For decades now, reading experts have expressed concern that the competence gained by struggling readers during the academic year is lost during the summer months. While academic enrichment and remediation programs can reduce that loss, one of the best practices to build better readers is by having them read during breaks from school. At least one study clearly supports this suggestion. In his study of 1,600 elementary students in the mid-Atlantic area, researcher James Kim (2009) found that regardless of previous achievement level or race or socioeconomic level, children who read more books performed better on reading comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who had read one or no books over the summer. As one result of this study, Kim and White (2008) and White and Kim (2008) offer helpful ways to keep youngsters reading during the summer. While some districts create a required summer list, others design incentive programs. Still others actually mail a packet of books to their students. Perhaps small book clubs initiated to stem the tide of the summer slump in reading could combine reading engaging trade books with young readers’ social nature. Whatever you decide to do, don’t let this be The Summer of No Reading. Hasten to a library or bookstore and pick out a book that will foster the love of reading in your household or community. Below we share some of our favorite books for summer.
Young, T. A., & Ward, B. A. (2012). Great Books for Late Summer Reading. Reading Horizons, 51 (4). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol51/iss4/4