in Blueberry Land is one of Levi's favorites. We also love the TumTum and Nutmeg series. Oh- and The Children of Noisy Village. You have a very comprehensive list here with most of our favorites on it- way to go!

Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

Great recommendations, Heather! You can also get many of those suggestions in one spot by getting this book: The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury. It's available at libraries, but it's not that expensive (considering how many books it includes) to buy, especially if you stick to the paperback version. You can see it on Amazon.com and look inside to see what stories it has. GREAT list of reading material - thanks for publishing!

Tina O'Kelley said...

I love these books. I also truly loved reading aloud The Great Turkey Walk and By the Great Horn Spoon, my former young boys loved them. I also love your writing. Mush.

Common Sense Media said...

Thank you so much for sharing about us with your readers! You have a great blog and we're happy to be able to help your family make smart summer reading choices :)

Melda said...

My boys love Jonathan Park audio series - great for road trips!

Also, Chuck Black has a great series called, "The Kingdom Series"


Love Mem Fox for younger kids and Todd Parr

Favorite adoption book: Horace

Sara Danie Concepts Studio Blog said...

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Beth said...

I LOVE everything by Sharon Creech!

Have you read the "Mr. Putter and Tabby" series? They are short chapter books about an older (retired age) man who is kind of a stick in the mud who lives next door to a lively older lady. Lots of great stories!

the momma said...

Ooh ~ thanks!! I'll have to spend some time & see what my library has....

We LOVE Mr Putter and Tabby books! I have a picture that I took a few years ago: my then 15ish yr old was reading a MrP&T to his younger siblings and my 20 yr old who was visiting, squeezed in the couch with everybody else. Pick the Pears is a good place to start :-) but they are all fabulous!!

a few fav picture books off the top of my head:
Seven Silly Eaters (love the illustrations!) Duck Rides A Bike
Daisy and the Beastie the Gingerbread Cowboy (I'm sure you'd read that with a great southern drawl ;-) Click-Clack Moo The Stick Man
G.A. Henty books are great for the older boys
And my little Lily says 'Fancy Nancy books are the best' :-)

Cara said...

Our active, can't-sit-still-for-a-second four year old daughter is amazingly able to sit still for audio stories! Our favourites are from "Your Story Hour". They have amazing real life and fiction stories that have been dramatized and are fantastic. We started out with "Great Stories Vol. 1" and have recently purchased more volumes. These CD's have been a life saver for us when we are stuck in Haitian traffic jams! Bet you miss the traffic here tons, right Heather?!

Anonymous said...

As a children's librarian I have to say those are great picks! I also love the Gerald and Piggy books by Mo Willems, The Pout Pout fish by Deborah Diesen, and Silly Doggy by Adam Stower. Oh, and Nathaniel Willy, Scared Silly by Judith Matthews. And Conejito: A Folktale from Panama by Margaret Read McDonald.