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Summer Reading Resources

Please remember to visit your local library during the summer. You will find a variety of books to meet all readers' interests. The following are resources for all kinds of books and readers. 

Summer is here! Visit your local public library with your children, read together, read for fun, get books your children will like and be interested in, read with them, talk with them about what they are reading, and enjoy reading and learning!  Summer is a great time to explore, have fun, and foster children’s literacy skills and imagination.    

Recommended Summer Book Lists

Parent Tips

Summer Reading Camps

The Importance of Summer Reading for Ongoing Student Success: How to Avoid Learning Loss

(Compiled by Vicky Zygouris-Coe, Ph.D., FRA Family Literacy Director) 

New for 2013

Recommended Summer Book Lists 

2013 “Big Summer Read”: Recommended summer reading books for babies to nine-year-olds:  http://www.readingrockets.org/books/summer/2013/ 

Select a recommended book list based on age (ranging from 0 to 13 years) and genre:  http://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/book-lists-and-recommendations/ages-6-7 

“Children’s Choices”: List of books with reviews that your children might like, all recommended by children.  All of the “Children’s Choices” lists can be found at this link:  http://www.reading.org/Resources/Booklists/ChildrensChoices.aspx 

2010 “Children’s Choices” Titles organized by grades K – 6 with starred books receiving the most votes:  http://www.reading.org/Libraries/Choices/CC_Bookmark_2010.pdf 

Recommended Children’s Picture Books:
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson1022/RecommendedChildrensPictureBooks.pdf 

Summer Reading List for K – 8:  http://www.ala.org/alsc/compubs/booklists/summerreadinglist 

For Teens, by Teens Recommended Books: http://www.justreadflorida.com/recommend/PublicDisplay.asp 

 “Young Adults’ Choices”: List of books with descriptions that were recommended by teenagers.  All of the “Young Adults’ Choices” lists can be found at this link:  http://www.reading.org/Resources/Booklists/YoungAdultsChoices.aspx 

2013 “Young Adults’ Choices” List:  http://www.reading.org/Libraries/choices/ira-young-adults-choices-reading-list-2013.pdf  A podcast about recommended book series:  http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/podcast-episodes/chapter-book-series-worth-30260.html 

A podcast about recommended summer reading books to take on summer vacation:  http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/podcast-episodes/summer-adventures-30271.html 

The 100 Best Books List (organized by books for all ages and by books for preschoolers to young adults):  http://www.teachersfirst.com/100books.cfm 

FL Department of Education Summer Reading List for Grades K-12: http://www.justreadfamilies.org/SummerReadingList.pdf 

Recommended summer reading list by the National Endowment for the Arts:  http://www.neh.gov/news/summertime-favorites 

  List of Award-Winning Books 

2013 Newberry Medal Winner and Honor Books:  http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberymedal 

1922 – 2013 Newberry Medal and Honor Books:  http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyhonors/newberymedal 

2013 Caldecott Medal Winner and Honor Books:  http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottmedal 

1938 – 2013 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books:  http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecotthonors/caldecottmedal 

2013 Notable Children’s Books (organized by younger readers, older readers, and all ages):  http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb 

2013 Coretta Scott King Book Awards (for outstanding African American authors and illustrators):  http://www.ala.org/emiert/cskbookawards 

Featured Children’s Award-Winning Books:  http://www.randomhouse.com/awards/ 


Parent Tips for Promoting Summer Reading & Learning

  A tip sheet on how to make the most out of summer and things to do over the summer with your child:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/31596/ 

Don’t forget to visit your public library this summer to encourage reading!  Here are some reasons why visiting the library is worthwhile.  The best part: it’s free!  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/30917/ 

Tips on how to promote summer learning and your child’s interests:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/25723/ 

How to create a home library to promote summer reading:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/26730/ 

How to turn that summer fun into a learning experience:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/16254/ 

10 weeks of activities and ideas to promote summer reading adventures:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/391/ 

Tips on how to promote reading and writing this summer with your child:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/37585/ 

5 “Must-Do’s” for Summer Reading:  http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-raise-reader/get-set-summer-reading-these-5-raise-reader-must-dos 

Summer reading tips to motivate your child to read: Advice from librarians:  http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/more-reading-resources/summer-reading-tips-librarians 

Summer Fun Tips:  http://www.famlit.org/free-resources/tips/summer-fun-tips/ 

Summer Reading Tips for Parents of Kindergarten and First Graders:  http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/summer-reading-tips-for-parents-of-kindergartners-first-graders-and-readers-writers/ 

