June is finally here! Winter is already a long distant memory and students are becoming more and more fixated on the summer vacation countdowns they started in January, daydreaming of exciting and unknown summer plans, camp adventures, and seemingly endless free time.
But just because school year is (almost) over, doesn’t mean reading has to come to a halt. In fact, we are well aware of the importance of having access to books and the harmful effects of the slippery slope that is the summer slide:
- Children in low-income households fall behind an average of 2 months in reading during the summer.
- Summer learning loss accounts for about 2/3’s of the ninth grade achievement gap in reading.
- For every one line of print read by low-income children, middle-income children read three.
To keep our children reading all summer long, LEE & LOW has put together several Diverse Summer Reading Book Lists and printables for grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6-8, which you can freely download and share here or find listed below. Each list contains books that not only highlight different interests, such as sports, music, sci-fi/fantasy, and the environment, but also personally connect with students of diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions.
LEE & LOW Summer Reading Book Lists by grade:
LEE & LOW Summer Reading Printables:
It is important to remember that diverse books are not only for diverse readers. Reading books featuring diverse characters and communities not only mirror experiences in their own lives, allowing children to see themselves reflected in the stories they love, but also provide windows into other life experiences to understand and be more accepting of the world around them. If you’re still wondering why diverse books then take a look here:
- The Diversity Gap in Children’s Publishing, 2015
- Debunking 3 Common Myths About Diverse Books
- “What Does This Book Have To Do With Me?” Why Mirror and Window Books Are Important For All Readers
- Why Do We Need Diverse Books in Non-Diverse Schools?
- Checklist: 8 Steps to Creating A Diverse Book Collection
- Where Can I Find Great Diverse Children’s Books?
- How Common Core’s Book Choices Fail Children of Color
- Choosing the World Our Students Read
There are many great organizations compiling and creating Summer Reading Book Lists and offering free, exciting programs and challenges. Be sure to check out your local library as well as the following groups for additional summer reading tips, suggestions, and ideas:
- Anti-Defamation League-Tips for Summer Reading
- Association for Library Service to Children 2015 Summer Reading List
- Colorín Colorado- Summer Reading Resources
- First Book- Kids Who Read Beat Summer Slide infographic
- The Horn Book-Summer Reading Recommendations
- NYPL Summer Reading Challenge 2015
- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)-Guide to Summertime Reading for Children of All Ages
- Reading Rockets-Summer Reading Tips for Parents
- School Library Journal Summer Reading Resources 2015
- We Need Diverse Books Summer Reading Series
Veronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.