ALSC Grade Level Summer Reading Suggestions

The Association for Library Service for Children (a wing of the American Library Association) in conjunction with a whole lot of young inspired readers hope that your children read A LOT this summer.  To keep readers engaged and entertained, they have put together three suggested reading lists for the summer of 2014.  The lists are relatively short, but packed with oldie but goodies, crowd-pleasers, and must reads.  Check them out!

ALSC K-2nd Grade Summer Reading Recommendations

ALSC 3-5th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations

ALSC 6-8th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations


Graphic Novels - Resistance Be Gone!

Sometimes graphic novels are just the ticket for reluctant readers.  Their bite size text chunks and visually action packed pages can often pull readers in -- whereas full pages of pictureless text can send them running for the hills.

The good folks in the Children's Department at the Hudson Library & Historical Society (AKA, the super dreamy gigantic modern library in Hudson, Ohio) suggest that you  give these books a try:

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci.

Zinc Alloy: the Invincible Boy-Bot by Donald Lemke

The Big Wet Balloon by Liniers

The Secret of the Stone Frog by David Nytra


First Summer Guest Blogger: Upper Grade Recommendation

Looking for an adventure book with suspense and an underlying theme about the importance of teamwork?  Well our first guest blogger for the summer (and first LP reader with not one, but TWO chances to win the LP Reads Summer Reading Kindle), says you should look no further than Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis.

Here's some of what he had to say to LP Reads about this first book in the Seven Wonders series:

"I read a lot of series books with action in them.  So far, this series ranks in my top three.  I like action and suspense, so I would give this book a four out of five stars.  Percy Jackson is still my favorite series because it has so much action in it, but I like this book because the characters are descendants of Atlantis and it takes place in Greece.  The characters are really likable - athletic, innovative, good at computer programming and making things (like an alarm clock that launches a bird across a room to wake people up), and smart.  If you like fantasy and suspense, you will like Colossus Rises."


Librarian and Bookworm Love

The only problem I see with reading is that there is NEVER enough time to do as much as I'd like.  So thank goodness for the community of readers out there who work and volunteer in libraries -- and who share all of their recommendations online!  When I'm not green with envy that they've knocked down handfuls of books each week AND written about them, I find myself super thankful that I can open up a browser for an insider's view on what is new or up and coming in the world of children's literature.

Three of my go to experts are John Schu, Jen Robinson, and MaryAnn Scheuer.  Mr. Schu is a passionate K-5 librarian in Illinois, Jen Robinson is a San Jose gal who harkens from an interesting background in Industrial Engineering, and MaryAnn Scheuer is a K-5 librarian just through the tunnel in Berkeley.

 If you're looking for a little reading inspiration for your readers this summer, stop by Mr. Schu's blogsign up for Robinson's newsletter or pop in to Scheuer's Great Kid Books Site.  Mr. Schu's site is a great place to visit with your children.  They can even watch book trailers in preparation for creating their own trailers to submit to the LP Reads blog -- hint, hint!  (Don't forget, kids earn extra entries in to the Kindle drawing for every book review/trailer etc. they submit to dustie @ spiffychicks.com). Scheuer has just finished a nice series of book recommendations by grade level and has posted recommended reading lists for each grade level as well.  If you have tiny tots in your house, Robinson's adventures include her Kindergarten through Young Adult recommendations as well as her running list of books she is reading with her Baby Bookworm. Perfect for the tiny tots in your house - because it is never too early to get the reading bug!


Summer is HERE! What to Read Next?

Summer is in full swing and hopefully so is your child's reading for the LP Summer Reading Program!

One of the great things about summer is of course travel...and with travel, comes the opportunity to explore independent bookstores in new locations.  Yes, LP Reads really tries to make this part of every trip and often it is such a highlight!  Last summer, we found ourselves in Santa Cruz in the midst of some serious June gloom.  The Boardwalk was only good for so long before we had to beat feet to Bookshop Santa Cruz (and the homemade cookie store just down the street).

