Without the strict deadlines or content requirements that the regular school year imposes, summer offers many students (and teachers!) the opportunity to rediscover reading as a fun leisure activity, instead of something they're being forced to do. An added benefit is that reading regularly over the summer months -- even "silly" or less serious books -- can help prevent the summer learning slide. So kick back, relax, and pick up a book! Perhaps your next favorite is on the list below.
Video Playlist: Summer Reading for Students
Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube
- Summer Reading Gives You Superpowers! (01:23)
Some students might be tempted to think of summer reading as a "chore" -- but what if we could change the conversation? Watch as Dav Pilkey (the author of the hilarious and much-beloved Captain Underpants series) shows how summer reading can give you superpowers through this fun illustrated video.
- Children's Summer Reading - Hoover Public Library (01:22)
Every year, the Collaborative Summer Library Program announces a themed initiative to encourage kids to read. Check out this adorable video that the Hoover Public Library workers made to promote this year's campaign, "Every Hero Has a Story."
- What is Summer Reading Loss (02:35)
But wait! Isn't summer supposed to be for having fun? Online reading tutor Joanne Kaminski explains summer learning loss in this video. Encouraging students to read books over the summer can help prevent this backslide before school starts again in the fall.
- Book Review | The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (03:21)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is Native American author Sherman Alexie's first book for young adults. Humorous and tragic, it's an eye-opening look at life "on the Rez" and the hardships that America's native populations face. In this video, teen book reviewer Fantastic Magical explains why reading the book was a valuable experience to her, as a person who is not Native American herself.
- Kobo in Conversation: Rainbow Rowell (07:27)
For her second YA book, Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell (author of the wildly popular book Eleanor and Park) has penned a story that brings fanfiction subculture to life. Watch this interview with the author to find out more about how her personal experiences inspired her to write the book (and read about the power of fanfiction as a learning tool here).
- Holes - Trailer (02:12)
Holes could be considered an old book now (published in 1997!), but the Newbery Medal winner tells a timeless and bizarre story. Due to a family curse, the palindrome-named Stanley Yelnats is arrested and sentenced to community service at Camp Green Lake. Disney made a movie adaptation of the book that was very faithful to the original text, and is definitely worth watching (after you've read the book, of course!).
- I Am Not A Pornographer (04:01)
Before the huge success of Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, and Vlogbrothers, John Green wrote a novel called Looking for Alaska, which tells the story of a group of misfit pranksters at a boarding school. Here, Green discusses the controversy surrounding the book being taught in schools, and his view on teaching teens difficult subjects.
- The Book Thief (Book & Movie Review/Discussion) (08:03)
The Book Thief is a historical fiction book set in Nazi Germany during WWII, and one of many children's books that has earned great box office success through a movie adaptation. Reviewer Katie Strange discusses some of the unusual writing and plot techniques that make the book so unique. (Be careful if you haven't read it yet, spoilers abound after 3:33).
- The Island of Dr. Libris Trailer (01:01)
The Island of Dr. Libris is a new book aimed at readers aged 9 - 13. It tells the story of Billy, who goes to spend the summer at a lakeside cabin owned by the mysterious Dr. Libris. But something strange is happening in the lake nearby... Watch the book trailer to find out more!
- 5 Tips For A Summer Reading Slump (03:29)
With all the distractions of summer (beaches, pools, friends, and great weather!), it can be difficult to make time for reading. Here are some tips and tricks you and your students can use to make reading a natural part of every day.
More Resources on Summer Reading for Students
If none of these six books seem to interest you or your students, never fear! There are so many more stories to choose from. Check out the resources below for more lists, including recommendations for young readers, scifi books, and the classics!
- "50 Of The Best Kids' Books Published In The Last 25 Years," by Mandy Velez via HuffingtonPost
- 2015 Summer Reading Booklist, Aged 11-13 [PDF] from Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
- Summer Reading from GirlyFrame via YouTube
- Books for Reluctant Readers via Common Sense Media
- 100 Best Children’s Chapter Books of All-Time via ChildrensBookGuide.com
- 2015 Notable Children's Books via Association for Library Service to Children
- "Ten Ways to Cultivate a Love of Reading in Students," by Elena Aguilar via Edutopia