Summer Reading: Recommended Books

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 from the librarians at schools in Singapore.
Summer Reading: Recommended Books
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.

Meera Kumar, Librarain at GIIS SMART Campus says:

"Summer reading should be an essential part of holidays as it helps improve the students' reading capabilities, improves the vocabulary and reading speed as well.

"Reading should be a part of daily life, summer or not, and parents play an active part in it.  Parents can plan regular visits to the local library and have an allocated reading time together at home.  Teachers can give reading activities during summer holidays and parents can help to ensure that they are followed through. Above all, it is important to ensure that children know that reading is fun."

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.

Read more: Singapore's Best Libraries for Children

Mrs Kumar recommends the following books for children aged five through to 14 years.

Young Readers

  • Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth, Eric Carle 
  • The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson
  • The Clifford Collection, Norman Bridwell
  • Biff, Chip & Kipper, Roderick Hunt

Aged seven to 10 years

  • The Wild Robot, Peter Brown
  • The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate
  • The BFG, Roald Dahl
  • Ivy + Bean, Annie Barrows
  • Dog Man, Dav Pilkey

Aged 11 -14 years

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney
  • The Naughtiest Girl collection, Enid Blyton
  • The Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan
  • The Ickabog, J K Rowling
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Eleanor Corr

Another great starting point are the shortlisted titles in the 2020-21 Red Dot Book Awards; this annual initiative is run by The International School Libraries Network (ISLN) in Singapore.

Books are chosen by a committee of teacher-librarians in Singapore and voted on by nearly 9,000 students from 14 different schools across Singapore. The shortlist of books in each category are listed below:

Early Years

  • Crocodile Crossing, Yoeri Slegers
  • Bat vs Poss, Alexa Moses
  • Things That Go Away, Beatrice Alemagna 
  • The Tortoise & the Hare, Bruce Whatley
  • The Ride, Guilherme Karsten
  • Green Lizards vs Red Rectangles, Steve Antony
  • Sharing with Wolf, Melinda Syzmanik 
  • The Rabbit Listened, Cori Doerrfeld

Older Readers

  • A Wish in the Dark, Christina Soontornvat
  • The Eagle Huntress, Aisholpan Nurgaiv 
  • No Ballet Shoes in Syria, Catherine Bruton
  • Wink, Rob Harrell
  • When Stars are Scattered, Victoria Jamieson 
  • Fly on the Wall, Remy Lai
  • Lizard's Tale, Weng Wai Chan
  • Lampie, Annet Schaap

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