Turns out, as with most independent bookstores, the folks at Bookshop really love books - and they hope to share that love with kids through their summer reading program.  Each summer, they make recommendations based on grade level.  Kids read six books and earn various rewards.  While we weren't able to really participate in their official program, their handy dandy bookmarks for the program offered some good ideas about what to read next.  Check out last year's recommendations here.

This year, we have returned again to their website to see what Bookshop's book lovers think would make great summer reads for 2014 and we thought we would pass along those recommendations.  Here are a few starters for you.

For the K-2 set:  Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

For the 3-4th grader set: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George and Earwig and Witch by Diana Wynne Jones and Paul Zelinsky.

And lastly, for the 5-6th grade readers: Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature's Mysteries from Perilous Places by Donna M. Jackson and The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt.


Pssst ... Can You Feel It?

Summer reading is almost here!  With the temperatures spiking this week, it is hard not to think about the leisurely days of summer and the accompanying opportunity for free time to read, read, and read. The Storyteller in Lafayette will kick off their summer reading program on June 2nd and details about LP's summer reading program will be out in the coming weeks as well.  Til then, give this article a read about the value of reading aloud to your children -- even the older ones.  Happy almost summer reading everyone!


Drop Everything and Read!

In case you are looking for an excuse to shun productivity for the day -- here it is!  Today is the official Drop Everything and Read Day (D.E.A.R.)!  In honor of Beverly Cleary's birthday, kids and parents alike are encouraged to set aside all of the other madness and just lose themselves in a book -- or two, or three. Cleary popularized the idea of D.E.A.R. in Ramon Quimby, Age 8 and since that time, the entire month of April has been D.E.A.R. month nationwide.  So be sure to put down the baseball bats, dance shoes, laundry, and handyman tools and settle yourselves and your kids in for a good read today!


2014 Newbery's Are Out - See What Horn Thinks

Kate DiCamillo captured the Newbery award this year for her latest creation, "Fora & Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventures," and today, The Horn Book has reviewed the award winner along with four of the Honor winners.  While "Fora & Ulysses" didn't really capture my heart like some of DiCamillo's other works, my first grader thought it was a delicious little tale and it earned me some extra cuddly snuggles at bedtime.

Check out what The Horn Book has to say about it and the other deserving books, one of which, "The Year of Billy Miller" by Kevin Henkes, is earning high praise from my self declared, I-don't-like-books reader.

  Horn also gives you a glimpse of these titles:


RIP Nelson

In the face of a life so profound, any blog post could only be trite.

Nelson Mandela's life and love should be shared broadly and often.

Two books for children, one out this year by Nelson Kadir, "Nelson Mandela," and the earlier autobiography "Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" by Chris Van Wyk, help to tell his story.

RIP Nelson.


Top Hannukah Books via The Nerdy Book Club

Thank you Nerdy Book Club and Stacey Shubitz for your recent post about the Top 10 Hannukah Books.

The holiday season is certainly upon us!

Happy reading Panthers.


eBooks Galore for Young Readers

It is always fun to "meet" new Tweeps. Today, I happened upon Matt B. Gomez, a passionate kindergarten teacher from Texas.  Poking around a bit, I discovered his passion for digital citizenship, global collaboration, virtual field trips, and of course reading!

Check out his recent post, "170 eBooks for Young Readers" for a little eBook inspiration.  And, lest you be a little skittish about eBooks for youngsters, stop over at Slow Family's recent post, "How to Raise Readers in the Digital Age," where she points out that despite the fear that "the expansion of digital technology into our children's lives will result in them reading less than kids of previous generations," children are in fact, "reading more than ever, in both digital and print forms" (Her source: Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report).

As LP students continue to incorporate "listen to reading" into their language arts time via the Daily Cafe, I hope these resources will be helpful to teachers and parents alike.  Thanks Matt!


