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.
Yvonne Krishnan, high school librarian at St Joseph's Institution International (SJI), says: “It’s important for children of all ages to continue reading over the summer holiday so that children of all ages can retain knowledge and skills that they have learned in school.
It helps to strengthen their reading skills and build up their knowledge and therefore maintain their literacy skills. Regular reading during the summer also helps them keep pace and not fall behind their peers.”
Kim Klein, librarian at Stamford American International School (SAIS) adds: “There are many reasons to read… to learn something new, to keep reading skills sharp, and also to dream, to laugh, to wonder, to grow! That is why we invite our students and their families to read over the holiday.
“The more students read, the more proficient they become at reading and writing. Reading research supports summer reading as a tool that helps maintain gains achieved through the previous school year. We recommend students, based on interest, read a variety of books over the summer including fiction, nonfiction and mother-tongue.”
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.
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.
• The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
• Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: stretch it, shape it by JoAnn M. Deak
• A World of Kindness by the editors of Pajama Press
• The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer
• Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
• Stories for Kids Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks
• Dinosaurium by Chris Wormell
• Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
• Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
• A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
• Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano
• Refugee by Alan Gratz
• Posted by John David Anderson
• Front Desk by Kelly Yang
• Rising Water: the Story of the Thai Cave Rescue by Marc Aronson
Next: Recommended books from Siti Nurhidayah Binte Ali and Yvonne Krishnan, librarians at St Joseph’s Institution International