Even though school will be out soon, it's still important to keep your child's mind active and engaged over the next few months through summer reading.
This doesn't mean that they need to trudge through the classics--studies have shown that when students read 10-15 books over the summer that are high-interest, appropriate reading level, and freely chosen by the students, they maintain and, in some cases, increase their reading levels from June to September.
However, it's difficult to choose what to read with so many options out there. I have put together a list of websites with recommended readings lists that you can find on the Smith Media Center website or by clicking here. (Note the cautions on some websites that have books more appropriate for 8th graders and above.)
Maybe the problem isn't getting your child to read--instead, it's getting him or her to stop reading books by the same author over and over again. In this case, I really like the site What Should I Read Next? Type in Harry Potter (or The Hunger Games or Divergent, etc), and the website generates a whole list of book recommendations that Potter fans might like. Try Your Next Read for a more visual approach (and if your child chooses his/her books by the cover).
Don't forget that students entering Advanced English 7 and Advanced English 8 have required reading lists. Students moving on to Troy High also have summer reading requirements for Honors 9 LC and for 9LC and Basic. Reading lists for Athens students can be found here.
A representative from the Troy Public Library visited Smith on June 10 to tell sixth and seventh grade students about their Summer Library Program. There are so many amazing events happening at the TPL this summer that are FREE! Sign up your child starting June 14 online at www.troypl.org/summerlibrary. The children's program is for age 0-12, and the teen program is for ages 13 and above.
Please make sure that you are always aware of what your son or daughter is reading so that you can discuss mature or sensitive issues with them. If you are curious about a book and want to read parent reviews, check out Common Sense Media's Book Review section.
It has been my pleasure to work with your child this year and to be a part of the Smith family. I have had a wonderful group of volunteers helping me daily during lunch or with special projects and events--thank you so much for your time! If you are interested in getting on the volunteer list for next school year, look for a sign up sheet at Registration in August.
Have a fantastic, relaxing, and fun summer full of good books!
Mrs. Christina Chatel, MLIS
A teacher librarian at Boulan Park and Smith Middle Schools in Troy, Michigan.