Beaches and books just seem to go together, but even if your summer plans do not include any beaches, hopefully it will still include some warm, lazy days curled up with a good book. To get you in the mood, I've corralled a bunch of recommendations for what to put in your book bag this summer.
This reading list hails from the librarians of the Houston Area Independent Schools Library Network. Their 2009 recommendations have just been posted, and are organized into eight reading levels, from preschool to high school. The lists are in PDF, making them easy to print and share. Each book is annotated with a short summary (yeah!) but a book cover image would have been a great addition.
"Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to camp? We've hand-picked some favorite new titles, all published within the last year, that are ideal for the season." From Picture Books to Young Adult Fiction, Horn recommends newly published books that may not be on your radar yet, with an emphasis on fun, summer reading. In addition to this list, they also produce a book review podcast, and have dozens of other reading lists for children and young adults. You'll find these links at the bottom of the page.
"A booklist with a twist! Children themselves evaluate the books and write reviews of their favorites. Since 1974, Children's Choices have been a trusted source of book recommendations used by teachers, librarians, parents, and children themselves." Visit to download the winners for 2008, or any of the previous booklists, going back to 1998. The K-6 lists are available online, as well as in two PDF formats: annotated or compact (just titles and authors).
Colorful and easy to use, this NYPL site invites readers to write book reviews, as well as read those posted by others. Booklists on this page are for grades one through six. For preschoolers, teens, and even adults, look in the header for a link to your section. If you happen to live in New York City, you'll appreciate knowing which branches carry each book, but even for the rest of us, there are plenty of good reasons to visit the site, including choose-your-ending online stories, author chats, and printable activities.
"Summer can be a season full of fun memories, good times . . . and declining reading scores. Research shows that students who don't read over the summer typically score lower on reading tests when they return to school. What's the solution? It's simple: READ 4 or MORE!" Sign up for a free account, and log your summer reading minutes. The top twenty schools with the most minutes read will be featured in the 2010 Scholastic Book of World Records, along with the one student who sets a world record for summer reading minutes.