Summer reading is more important than ever for the early-fluent readers. Keeping the reading momentum is critical if your child wants to maintain this newly learned skill. Experts suggest that a minimum of four books be read over the summer to remain at the same reading level and avoid the “summer slide.”
Summer offers a great opportunity to allow children to select their own books—books that reflect their personal interests and curiosities. Sometimes the power of selecting one’s own reading material—not being told what you have to read—can be the key to turning a non-reader into an enthusiastic reader.
The following books have been listed from easiest to more difficult. The list caters to those that still require a little help, as well as independent readers. I’m positive that they will be enjoyed by many—even non-readers that can sit through a chapter book will be happy.
by Ellen Weiss and Mel Friedman
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 23, 2010)
What to expect: Best friends, Pigs, Cats, Poetry
Calling all early-fluent readers. Large text, great color illustrations, and the story of two unlikely-characters being the best of friends, make this a great introduction to chapter books. Random House Books for Young Readers says, “Porky and Bess is reminiscent of the episodic adventures of Frog and Toad, but this duo has even more humor and heart.” I would have to agree with that.
Add this book to your collection: Porky and Bess
by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah
Reading level: Ages 5-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (April 20, 2010)
What to expect: Cultural differences, Friendship
A picture book can be just the right reading material for an early-fluent reader—it’s not as daunting as a colorless chapter book with limited illustrations. This picture book offers a great story of friendship and a wonderful look at how we can embrace cultural differences and become emotionally strengthened by them. A very current story that has been thoughtfully put together.
Add this book to your collection: The Sandwich Swap
by Jennifer L. Holm
Reading level: Ages 7-10
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (August 25, 2009)
What to expect: Graphic novel, Mathematics, Contests, Schools, Mice, Animals
There’s nothing like a graphic novel (comic style) to capture the attention of a reluctant reader. Spice it up with adventure and drama and you’ll have a hit that captures everybody’s attention. Fun and engaging graphics are accentuated with effective text bubbles to tell this tale of a very likable hero. Babymouse: Dragonslayer is an energetic book. And the good news is that it’s part of a series, so there’s more where this one came from.
Add this book to your collection: Babymouse #11: Dragonslayer
by Janice Shefelman
Reading level: Ages 6-9
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
What to expect: Violin, Orphans, Vivaldi, Conduct of life, Schools, Venice
Deep and important life lessons, such as selflessness and forgiveness, are the principles behind this encouraging and heartening story of an orphaned girl who has a musical gift. This fictional tale is set in Venice, Italy, and is entwined with rich and cultural musical history. It has large text and charming full-page illustrations sprinkled throughout. Janice Shefelman has produced a lovely historical-fiction book.
Add this book to your collection: Anna Maria’s Gift
by Betty MacDonald
Reading level: Ages 6-9
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (June 3, 1994)
Source: Home library
What to expect: Humor, Positive outlook
I haven’t met a parent or child that has not enjoyed this delightfully humorous series. From her upside-down house to her backyard with buried treasures, there is nothing not to love about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. However, the beauty lies in her positive outlook on all of the day-to-day problems that children face; such as, taking baths, picking up toys, and going to bed. With a decent size text and a few scattered illustrations it’s a great choice for independent readers, both boys and girls, or children that enjoy being read to.
Add this book to your collection: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis
Reading level: Ages 9-14
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (April 1, 2010)
What to expect: Pablo Neruda, Chile
A poignant, imaginative, inspiring, and encouraging story based upon the childhood of Pablo Neruda, the Nobel Prize-winning poet. It’s a great book for fluent readers who are ready to tackle deeper stories, because the large text and poems by Pam Munoz Ryan are invigorated by Peter Sis’s fantastical pen-and-ink illustrations, heightening the readers experience and offering insight to the upcoming chapters. I foresee a future award for this book. A must read!
Add this book to your collection: The Dreamer
You may also enjoy the following summer reading lists: