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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

What's on your summer reading list?

June 13, 2014

Schools are winding down. Teachers, librarians and parents all want the children in their lives to continue reading. Lots of children, however, don’t come from homes where books are readily available.

A friend of mine who is a librarian in a parochial school that serves students who don’t have easy access to books decided to jumpstart the kids at her school. For an entire year she’s collected books (new but not appropriate for her library or duplicates; she’s very resourceful!). She put books out and let the children choose four — yes four! — books to take home for the summer.

She calls it the Great Book Giveaway. And it is great in many ways. Books read for pleasure during the summer help prevent the loss of reading skills, a byproduct of "summer slide."

Books at home helps create a literacy-rich environment, lets children see themselves as readers, builds a community of learners, and reinforces the idea that books are important.

It just may motivate children to participate in other summer reading activities. Most public libraries have summer reading activities and programs. They’re worth checking out.

So what’s on your summer reading list? I’m still building mine, but I think I’ll take a look at some of the titles that well-known children’s and young adult authors and illustrators are reading this summer. (It’s an interesting batch of books that include books for both adults and young readers — just like my lists!)

Is there a title for adults, children or young adults that you think is worth letting others know about? Let me know; after all half the fun of summer reading is in the sharing.


Fortunately, The Milk;Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing;The Tale of Despereaux; Clementine

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"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller