I Need You, Summer!

Even though I have two days of school left (the struggle is REAL), my mind is screaming, "IT'S SUMMER!!" It's so close I can smell the suntan lotion and taste the snow cones.

To most teachers, summer means vacation and freedom and not setting an alarm, but to me, summer means READING, which is ironic because I read during every season; I read every day. But summer means a different kind of reading.

I use summer as an excuse to read things I wouldn't normally read during the school year. I read LOTS of YA because it's my job as a high school librarian and writer (and it's my jam), but I use the summer to read for ME--some YA, some not. 

Over the past couple of years, I have posted my summer reading list because people ask me for recommendations all the time (which I LOVE!). But the truth is that I usually don't stick to my list. Summer is a time to just read and see where it takes me. The truth is that I rarely stick to my list because that seems very anti-summer.

My goal is to read at least 12 books (an average of one a week, which is quite ambitious for me since I 
am a sloooow reader). I used this list to put some books on my summer reading radar, and some of them have been on the radar for a while. I might not get to all of them, but these are the "adult" ones that I would like to read. (You can click on each book cover to read a summary via Goodreads.): 










And the one I am the most excited (nervous?) about is...

Released on July 14th!!!!

Because I have to get my fix of teen angst, here are some of the YA titles in my TBR pile (most of them from TLA):



This won't be published until September. 
This will published in October. 


Some YA books that I've read this year that I think are MUST READS: 




Some adult titles that I recommend: 




Usually, summer reading is a time to focus on ME but not this year. I attended a session at TLA by Dr. Richard Allington, the guru of summer reading. He talked about "the summer slide" (not a ride at a water park) and how it affects kids. Basically, if kids do not read over the summer, they will start the school year BEHIND their peers who do read; this gap could be as wide as two to three months! The "summer slide" especially impacts low SES students who do not have access to summer learning opportunities like vacations and camps--experiences that many middle class students enjoy. This short video explains the "summer slide" perfectly:

Because of this, my district (Mesquite ISD) is making a push to get students to read over the summer. We are letting students check out books before school ends because our libraries are the main access for many of our kids. It does no good for the books to be locked up in libraries over the summer when they could be in the hands of readers. In MISD, we are more about creating readers than keeping the books on the shelves. (Yes, they might lose them, but we see it as a risk worth taking.)

We are also opening our libraries several days throughout the summer so that students can come check out more books. At Mesquite High School, we had twenty-six of our freshman English classes come down to check out books for the summer, and we will be open four days throughout the summer.

If you have kids, make sure they read over the summer. But DO NOT force it: make it fun. Let them read whatever they want. They great news about preventing the "summer slide" is that it doesn't have to be boring, academic reading to make a difference. ANY kind of reading will prevent the slide! Most importantly, be the MODEL. Practice what you preach--let your kids see YOU enjoying books. There's so much power in that.

Here's to a wonderful summer filled with reading...

I can't wait!


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