Reluctant Reader Inspiration and Helpful Reader / Research Resources

The road to becoming a reader isn't always paved with shouts of glee and boundless enthusiasm.  In fact, many parents struggle with trying to motivate their children to pick up any book, let alone the many necessary to complete things like a summer reading program.  For those parents and readers out there, check out Media Specialist Julie Greller's handy pamphlet, "Books for Reluctant Readers: K-12."

Greller's blog "A Media Specialists Guide to the Internet" is packed with resources for librarians and teachers; however, parents may also find some of her pages interesting and useful.  Check out her Author Page for popular writers for the elementary school set; a recent Guest Post about Great Audiobooks for Kids; her References Page for online research resources; and her Graphics Page for Creative Commons and Public Domain images (meaning you can use them without worrying about infringing on anyone's rights).

Greller's blog in general is a great place to get a glimpse at the evolved role that school librarians are playing in schools as the Information Age blurs the line between librarians and technology coaches. For more on that topic, check out her recent guest post by Arlen Kimmelman "You Already ARE Your School's Technology Coach" and the graphic created by Kimmelman below.


A Wholesome Family Read

As a family with a first grader, third grader, and fifth grader, we sometimes struggle to find books that will keep everyone interested.  Too often the books that my fifth grader are drawn to aren't ones that I'm too keen on having my first grader listen to just yet (think "39 Clues" or the final books of the Harry Potter series).  So when a book  comes along that comfortably bridges the gap AND is a series, I'm elated.

In the fun of summer reading, we discovered "Lion Boy" by Zizou Corder.  Having knocked out the first part of this innocent adventure story about a boy who talks cat and is on a mission to save his talented scientist parents (who have been stolen away to prevent them from sharing their newly discovered cure for asthma), we are on to the second book "Lion Boy: The Chase" and eagerly anticipating the third, "Lion Boy: the Truth."

If you are looking for a family read that has enough adventure for the older kids and the wholesomeness we used to be able to expect from children's literature ... this could be your next read!


Biblionasium Winner!

Congratulations to Scott L. for winning a $15 iTunes gift certificate from Biblionasium for being a consistent logger of his reading this summer.  We are glad you earned some extra rewards for your reading this summer Scott!

For all of our other summer readers, there are just a few days left of summer reading, so keep logging those pages and enjoy the last lazy days of summer!

Instructions for submitting your reading logs will be out in the next few days and will be posted here and on the LP PTA Website.

Happy reading everyone!


Summer Reading Challenge #1: Poetry

LP's Summer Readers are taking Biblionasium by storm!  Wow!  In all, LP's readers have read over 35,000 pages and more than 300 books so far this summer!  Some of our most inspired readers are nearing 3,000 pages as of yesterday.

Sounds like it is time for a challenge.  All Biblionasium participants should receive an invitation to the first LP Reads Summer Reading Challenge, which handily aligns with our genre goal to read one poetry book this summer.  Students will receive an invitation to the challenge the next time they log in to their account.  It will appear in their feed like this:

Click on "Here" to start the challenge, which can be completed at any time over the summer.  Students will earn a badge for reading just one poetry book.  If challenges seem seem like an effective way to motivate and or reward your reader, Biblionasium gives students the ability to create their own challenges (see below) or for parents/teachers to do so as well.

If you have suggestions about challenges you would like LP Reads to run for everyone -- or even just for your student -- let us know and we'll get those going for you.  For now, here are a few poetry book recommendations that may help with this first challenge.

"The Bug in Teacher's Coffee and Other School Poems" by Kalli Dakos

Sports! Sports! Sports! A Poetry Collection" by Lee Bennett Hopkins

"Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems" by Jane Yolen

"Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems" by Georgia Heard

"Hailstones and Halibut Bones" by Mary O'Neill

"Around the World on Eighty Legs" by Amy Gibson

"Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku" by Lee Wardlaw