Oasis Magazine Articles

Summer Reads for Kids

By Amy N. Pugsley



“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” – Dr. Frank Serafini.

It should be everyone’s goal to raise kids who love to read. It’s the job of not only parents, but community, teachers, professionals, and everyone that encounters a child. Going to a birthday party? Buy them a book. Invited for Christmas dinner? Buy them a book. Going over to drink wine and pretend that it is juice? Buy them a book. No seriously, it is simple and easy and the return on investment is priceless. With an endless flow of technology that is constantly outdoing itself; children today spend too much time in front of brightly lit screens. While this shift to technology based classrooms and homes might be nothing more than a sign of the times, it is important that literacy skills don’t get lost. With an onslaught of technology taking over the social spaces of children, including the classroom, it takes an extended effort to promote reading and to cultivate young minds that can appreciate a good book and a good movie simultaneously.

As an educator, I always get questions about homework and what young students should be doing at home. While I wish the answer was fancy or came with high-tech tools to transform a child’s brain, it really is the oldest trick in the book. Reading at home is the only way for students to organically absorb sentence structure, grammar, conventions, word choice, and the essence of written language. Reading each day gives students exposure not only to the conventions of language, but also the magic. With a book children can use their imaginations to walk with dinosaurs, fight with pirates, eat with queens, and swing from tree branches high in the jungle. The magic of books is powerful and important. Why not share that as often as you can?

Reading Tips for Parents

Make reading a habit. It is important that reading becomes part of a daily routine and is practiced over and over. They don’t say practice makes perfect for nothing!

Don’t use reading as a punishment. The worst thing to do is use reading or homework as a punishment. If reading is associated with negative behavior it will become a negative experience.

Read aloud to your kids. Don’t stop reading to your kids just because they learned to read themselves. Take the opportunity to read a challenging book as a family and make reading a family affair.

Be a reading role model. It is crucial that kids see adults reading and practicing literacy skills. Constantly demonstrating these skills will leave an impression on young minds. 

Instill critical thinking skills. Reading is the original form of media and carries bias. Use books to teach critical thinking skills and encourage kids to ask difficult questions.

Since summer is here, there is no time better to grab a book and relax. I have compiled a K-12 list of ‘must-reads’, ‘must-read agains’, and ‘must read again and again and agains’. These books are just a start to an amazing literary adventure.

DESIGN NOTES

We need to create a card for the different badges that will be used on the reading lists to help readers identify what is what.

Badge Key

Humor (H)

Gender positive/gender neutral  (GP/GN)

Social Justice Warrior (SJW)

Bilingual (B)

Important messages (I)

Heart warming (HW)

Kid List

Title

Author

Genre

Badge

Call Me Tree: Llámame árbol

Maya Christina González

Bilingual Children’s Fiction (English/Spanish)

GP, B

The Day the Crayons Quit

 Drew DaywaltOliver Jeffers

Children’s Fiction

H, I

Zen Ties

Jon J. Muth

Children’s Fiction and Poetry

GN, I, HW

The Book with No Pictures

B.J. Novak

Children’s Fiction

H

Elephant and Piggie

Mo Willems

Children’s Fiction

H, HW


Junior List

Title

Author

Genre

Icons

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket

Fiction

H

I am Malala (Young Readers Edition)

Malala YousafzaiPatricia McCormick

Non-Fiction

Autobiography

SJW, HW, I

Hoot

Carl Hiaasen

Fiction

H

Melouq

Dina Elabd

Fiction

Egyptian Author!

Quinceanera Means Sweet 15

Veronica Chambers

Fiction

B, I


High School List

Title

Author

Genre

Icons

Half the Sky

Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Non-fiction

SJW, I, GP,

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Eric Schlosser

Non-fiction

I

Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

Sherman Alexie

Realistic Fiction

I, HW

13 Reasons Why

Jay Asher

Realistic Fiction

I

Looking for Alaska

John Green

Contemporary Fiction

H, HW





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