Summer Reading 2018: Top Book Recommendations from Charlotte Country Day School Teachers

Ongoing Education: Just because school's out for the summer doesn't mean the kids can't keep learning.

 

Have an eager reader at home? Not quite? Perhaps your young one needs a little encouragement to delve into the world of reading this summer. Once children learn the power and beauty of reading—being able to use their imaginations to mentally transport themselves into different places and time periods—they'll realize just how magical words on a page can be.

School might be out for the summer, but that doesn't mean kids can't keep raising their reading levels. Summer reading is a fantastic indoor summer activity to mix in between outdoor fun. (Everyone needs air conditioner every now and then, even tireless kids.) Charlotte Country Day's Lower School—junior kindergarten through fourth grade—encourages children in this age group to read every day, no matter what the genre or topic. They say that summer reading should be fun, with the focus on reading every day and not the actual number of books read. We like that kind of outlook.

 

How Parents Can Help Their Children with Summer Reading

Summer reading is a great way to get involved in your child's education and bond at the same time. If you're wondering how you can help your kid with summer reading, Charlotte Country Day School recommends the following:

  • Read aloud to your child even if he or she is able to read independently
  • Make reading an important part of every day for the entire family
  • Focus more on the enjoyment of reading and less on literacy strategies
  • Help your child choose books that are appropriate in terms of both reading level and content
  • Visit the public library together and participate in the summer reading program and story hours

 

8 Books for Summer Reading in 2018

These titles are from the massive list of summer reading books Charlotte Country Day School recommends for kids aged four to 10. For more suggestions, check out the full list of books—there are also books marked with an asterisk (*) that are higher reading levels and feature more difficult content. Ranging from books on diversity to biographies to newly released titles for this school year, here are some of the top summer reading books your child should get lost in.

 

1. Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews

According to the private school on 1440 Carmel Road, "Children need to see themselves reflected in the books they read in order to develop a positive identity and see that their experiences matter. They also need to read books that allow them to look into the lives of people with alternative worldviews so that they can understand and appreciate the stories of others. " Older kids will learn a lot from this book about a young musician in New Orleans—it has won the 2016 Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Awards.

 

2. I'm Like You, You're Like Me by Cindy Gainer

This read teaches young ones about understanding and appreciating each other. Kids will learn that everyone's different—from the classmate with curly hair to the friend with a big body—and that's what makes people special. Color makes this book a fun one, so enjoy reading it together on a relaxing summer night. 

 

3. Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina

In this award-winning book, a little girl learns a lot about love and patience as her grandmother comes to stay for a while. Tackling the reality of language barriers, this tender story lends a look into the bonds that bind families so tight despite differences.

 

4. Kami and the Yaks by Andrea Stenn Stryer

When a Sherpa family discovers that their yaks are missing, spunky, deaf Kami takes it upon himself to try to summon the yaks with a shrill whistle (he cannot speak). The yaks don't come to his call, so he sets out looking for them in all their favorite grazing grounds. Kami stumbles into some scary situations, but his special observation skills help him find his family's yaks. This story shows young ones that even what is labeled a "disability" can enable you to do something remarkable. 

 

 5. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Spark imaginations with this inspiring story ripe with stunning paintings. This mostly wordless picture book tells the tale of a little girl who gets lost in a snowstorm and a little wolf cub who's lost too. Bond with your kindergartner over this award-winning story of unlikely friendship of trust.

 

6. Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

This book is best suited for older kids with the maturity to handle more difficult content. The Newberry Medalist book is a funny, poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships, one the Washington Post called "charming" and "intriguingly plotted." It's told from four points of view—two boys and two girls—with the voices intertwined to create a story that celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner hero. 

 

7. Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles by Susanna Reich

In tune with Country Day School's "Summer Reading Rocks!" theme, this book about the Beatles' legendary partnership is one music-loving parents will enjoy reading aloud to their kids. Unsurprisingly, the book tells the story of how the four legendary band members became friends. Fun idea: Make it a music history night by playing your favorite Beatles tracks after reading... Dance party, anyone? 

 

8. Coding in the Real World by Jennifer Lyons

"Coding is increasingly being viewed as a new 'literacy,' an administrator from Charlotte Country Day's Lower School says. "It's a skill so vital to understanding the world that many argue all students should master it—just like reading, writing, and math."

Give your child the tools he or she needs to succeed—"Coding in the Real World" helps children learn the world of coding, or, in Paynter's words, the "new literacy."

 

Which book is first on your child's summer reading list? 

 

About the school: Located in South Charlotte, Charlotte Country Day School has a 75-year history in the area and serves grades from junior kindergarten through 12th grade. It is also the only independent school in the region to have a separate campus for Middle School students. From vocal and instrumental music to single-gender math classes, the curriculum is designed to support students during these transitional years.