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Caitlin's Book of the Month-May 2015

Posted: May 22, 2015

Book of the Month: Special Edition!! 

As the school year winds down, many of us are daydreaming about how we will spend our summer vacation. Whether your family is traveling or staying home, summer is the perfect time to dive into longer books with your kids. For educators working at summer school or summer camps, reading a novel could be the cornerstone of your literacy block, and inspire great multi-day projects.

 I've combed through the required reading section of our local bookstores, and picked out the best summer books I have read throughout my life. Some of these books I have read again as an adult and loved them just as much.

Elementary School

Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective -- Donald J. Sobol

Short mysteries that the reader can solve with solutions explained in the back of the book.

 Bridge to Terabithia--Katherine Patterson

A story about friendship, imagination and loss, made into a major film a few years back.

 The Great Gilly Hopkins-- also by Katherine Patterson

This story focuses on a girl in foster care and the meaning of family.

 Middle School

 The Giver--Lois Lowry

This Newberry winner has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. It tells the story of Jonas, who grows up in a controlled community without pain or hunger or music or color.  Jonas alone is exposed to these joys and sufferings as the keeper of memory, received in intensive sessions with The Giver. 

 Flowers for Algernon--Daniel Keyes

First published in 1958, this is a classic. The 1968 film Charly, based on the story, won an Academy Award. This story is often controversial and sad, but has been assigned and discussed in American middle schools for decades. 


High School

 The Poisonwood Bible--Barbara Kingsolver

I loved the alternating narrative of the five women of the Price family who are missionaries in the Belgian Congo. After reading this I started to seek out more books narrated by children and young adults. 

 The Chosen--Chaim Potok

This novel focuses primarily on the difficult friendship between two teenagers from different sects of Judaism during the creation of the state of Israel in the 1940s. 

 Mythology--Edith Hamilton

I didn't think I would enjoy this big book that was originally on my 9th grade reading list, but I am so grateful that I stuck it out. This is an education in its own right, and I have enjoyed finding allusions to these classic myths pop up in great literature ever since.

Happy Summer and Happy Reading



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