How to “tackle” those Summer reading lists:  http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/tackling-school-summer-reading-lists/ 

Fun ideas “boredom-busters” for summer break:  http://www.rif.org/kids/readingplanet/activitylab/activities/activity_id_138.htm 

Summertime Reading: Activities for every week of summer:  http://www.rif.org/documents/us/summer_reading.pdf 

Summer Reading Tips for Parents:  http://www.ncld.org/students-disabilities/homework-study-skills/summer-reading-tips-parents 

Encourage your child to create, laugh, imagine, explore, learn, smile, and grow. Visit Wonderopolis®. It’s a place where wonder and learning are nurtured through the power of discovery, creativity and imagination. Wonderopolis is brought to life by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL).  http://wonderopolis.org   


Reading Camps 

2013 FL Reading Camps: http://www.justreadflorida.com/camps/ 

Looking for a summer program for your child?  Check out this article to find out what you should be looking for in a summer program:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/23425/ 

Resources, Packets, and Activities to Help Children Keep Track of, and Record, their Summer Reading 

A Reading Record that children can use to keep track of their summer reading:  http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/printouts/ReadingRecord.pdf 

“I’m a Reading Star” (K – 2): A printout chart that you can hang in the house for your child to rate their summer reading books:  http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/printouts/reading-star-30204.html 

Reading Adventure Packs for Families: Put together a pack with activities and books based on themes:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/27935/ 

For your younger kids, these grocery store activity sheets can be taken to the grocery store to help your child with their letters and words while you shop:  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/33132/ 


The Importance of Summer Reading for Ongoing Student Success: How to Avoid Learning Loss

Why should children and youth read in the summer? Read this report, Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning, at: http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG1120.html


Key Findings from Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning

  • “Summer learning loss, which is disproportionate and cumulative, contributes substantially to the achievement gap”
  • Learning loss over the summer “disproportionately affects low-income students”
    • “Low-income students lose substantial ground in reading during the summer”
  • Summer learning loss is cumulative = “over time…contributes substantially to the achievement gap in reading”
    • Might not be able to close this gap during the school year alone
  • “Students who attend summer programs have better outcomes than similar peers who do not attend these programs”
    • Positive effects on student achievement
    • Studies have shown that the effects of these summer learning programs can last for at least TWO years after the summer program.  (Note:  No known studies have looked at the effects beyond two years.)
  • “Strategies for maximizing quality, enrollment, and attendance are critical to achieving benefits”
    • Programming must be:  high quality; students must attend regularly
      • High-quality program characteristics:
      • Individualized instruction
      • Parental involvement
      • Small class sizes
    • Important factors for maximizing enrollment/high attendance:
      • Notify parents EARLY (before parents plan other summer activities)
      • Provide “engaging enrichment activities”
      • Offer transportation
      • Have full-day programs (makes it easier for working parents)
  • “Cost is the main barrier to implementing summer learning programs”
  • “Partnerships can strengthen summer learning programs”
    • Benefits when partnered with districts; cost less when offered by school districts
  • Recommendations for districts and providers
    • Invest in high-quality staff and plan early
    • Consider partnerships
    • Incorporate promising practices
    • “Think creatively about funding”
  • “Family influences on achievement may be greater during the summer than during the school year.”
  • Summer programs…
    • Less costly than extending the school year
    • Provide opportunity to low-income students to help close achievement gaps and give students more time to master tasks
    • Can vary in…
      • Instructional purpose (may be only for low-performing students or remedial instruction; or can be for both low- and higher-performing students)
      • Type of provider (national provider, local provider, or school district)
      • Voluntary or mandatory
      • Dosage/amount of time (vary from 4 – 8 weeks for four or five days per week; hours during the day vary too)
      • Setting (in schools or outside of schools)
  • Summer learning loss is greater for mathematics than reading
  • Cooper & Nye et al. (1996) found that the higher the grade level, the effect of summer vacation changed from positive to negative and grew even more detrimental.
  • Literature showed that “low-achieving students need more time to master material and that spacing learning out over time is an effective instructional technique.”
  • Components of quality summer learning programs…
    • Smaller class sizes
    • Differentiated instruction
    • High-quality instruction
    • Alignment of school-year and summer curricula:  review material from the previous school year and start some new material for the upcoming school year
    • “Engaging and rigorous programming”
    • Maximized participation and attendance
    • Sufficient duration
    • Involved parents
  • Benefits from summer learning programs…
    • Master material they did not learn from the previous year
    • Reverse summer learning loss
    • Achieve learning gains