Reading Matters: Your Child’s Summer Book List

Don’t hit the pause button on your child’s reading skills this summer. Browse our selection of recommended books for children from pre-school through to secondary.
Reading Matters: Your Child’s Summer Book List
By Carli Allan
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As parents, we don’t just want our children to read – we want them to read for pleasure. The long summer vacation is an ideal time to help develop your child’s lifelong love for reading and improve their language and literacy skills. Whether it’s self-directed reading or parent-child read aloud, it will help to avoid the so-called summer slide. Studies show that children can lose up to two months’ of reading performance over the summer months, and research suggests that the unstructured activity of reading for fun will do more to keep children’s minds sharp and engaged than weeks of maths and science holiday homework.

There’s growing awareness of why reading really matters. According to research from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report 2018, 80% of children aged six to 17 years agree that summer reading will help them during the school year. The survey of students in the US by the global children’s publisher also found that, on average, children read eight books over the summer – but this varies widely by age. To encourage their children to read, 56% of parents are taking books with them on vacation, 45% put limits on screen time, and 44% build reading into their child's daily summer routine.

Whether you’re heading to the bookshop or the library, you’ll find a wide selection of books targeted at children of different age groups.

Students at ESF's Clearwater Bay primary school

A great starting point are the shortlisted titles in the 2018 Golden Dragon Books Awards; this annual initiative is run by the Association of Librarians in English Speaking Schools (ALESS) in Hong Kong. The books in these awards are "chosen with a view to promote internationally-minded balanced book selections with appropriate, appealing, quality literature in each age category".

Many international schools, including Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS), Peak School, Clearwater Bay School, Glenealy School (pictured at the top) and Discovery College, have several copies of each title in their library.

Shortlisted titles in the 2018 Golden Dragon Books Awards include:

Three to five-year-olds

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor
How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett
Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask To Be In This Book) by Julie Falatko
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

2018 Golden Dragon Books Awards early childhood shortlist 

Eight to 11-year-olds

The Midnight Gang by David Walliams
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Time Travelling With a Hamster by Ross Welford
Framed! by James Ponti
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey

2018 Golden Dragon Books Awards younger readers shortlist 

11-15 year-olds

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling
Booked by Alexander Kwame
The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Bodyguard: Assassin, Book 5 by Chris Bradford
Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan

2018 Golden Dragon Books Awards older readers shortlist 

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