For most kids, summer break is the best time of year! I mean, it’s a break from those dreadful early morning wake-ups. It’s a break from rigid school rules and God awful school work. It’s a joyous time, when children get to laugh, scream and enjoy the type of freedom and fun that comes with being a kid! However, summer break is also the time when scholars can make their way down the infamous summer slide, which isn’t as fun as it sounds.
We can define the summer slide as a loss in reading and math proficiency over the summer break. Experts warn this can hinder a child’s progress when they return to school. In fact, recent studies show that children in grades 3-5 lose about 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent of their school-year gains in math.
Studies also show that children from low-income families are disproportionately affected by the summer slide, and that this effect can extend years into their education. For example, more than half of the gap in reading scores between low-income 9th graders and their middle-income peers could be attributed to the summer slide that may have happened between first and fifth grade.
The good news is that summer reading is one way to help prevent the summer slide! One of the best ways to ensure that children gain all that they can from summer reading is to allow them to read what they enjoy. I’ve developed a list of books that you can share with your scholars during the summer months that are guaranteed kid approved!
Follow the Night Owl on his after bedtime adventures to see how long he can escape sleep! Sweet and adorable, this story is relatable to all ages and a great way to encourage imagination and sleep readiness. Readers are guaranteed to go to bed with a smile!
Zoe Lyndon’s Big Move to the Lou
In this awesome chapter book, Zoey Lyndon has just started the fourth grade in a brand new school. She quickly begins to feel like the fourth grade reject. After a chance encounter with Tomasina aka Tommi, a very friendly and fellow science loving classmate, things begin to look up for Zoey. Her love for all things STEM, causes her to join the school Science Club where other friendships blossom. Before the year is over Zoey learns to navigate fourth grade like a rock star and makes some pretty cool friends along the way.
I Am Every Good Thing – Derrick Barnes
This book infuses melanated boys with confidence and pride. It is a symphony of affirmations that soothes the ear and the heart. I encourage every adult who is responsible for shaping and molding a little boy of color to include this book on their bookshelf. It reminds them of how creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and good they really are. Our boys are every good thing. This book makes certain that they never forget that.
I Am Because I Choose – Patrice McLaurin
This is an engaging picture book that encourages children to embrace their most amazing SUPERPOWER which is their power to CHOOSE! Each page demonstrates to children how they actually choose their behavior all while highlighting the positive consequences that can result from making good choices! This book is also an entertaining way to promote the core competencies of SEL!
God, His wife Irene, His secretary Bruce, & the angel Shaniqua have a problem to solve. When God gives Snakes poison to protect themselves, He doesn’t expect them to bite everything in sight. Now all at once people & animals are climbing up the ladders connecting heaven & earth, & creating chaos in God’s kingdom! But with a little help from Shaniqua & Irene & their beautiful singing voices, God has everyone dancing down the ladders to earth. The snakes get other kinds of defenses & the ladders get pulled up to prevent further ruckuses, which is why heaven is far away.
Georgie Dupree: Drawn to Friends – Ceece Kelley
Georgie Dupree loves to have fun with her friends, but what happens when she moves to a new city where she doesn’t have a single one? When the usually bubbly and ever-so-spunky Georgie can’t find any kids her age in her new neighborhood, she has to get creative to draw them out. She needs a fool-proof plan to help her make new friends… and fast. But how will she do it? This is a vibrant story of a little girl who needs the slightest nudge to discover the art of friendship.
It’s In You: A Book for Big Dreamers
Through playful rhyme, humor and dazzling illustrations, It’s In You inspires young readers to dream big and to follow their instincts. It uses the life cycle of a butterfly to metaphorically teach them that even through the many obstacles or failures they may encounter, everything they need to succeed is already within.
In this fun graphic novel, 8th grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying “You have to work twice as hard to be just as good.” His grandmother has reminded him his entire life. But what if he works ten times as hard and still isn’t afforded the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted?
Have You Thanked an Inventor Today? – Patrice McLaurin
Another great STEM read, this book chronicles the school day of a little boy, highlighting different inventions he uses throughout his day, all of which were invented by black people!
Sophie Washington Book Series – Tonya Duncan Ellis
This book series is a wonderful way to introduce your young readers to chapter books. Sophie Washington is a hilarious 11-year-old who experiences some pretty exciting adventures!