Summer Reading List
Summer Reading List 2012
Studies show that children who read during the summer holidays significantly improve their literacy skills – but it’s equally important to remember that summer reading is just a fun, relaxing thing to do. The following books are ones that Ms. Walker and Mr. Weber think your son will really enjoy during the break; for more recommendations be sure to check out the links to other great reading resources on the sidebar.
The Vancouver Public library also runs a fantastic summer reading program – call in at your local branch to sign up!
Graphic novels are our most popular genre in the library! A lot of parents express concern that these are not “real” books, but don’t write them off: they build invaluable literacy skills such as inference, prediction and comprehension. Their themes and plots can be even more complex than a traditional novel, and they are motivating to read and fall into a wide range of reading levels and interests. While a lot of boys have discovered the joys of Meanwhile, Bone and Amulet, some of the following books flew under the radar and are worth checking out for some fun summer reading:
Babymouse series by Matt and Jennifer Holm
An easy-reader format graphic novel series about the trials and tribulations of elementary school. Don’t let the pinkness put you off – these books are hilarious and ring true for boys and girls alike.
Daniel Boom, Loud Boy series by D.J. Steinberg
Lots of boys will identify with Daniel Boom, whose loud voice gets him in trouble most of the time… until he becomes a hero fighting the Kid-Rid Corporation.
Lunch Lady series by Jarret Krosoczka
Follow the adventures of an unassuming elementary school lunch lady who has a secret crime-fighting identity.
Zita the Space Girl by Ben Hatke
Zita becomes an unlikely hero when she sets out into space to rescue her friend from a hostile band of aliens.
The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
Walker Bean is happiest when he gets to spend time tinkering on his inventions in his grandfather’s workshop, but when his grandfather acquires a curse, Walter must embark on dangerous quest to return a pearl skull to the witches who made it.
The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis
Eleven-year-old Julian Calendar thought changing schools would mean leaving his “nerdy” persona behind, but instead he forms an alliance with fellow inventors Greta and Ben and works with them to prevent an adult from using one of their gadgets for nefarious purposes.
Olympians series by George O’Connor
Kids who are interested in Greek mythology will love these graphic novel adaptations of the classic myths.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Grades 1 – 4
James and his six insect companions fly across the Atlantic in an enormous peach.
Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look
Grades 1 – 4
A young boy in Concord, Massachusetts, who loves superheroes and comes from a long line of brave Chinese farmer-warriors, wants to make friends, but first he must overcome his fear of everything. This is a perfect next series for fans of the Wimpy Kid.
Shredderman series by Wendelin Van Draanen
Fifth grader Nolan Byrd, tired of being called names by the class bully, has a secret identity–Shredderman! Perfect for fans of the Wimpy Kid series.
Odd Man Out by Sarah Ellis
A perfect book for summer holidays…because it’s set during the summer holidays!Follow the adventures of 10 year old Kit, who is spendingthe summer in the Gulf Islands with his eccentric granny and a cousin who thinks she’s a dog.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Grades 3 -7
The 2009 Newbery award winner, and an unforgettably beautiful story (based on Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book) about an orphaned boy raised by ghosts. It’s scary, funny, sad and impossible to put down.
The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence
Shipwrecked after a vicious storm, fourteen-year-old John Spencer attempts to save his father and himself while also dealing with an evil secret about the English coastal town where they are stranded. The first in a trilogy: followed by The Smugglers and The Buccaneers.
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
For those kids who love to get totally absorbed into an exciting, unforgettable story, you can’t go wrong with any of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.The movie was terrible; read the book instead.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
A classic adventure in space and time with Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin. They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
This twisty-turny version of Hansel and Gretel will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page – it’s a clever page-turner that incorporates classic Grimm fairy tales in new and intriguing ways.
Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen
How can you not love a book about bullies, peanut allergies, and Scrabble? Plus, it’s set in Kitsilano! Extremely funny and warm-hearted.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
Christopher John Francis Boone is a 15-year-old boy, mathematically gifted and socially hopeless. He takes everything that he sees (or is told) at face value, and is unable to sort out the strange behaviour of his elders and peers. This comes to a head when he tries to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbour’s poodle.
Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel
In 1973, when a renowned Canadian behavioral psychologist pursues his latest research project–an experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills–he brings home a baby chimp named Zan and asks his thirteen-year-old son to treat Zan like a little brother.
This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel
Kenneth Oppel’s latest YA novel is a prequel to Frankenstein. Young Victor Frankenstein becomes obsessed with creating the legendary Elixir of Life in order to save his twin brother.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The classic fantasy tale about a humble hobbit who goes on an epic journey to reclaim treasure from an evil dragon.