Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Reading for 8-12 year-olds

 Summer holidays have come round again with parents wondering what would be the most useful way for children to spend the time. I strongly recommend that they should read for pleasure, as this has been shown to improve performance, not only in reading, but also in math. See my blog post of July 2012 SummerReading - Some Surprising Findings 
The challenge in Jamaica is to select appropriate titles, other than Enid Blyton books, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. I have already written blog posts with lists of books, namely Books by JamaicanAuthors, Books from Africa and 1000 Black Girl Books. For books by other Caribbean authors see Anansesem online bookstore.
Here now, in alphabetical order of authors, is a list of 30 books for girls from a list of over 200 chosen by students at   Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Edgecomb, Maine. (I started with girls’ books after I was dismayed by the 3 ‘literature’ books, which included Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men', listed on a high school booklist.) However, boys like many of these books, too. All books are available on Amazon. Most of the authors have written several books - check them out.
L stands for lexile – a measure of ease of reading – the lower the lexile, the easier the book.

1 Agell, Charlotte    Welcome Home or Someplace Like It 
2 Bowler, Tim    Storm Catchers L560 A scary book set in the UK, liked by boys also.
3 Brashares, Ann    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants trilogy
4 Carman, Patrick  Thirteen Days to Midnight L760
5 Choldenko, Gennifer   Al Capone Does My Shirts L600 Set in the notorious prison, Alcatraz, where the protagonist's father worked.
6 Colfer, Chris    Land of Stories Refers to familiar fairy tales. 
7 Creech, Sharon    Walk Two Moons L770 13-year-old girl searches for truth about her missing mother.
8 Funke, Cornelia    Inkheart L780 The characters come out of the pages of a book.
9 Giff, Patricia Reilly    Wild Girl L640 A horse story from Brazil to New York.
10 Grimes, Nikki    The Road to Paris L700  Paris is the name of the brown girl protagonist in a white foster home.
11 Hale, Dean    Calamity Jack L560 Sci Fi, Fantasy, Fairy Tales and Folklore.
12 Hale, Shannon  Princess Academy Girls from a mountain village prepare for a prince to choose one of them as his bride. Surprising twist at the end. 
13 Hiassen, Carl    Flush and Hoot Fast-paced detective stories related to environmental breaches in Florida.
14 Hobbs, Will    Jackie's Wild Seattle L660 Adventure related to wild-life rescue. 
15 Holm, Jennifer    Turtle in Paradise L610 Set in the Great Depression, Turtle (11-year-old girl) is sent to live with relatives in Florida.

16 Hunt, Lynda Mullaly    Fish in a Tree L550 A story about dyslexia
17 Lord, Cynthia    Rules The challenges of living with a brother with autism.
18 Lowry, Lois    Number the Stars L670 Smuggling Jews out of 1940's Denmark.
19 Magoon, Kekla    The Rock and the River About the Civil Rights Movement.
20 Myers, Walter Dean   Monster a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial.
21 O'Dell, Scott    Island of the Blue Dolphins Survival story of a girl alone on a deserted island.
22 Park, Linda Sue    A Long Walk to Water Set in the Sudan, with references to The Lost Boys of Sudan
23 Patterson, Katherine    Lyddie A story of personal determination and growth, set in textile mills in USA
24 Riordan, Rick    The Lightning Thief  L470 Fantasy related to Greek Mythology. There is also a graphic (comic-style) version.
25 Ryan, Pam Munoz Esperanza Rising L750 A riches to rags story.
26 Sachar, Louis    Holes L660 Stanley wrongly sent to a boys' detention centre and unravels a mystery.
27 Watkins, Yoko Kawashima    So Far from the Bamboo Grove About a Japanese family escaping from Korea at the end of WW2
28 Woodson, Jacqueline    Feathers L710 takes readers on a journey into a young girl’s heart and reveals the pain and the joy of learning to look beneath the surface.
29 Yousafzai, Malala    I Am Malala Story of Pakistani girl who survived the attempt to murder her because she wanted an education.
30 Zhang, Kat    What's Left of Me Fantasy - people are normally born with 2 souls, 1 of which dies. What happens when both survive?