Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer Reading

Every summer I have my kids select a stack of new-to-them books to work through during the summer. Believe me, I love a good reread, but my kids (if given the choice) would sit and reread Harry Potter, Fablehaven, & Percy Jackson over...and over...and over.

So I pick out 20-30 books from our shelves that are in their reading level range & which I think will appeal to their personality, and then have them pick out a specified number of books from that pool. Note: I don't pay super strict attention to reading level here and think more about what I think the child will really enjoy that they haven't yet read. It's always hard for me to see them passing up the ones that I super love and think they should read, but after Abigail and I just battled for the last three weeks over Little Women (she finally finished it today...and somehow missed that Beth died. WHAT?!) it was a good reminder that they have different tastes than I do and that they enjoy the new books more if I give them more freedom in their selection (but I still pick the pool!).

We're already four weeks into summer break (how did that happen?!) and so it was high time to get this done! The kids have been reading pretty much nonstop since school finished, but over the last week I noticed a lot of rereading old stuff that wasn't really challenging them, and which frankly were books that I kind of think of as "junk" reading.

At this point, Abigail has just finished 5th grade, Jules finished 3rd, and Isaac finished 1st. Jules has actually read much more widely than Abigail (which is more than a little concerning to me) so I've been trying to really broaden what Abigail is reading, since she's hit a bit of a plateau in that her reading level outstripped the content that I'm comfortable with her reading (she started reading Michael Crichton last year and loved the Hunger Games books, and that's about as far as I was willing to push it in terms of YA lit. Control is slipping away...). Right now Abigail & Jules are about 9th-grade reading level and Isaac is somewhere between 4 & 5, but as I said, I'm not focused on the number and more focused on theme and enjoyment--and getting them to read some of the stories that I enjoyed so much as a kid and that were really foundational in my worldview.

Last but not least, this probably only represents a quarter of what the kids will actually read. They can get through about a chapter book a day, but I want to make sure that they are reading at least some "good" stuff mixed in with all the Warriors and Dragonet Chronicles or whatever the book of the moment is!

Abigail's list:
1) Five Children and It (E. Nesbit)
2) Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie--note: get this edition bc it's illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman!!)
3) The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin)
4) The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)
5) Wildwood Dancing (Juliet Marillier)
6) Just So Stories (Kipling)
7) Belles on Their Toes (she just read Cheaper by the Dozen and loved it!)
8) Sarah Bishop (Scott O'Dell)
9) Sherlock Holmes (she's still deciding which volume)
10) Swiss Family Robinson (Johann Wyss)
11) Chronicles of Prydain (all 5, Lloyd Alexander)

Juliet's list:
1) The Hero and the Crown (Robin McKinley)
2) Thief/Attolia series (all 4)
3) Belles on Their Toes (also loved Cheaper by the Dozen!)
4) Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)
5) Misty of Chincoteague (Marguerite Henry)
6) Crown Duel/Court Duel (Sherwood Smith)
7) Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Patterson)
8) A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L'Engle)
9) The Borrowers (Mary Norton)
10) Just So Stories (Kipling)

Isaac's list:
**he just finished the Fablehaven series and is just about done with Percy Jackson. He's read up through the 4th Harry Potter, but he stopped there and I'm not pushing him as I think the vocab and content was getting heavy for him**

1) The Boggart (Susan Cooper)
2) A Bear Called Paddington (Michael Bond)
3) The Indian in the Cupboard (Lynne Reid Banks)
4) A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning (Lemony Snicket) note: he did NOT like this at all, although the girls loved it! He found it scary and not at all funny.
5) Holes (Louis Sacchar)
6) The Girl Who Owned a City (O.T.Nelson)
7) Vodnik **shameless plug: this is written by my friend Bryce Moore and we LOVE this book!!! Huge hit with all my kids and I really enjoy it too!


Meghan said...

Puck of Pook's Hill? Beauty and Robin Hood, Robin McKinley versions? Artemis Fowl?

Rachael said...

And therein you see the problem with letting them choose from the pool...

Ron and Maggie said...

Have you looked into the janitors series?

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