It 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)
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)
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)
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)
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:
- DOE’s NYC Reads 365 website
- New York Public Library’s (NYPL) Summer Reading Challenge
- NYPL’s Reading List for Spanish-Speakers
- Brooklyn Public Library’s Summer Reading List
- Queens Library’s Summer Reading List
- Reading Rockets’ Big Summer Reading Guide
- The Horn Book Inc.’s 2017 Summer Reading List
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!