Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer vacation reading list!

I hope everyone is enjoying summer vacation so far. With luck we'll even end up with a bit of sunshine before long! 

Here are a few suggested books for all ages. You can also find this list - and ones for previous years - on my Sharepoint and OWS teacher sites.

Please view my profile on GoodReads and posts on this blog for even more book recommendations! On the blog, look at the labels menu on the left for categories such as “reading lists” and “awards.”

Happy summer reading! I can't wait to see you all in September!

Picture books for all ages

How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham – A sweet and inspirational story about a small boy who is the only one to notice the little pigeon with the broken wing.

The Pink Refrigerator by Tim Egan – Dodsworth’s routine life is greatly enriched by the mysterious notes he finds on the pink refrigerator in the junkyard.

The Secret Box by Barbara Lehman – There is endless mystery in this wordless picture book about different generations of children finding adventure thanks to the directions in a secret box.

Ten Birds by Cybèle Young – How did the birds cross the river? Each of the ten has a different grand idea! Which bird are you most like?

When You Were Small by Sara O’Leary – A charming and humorous take on all the stories parents tell their children about “when they were small…”

Chapter books


Junonia by Kevin Henkes – Realistic fiction about a summer vacation on an idyllic Florida island that grows ever more frustrating and disappointing – until Alice figures out that changes don’t always have to be for the worse. A quiet, thoughtful read.

Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles by Rupert Kingfisher – Fans of Roald Dahl’s Matilda will enjoy seeing young Madeleine’s triumph over her nasty uncle, Monsieur Lard, who tries to steal the secret recipe for Paris’s finest paté…

Ordinary Jack by Helen Cresswell – Jack and his dog Zero know what it’s like to be the only “ordinary” members of the family. It seems as if everyone else is brilliant at something – but now Jack has a madcap plan of his own!

Elementary/middle school

Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka – There’s something for everyone – boys and girls – in this hilarious compilation of short stories by some of the wittiest authors around. Eoin Colfer, Jack Gantos and Mac Barnett, oh my!

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis – My favorite book of the year so far! Set during the Great Depression, this is a story filled with humor and hope.

Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Arni – A beautiful graphic novel adaptation of the ancient Hindu epic poem told from the point of view of Queen Sita. This gripping story, full of twists and turns, is an exciting read whether the legend is new to you or a familiar favorite.

The Various by Steve Augarde – This is an unusual and atmospheric fairy story about the strange, wild creatures that live in a small and threatened patch of forest on Midge’s uncle’s farm.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani – Sonia is Jewish on her mother’s side and Indian on her father’s. But more than anything now she’s confused as she tries to navigate her way through a new school where nothing at all feels familiar.

Middle/high school

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol – The heroine of this graphic novel finds her already too challenging life unexpectedly complicated by the arrival of an otherworldly “friend” she can’t shake loose.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley – Fans of Banksy and other street artists will enjoy this story from Australia about friends on a nocturnal romp that leads to long-kept secrets being uncovered.

The Shattering by Karen Healey – Another import from the southern hemisphere, this New Zealand novel mixes fantasy with mystery as a group of teens try to unravel the truth behind a rash of recent suicides.


All in the Family, Oh My Gods!, She’s All That and What a Beast! (Mythlopedia series) by various authors – Greek mythology fans shouldn’t miss these funny books. And anyone who isn’t yet a fan will surely be after picking these up!

Cats to the Rescue: True Tales of Heroic Felines by Marilyn Singer – Forget Lassie and Rin Tin Tin! These stories of brave cats who saved their owners’ lives, went to war and inspired great writers will have you purring for more!

The Story of Salt by Mark Kurlansky – You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about salt, yet it’s played an important role in human history for centuries! From its role in science to technology – and, of course, food – the author leads the reader on an entertaining tour of the unexpectedly fascinating world of salt.

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson – Firsthand accounts by witnesses of all ages, including a 9-year-old boy, as well as photographs and documents, bring the terrible tragedy to life for middle and high school students.


Sara O'Leary said...

Thanks for the mention!

Laura Simeon said...

You are most welcome! I absolutely love that book - and I think it would make a great jumping off point for some creative writing exercises next year.