ReadingIt is no secret that reading is an essential life skill — the more we read, the more knowledge we gain. Reading exposes us to words and ideas that help build our foundations for ideas, expressions, opinions, and beliefs. Studies show that people who read often tend to experience success throughout their lives.

Now that summer is here and the regular school year is coming to an end, New York City families have the perfect opportunity to encourage their children to catch up on their reading. With summer being the season for adventures, discovery, and relaxation, there is no better time of year to have children dive into new books. After all, what better way to have children engage in all three activities at once than by having them read books about events, people, cultures, and activities that they have not seen, heard, or done before?

Below, you will find a listing of books organized by major grade level (early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school) that we compiled after consulting the DOE’s NYC Reads 365 2016–17 reading lists and the official summer reading lists released by the New York Public Library, the Queens Library, and the Brooklyn Public Library. Check out each of these titles, and let us know what you and/or your families think about them!


Early Education (Pre-School, 3-K, Pre-K)


Smarter than the average bear?

Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo

B is for Brooklyn  by Selina Aiko

Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

If I Had a Triceratops by George O’Connor

Shark Detective! by Jessica Olien

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier

What’s in My Garden? by Cheryl Christian

Elementary School (Grades K–5)


It was more than just “a dream…”

A Rock Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson

Bright Sky, Starry City by Uma Krishnaswami

Imani’s Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood

Kid Beowulf: The Blood-Bound Oath by Alexis E. Fajardo

Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman

Monster Trouble! by Lane Fredrickson

Stella Bring the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies

What Was the March on Washington? by Kathleen Krull

Middle School (Grades 6–8)


What happens when everyone you have ever had a crush on learns about your feelings… at the same time?

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

Be a Changemaker by Laurie Ann Thompson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Compass South by Hope Larson

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People by S.D. Nelson

Surviving Middle School by Luke Reynolds

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Why Did the Whole World Go to War?: And Other Questions About World War II by Martin W. Sandler

High School (Grades 9–12)


Looking for love in all the wrong places makes great reading material!

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely

Diary of a Tokyo Teen by Christine Mari Inzer

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans by Don Brown

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson

Untwine by Edwidge Danticat

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story by Josh Sundquist

Do any of our suggestions hit the mark? For more book suggestions, check out the following websites:

Also, do not forget to check out Chancellor Fariña’s Books of the Month from the past school year, especially for younger readers in pre-k and elementary school.

Finally, middle schoolers should not forget to consider reading this year’s award-winning children’s history books as selected by the New-York Historical Society and featured right here on The Morning Bell.

There is a whole world of books out there waiting for each of you; we hope you and your families use this summer to discover them for yourselves.

Enjoy your summer reading!

Posted by The Morning Bell

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