Welcome to the first post of this second year of my “Summer Slide” series. The ‘summer slide’ is the two+ months of academic knowledge lost by school age children during summer vacation. [source] The greatest losses are in the area of mathematical computation among all students and in math and reading among children living in low-income households. [source] Read more about the summer slide, here, in my original post last summer. And click here to check out last year’s “Summer Slide” posts.
I have two lists or two ‘to-read’ shelves going. One for children’s books I hope to read and another shelf for grown-up books, that is books for grown-ups. Today I want to share the children’s books on my summer reading list. I am hopeful that I will get another long term library sub job this fall, so in anticipation of that I am reading the books on the 2016-2017 Master List for the Texas Bluebonnet Reading Program this summer. The Bluebonnets are examples of the best in children’s literature and would make wonderful read-alouds and books to share with young ones in your life.
The Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA) is considered quite prestigious among authors and publishers of children’s books. The TBA selection committee is responsible for selection of the 20 books on each year’s master list. Children in grades 3-6 across the state are invited to read books on the Master List. But in order to vote for their favorite title, students must have read at least five of the nominated books. The TBA tallies the votes in February and announces the winning title late that month. The TBA winning author and illustrator are presented their award at the Bluebonnet Luncheon during the Texas Library Association Conference in April.
I have always enjoyed sharing the Bluebonnets because they expose children to books representing a number of genres: biography, poetry, narrative nonfiction, nonfiction, picture books and novels. This year’s Master List is no exception.
Click here to view the Master List with annotations.
So far, in June, I have three of this year’s books.
A Fine Dessert (3.6 reading level) by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, an example of narrative nonfiction, is the story of a recipe for Blackberry Fool shared by generations of family members.
Crenshaw (3.8 reading level) by Katherine Applegate is a novel about Jackson and the imaginary friend who helps him cope with his family’s repeated homelessness. Applegate also wrote The One and Only Ivan, a Bluebonnet nominee in 2013-2014. You can read my review of that fabulous book, here.
.Mesmerized (which is a word I have trouble typing!): How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France (5.0 reading level) by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno is a narrative biography that unfolds through the steps of the scientific process. Mesmerized would make a great read-aloud to use in conjunction with science fair. The TBA committee offers a wealth of activities and resources, here, for each of the books on the Master List. Just click on the title or cover illustration for each book to access them.
This month, my plan of attack includes reading another biography The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (5.7 reading level) written by Chris Barton, illustrated by Texan Don Tate. Also hope to read Poems in the Attic (3.9 reading level) by Nikki Grimes. And another fiction chapter book, A Handful of Stars (4.4 reading level) by Cynthia Lord.
Come back the first of August to see how I fared.
Finally, there is one more children’s book I am currently reading. The War that Saved My Life (4.1 reading level) is a Newbery Honor Medal winner by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
If you have been hanging around with me for any length of time, you know that I am a huge fan of books about the Holocaust and World War II. This book is set in that time period but isn’t exactly a war story, although it is definitely a story of survival. I am about half-way through this historical novel and love it. A plucky young girl named Ada is the main character of this story. She is evacuated during the war, along with her brother and other neighbor children to the outskirts of London. Ada’s young life is changed forever.
I always like to find resources to use with the children’s books I review. Check out this fabulous educator’s guide with discussion questions, vocabulary words, and curriculum tie-ins available through Penguin books, here.
I plan to finish this book pronto. In fact, my Nook with The War downloaded onto it is sitting right beside me. Once I sign off here, I will get back to reading it!
In addition to these rich children’s books, I have a virtual shelf of adult books I’m reading or hoping to read. I shared them in a post yesterday. Read about them here.
And now it’s that time…Question of the Post. Question: Do you have any little ones you can share books with this summer?
Here’s hoping you have a delicious book or two to read this summer. And a sweet child to share a story with.
Hugs and kisses,