Optional Summer Reading List

Teachers take time to put together optional summer reading list for teens

A strong interest for an optional summer reading list allowed English language arts teachers from Indian Trail Intermediate School and Liberty Bell Middle School to come up with the perfect suggestions for students looking for their next great adventure.

Here is a copy of the list - Optional Summer Reading List for Indian Trail and Liberty Bell students

The group complied a list of books for each grade level that relate to the first quarter theme in English Language Arts for the 18-19 school year. Participation in this is optional and there will be no assignments or tests given, nor extra credit earned for summer reading. The only hope with this list is that these book suggestions will appeal to rising students and spark their interest in the upcoming school year.

“The best way to become a better reader is to read,” said Lori Church, one of Johnson City Schools’ District Literacy Coaches, who helped the group form the optional summer reading list. “So when students read for fun, they are also becoming better readers and improving their reading skills and ability. We hope that students will spend the summer reading books that they love and discovering a favorite author or preference for a certain genre.”

Research shows that students who do not read over the summer months will lose some reading proficiency. This setback is referred to as the summer slide, but according to Scholastic, reading just six books can prevent the setback during the summer.

Students in intermediate and middle grades often love to request, and benefit from, personalized suggestions from the librarian when they visit the library. The summer reading list is totally optional, but it gives parents and students list of teacher and librarian suggestions to use a starting place for their summer reading.

The selections on the summer reading list are based on the first quarter theme of the students' next year in ELA. For example, rising 5th grade students will be learning about perseverance during the first quarter, so the titles we have suggested (such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder) have messages about perseverance. Teachers said they hope this will help students make deeper connections with the texts they read in quarter 1 and give students the opportunity to make connections across multiple texts in regards to characters, plots, settings, author's craft, etc.