What better time is there to catch up on your reading?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been updated with information that families can use to gain free access the myON digital library until September 30, 2018.

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 has come to an end, New York City families have the perfect opportunity to encourage their children to catch up on their reading. And with summer being the season for adventures, discovery, and relaxation, there is no better time of year for children to 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 grade ranges (3-K–Grade 2, Grade 3–Grade 6, Grade 6–8, and high school) that we put together after consulting The Morning Bell’s reading lists, our NYC Reads 365 2017–18 reading lists, and the official summer reading lists released by the New York Public 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!

Books Make the Ultimate Travel Companions

No matter where you go this summer, make sure you take a book with you!

3-K–Grade 2 Students

Vivek Shraya’s, The Boy & The Bindi

1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book by Juana Medina

Among a Thousand Fireflies by Helen Frost

Because of an Acorn by Lola Shaefer and Adam Shaefer

Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee

The Boy & the Bindi by Vivek Shraya, art by Rajni Perena

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls

Float by Daniel Miyares

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

Little Red Ruthie: A Hanukkah Tale by Gloria Koster

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javanka Steptoe

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi, illustrated by David Allender

Who Done It? by Oliver Tallec

Grade 3–6 Students


Nan Marino’s, “Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace”

Poetrees by Douglas Florian

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh

Alvin Ailey by Andrea Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Anne of Green Gables by Mariah Marsden

Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill

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

Took: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn.

The Inker’s Shadow by Allen Say

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon

Nothing Like a Fan and a Good Book to Cool You Down This Summer

What’s your favorite reading spot?

Students in Grades 6–8


Amber J. Keyser’s, Sneaker Century: A History of Athletic Shoes

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, & Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric L. Gansworth

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristen Levine

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Seeking Refuge by Irene Watts, illustrated by Kathryn E. Shoemaker

Sneaker Century: A History of Athletic Shoes by Amber J. Keyser

Steve Jobs: Insanely Great by Jessie Hartland

Strong is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

High School Students (Grades 9–12)


Gabby Rivera’s, Juliet Takes a Breath

Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father by Jonathan Hennessey, illustrated by Justin Greenwood

The Backstagers by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Rian Sygh

This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

The Haters by Jesse Andrews

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This is My Story by Farida Khalaf and Andrea C. Hoffman

I Am Alfonso Jones: A Graphic Novel by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings

IQ by Joe Ide

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

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

Also, do not forget to check out The Morning Bell’s reading lists from the past school year, including our graphic novel-themed list, our Black History Month reading list, and our Poetry Month list.

Finally, did you know that City families have free access to more than 6,000 books, including Spanish titles, through the myON digital library? From now until September 30, families with children of all ages can access the digital library 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on any web-enabled device.

To access the myON library:

  1. Head to the myON website and click the Sign In button;
  2. Enter the phrase, “NYC Summer” in the “School Name” area (type the first few letters of “NYC Summer” and then select the name from the dropdown list.);
  3. Enter any of the following phrases in the “Username” area:
    • “nyca” (For children ages four and down)
    • “nycb” (For students in grades K–2)
    • “nycc” (For students in grades 3–5)
    • “nycd” (Students in grades 6 and up)
  4. Enter “myon” in the “Password” area;
  5. Select Library or News from the tab at the top of the screen, then choose a book or news article, and start reading!

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

Enjoy your summer reading!

Catch Up on Your Summer Reading Before School Begins on September 5!

Posted by The Morning Bell

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.


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