Summer Tips for Parents 2K13 – Part I

Well…school is out for some and for others it will be here in a matter of weeks.

I’m sure that parents are not as excited about this time as their children are.  It’s ok because Mz Hunna is here to help!

picture taken from Graham Park Middle School

The research is clear that children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect. The following resources and articles provide information about summer reading and summer learning loss. Plus you’ll discover great activities to encourage kids to learn, read, and have fun in the summer sun.

So check out the books below for Summer Reading 2K13….ENJOY!

Picture Books (Fiction and Nonfiction)
Suggested grade level listed with each entry

Alfie Runs Away written by Kenneth M. Cadow, illustrated by Lauren Castillo (Farrar/Foster)
When his mother wants to give away his favorite shoes just because they’re too small, Alfie decides he’s had enough. Grade level: PS. 40 pages.

My Side of the Car written by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Jules Feiffer (Candlewick)
It might be raining on Dad’s side of the car, but imaginative Sadie argues that it is not raining on her side, so their trip to the zoo doesn’t need to be postponed. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

One Big Rain: Poems for Rainy Days compiled by Rita Gray, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke (Charlesbridge)
Illustrated with an appropriate palette of grays, blues, and olive greens, this invitingly small anthology of twenty poems quietly celebrates rain. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca (Roaring Brook/Flash Point/Porter)
Using spare, concise sentences, the authors echo Graham’s approach to dance: nothing’s wasted, and in such exactness lies beauty. Floca’s fluid, energetic illustrations also reflect the plain boldness of Graham’s choreography. Grade level: K–3. 48 pages.


Early Readers and Younger Fiction
Suggested grade level listed with each entry

Bink & Gollie written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile (Candlewick)
Three short stories star two friends who live in a duplex-style treehouse: petite, excitable Bink and lanky, unflappable Gollie. The odd couple weathers ups and downs in their friendship. Grade level: 1–3. 82 pages.

Just Grace and the Terrible Tutu written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper (Houghton)
A babysitting job seems like a perfect opportunity for Grace’s best friend Mimi to practice being a big sister—until their charge snubs Mimi for Grace. Grade level: 1–3. 170 pages.

Dizzy Dinosaurs: Silly Dino Poems [I Can Read] written by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Barry Gott (HarperCollins/Harper). 
Nineteen dinosaur poems (humorously featuring dinos set amidst modern life) plus a pronunciation guide to dinosaur names make up this easy reader collection. Grade level: K–3. 48 pages.

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! written and illustrated by Grace Lin (Little)
Six chapters tell brief, humorous stories about twin sisters. Despite identical outfits, readers will recognize the girls by their unique personalities (and Ting’s uneven bangs). Grade level: K–3. 44 pages.


Intermediate (Fiction and Nonfiction)
Suggested grade level for each entry: 4–6

Keeper written by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by August Hall (Atheneum)
Ten-year-old Keeper “borrows” a boat to search for her (possibly) mermaid mama. 409 pages.

Sky Sailors: True Stories of the Balloon Era written by David L. Bristow (Farrar)
Nine anecdotes relate strange, dangerous, and exciting adventures of the pre-airplane balloon era. 136 pages.

I Dreamed of Flying like a Bird: My Adventures Photographing Wild Animals from a Helicopterwritten by Robert B. Haas, photographs by the author (National)
Along with an exhilarating sampling of his photographs, National Geographic aerial photographer Haas describes the unique perspective on nature to which his job makes him privy. 64 pages.

Turtle in Paradise written by Jennifer L. Holm (Random)
In 1935, narrator Turtle is sent to live in Key West. With her stoic nature and quick wits, she’s able to fit in with her boy cousins. 189 pages.


Middle School (Fiction and Nonfiction)
Suggested grade level for each entry: 6–8

Close to Famous written by Joan Bauer (Viking)
Cupcake-baker Foster and her mother flee Mom’s abusive ex-boyfriend to small-town West Virginia, where an odd assortment of characters welcome them. 250 pages.

No Passengers Beyond This Point written by Gennifer Choldenko (Dial)
Three siblings are horrified to learn they’re being sent to live with an uncle—tomorrow. Their journey takes a surreal turn when the kids are picked up by a feather-covered taxi. 244 pages.

Mockingjay written by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
In this final installment in the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss reluctantly accepts her role as figurehead of the rebellion. She must work through both the ethical minefield of warfare and her complicated relationships with Peeta and Gale. 392 pages.

Take Me to the River written by Will Hobbs (HarperCollins/Harper)
Dylan and Ryan’s rafting trip down the Rio Grande becomes unexpectedly dangerous with the additions of a hurricane and a kidnapping. 184 pages.


High School Fiction
Suggested grade level for each entry: 8 and up

Ship Breaker written by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little)
In a dystopian future America, “ship breaker” Nailer discovers a wrecked clipper ship and its sole survivor, Nita. Nailer chooses to protect Nita and help find her family. 326 pages.

Chime written by Franny Billingsley (Dial)
Briony, a self-proclaimed witch, blames herself for her twin sister’s brain damage. A new boarder at her family’s parsonage inspires Briony to uncover suppressed memories. 362 pages.

Stay written by Deb Caletti (Simon Pulse)
Clara and her father rent a summer house on the seashore to escape Clara’s possessive stalker ex-boyfriend. 313 pages.

Dark Water written by Laura McNeal (Knopf)
Pearl starts a secret relationship with Amiel, an undocumented migrant laborer. When fire consumes southern California, Pearl abandons her family to warn Amiel of the approaching flames. 289 pages.

List of Summer Reading books taken from The Horn Book



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