Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Reading

It is the first full day of summer break for me, having finished the year with meetings and a very nice luncheon yesterday.

This is what The Peanut has been doing with her morning thus far.

I know. 

We have spawned an avid reader and it is awesome.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me, that she has her nose in a book whenever possible without having to be prompted or forced into it.

When asked the other day how she became such a good reader, her reply to another adult we know was instructive:  "It's what we do in my family.  We all love to read."

It's true, we are big readers and always have been.

One of the things that attracted me to Mr. ReddHedd was that he not only was always reading some sort of fiction, but that he was also conversant in a number of the books that I love as well -- especially the science fiction and fantasy ones.  Throughout our marriage, both of us have always had a stack of "to read next" books in our bedroom.  With the advent of kindles and iPads, we've also now got a similar stack lined up in our e-reader queues.  Go figure.

We read a lot to The Peanut when she was younger.  She and I would sit in our big rocking chair when she was just a tiny baby and I would read aloud and show her pictures every single day.  As she got older, she would toddle over to me with a book, crawl up in my lap, and beg for a story to be read.

In a lot of ways, I guess it really is what we do at our house.

Prior to the end of school, I put together a reading list for students at school -- not a list of required reading, but definitely some of my suggestions for great books that might hook the kids on reading for a lifetime.  Thought it might be a useful list for others to utilize for their own kids or for their classrooms as well.

I'd welcome suggestions or proposed modifications in the comments, too.  As is always the case with anything dealing with books and reading for me, there are a bazillion other books that I could have listed.  I'm positive that I missed a vitally awesome one somewhere but I just can't figure out which one -- do tell me if you know what it is.

In any case, here was my proposed list of possibilities for summer reading.  I based the list on what the children at our school really enjoyed this year, and what was most consistently popular across a broad spectrum of kids, boys and girls alike.  So YMMV at your school, but this is what the kids that I've been teaching seemed to really dive into this year mixed along with some books I thought they all ought to be reading if they got the chance to pick them up:

Some Ideas For Summer Reading 

Educational researchers have found a strong correlation between reading and academic success. In other words, good readers are more likely to do well in school than weaker ones. The single greatest factor in improving your child’s reading ability is time spent reading independently. Support and encouragement from parents is key for improvement: so please read with your children and let them see you read for fun just for yourself, too.

I hope that you and your children will make reading a shared pleasure this summer, to increase your child’s interest, fluency and confidence. Please try to make time for reading every day this summer -- at least 15 minutes a day -- it will make a world of difference. With that in mind, here are some great book suggestions for fun summer reading.   -- Mrs. Smith _____________________________________________________________________

Award winners for everyone:
Newbery Awards:

Caldecott Awards: _____________________________________________________________________

For students leaving grades K-2: Series:

- Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
- Arthur by Marc Brown
- Angelina Ballerina by Katherine Holabird
- Bailey School Kids by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones
- Berenstain Bears by Jan and Stan Berenstain
- Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
- Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
- Curious George by Margaret Rey
- Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
- Little Critter by Mercer Meyer
- Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

- Brett, Jan
- Carle, Eric
- DePaola, Tomie
 - Henkes, Kevin
- Lioni, Leo
- Lobel, Arnold
 - McCloskey, Robert
 - Numeroff, Laura
- Seuss, Dr.
- Shannon, David

For students leaving grades 2-5:

Specific titles:

- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
- The Borrowers by Mary Norton
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- The Once and Future King by T. H. White
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
- Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
- Stuart Little by E. B. White
- Superfudge by Judy Blume
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene DuBois
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

- The 39 Clues by various authors
- American Girl by various authors
- The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Dear America by various authors
- Encyclopedia Brown by Donald Sobel
- Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
- Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
- Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
- Little House by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
- Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
- The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley

- Blume, Judy
 - Christopher, Matt
- Cleary, Beverly
- Clements, Andrew
 - Dahl, Roald
- L’Engle, Madeline
 - LeGuin, Ursula
- Lowry, Lois
- Osborne, Mary Pope
 - Sachar, Louis
- Spinelli, Jerry
- White, E.B.

(Photo of The Peanut reading this morning by Christy Hardin Smith.  Reading is awesome.)

1 comment:

Christy Hardin Smith said...

Since I snapped this photo early this morning, The Peanut decided to put Matilda down since it was "just for fun" reading and not on her required list for this summer. She decided to start Charlotte's Web around 8:45 am or so...and has been reading it steadily ever since. She just got to the part where Mrs. Zuckerman gives Wilbur a buttermilk bath before they go to the fair.

Most awesome mom day ever. That's what I'm having here.