Welcome to a summer of great reads!
We’re so excited for you to join us. Use this web page to glean ideas for quality summer reading!
Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift.
Bloomfield Hills Schools Reading Without Walls Challenge
1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.
2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.
3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book.
If you really want to go for the gold star, read a book that fits all three criteria!
When you finish, take a photo of you and the book (or just the book if you’re shy) and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BHSReadingWithoutWalls. You’ll inspire others to do the same!
Create your own Reading Project
Below are a list of questions you might ask your children to set their own summer reading and writing goals...
- What is your reading or writing goal?
- What materials will you need?
- How will you share this work with others?
- How much time will you make each day to read or write?
- How will you know when you’re finished with this project?
- What other projects do you want to do?
Way 1st Recommends:
- Mouse and Mole by Wong Herbert Yee
- Zelda and Ivy by Laura McGee Kvasnosky
- Iris and Walter by Elissa Haden Guest
- Cork & Fuzz by Dori Chaconas & Lisa McCue
Way 2nd Recommends:
- Heidi Hecklebeck by Wanda Coven
- Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
- Ready Freddy by Abby Klein
- Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliot
Way 3rd/4th Recommends:
- A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
- Bob by Wendy Mass
- The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell
- The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
WHMS 4th/5th Recommends:
- Ida B.
- Night of the Twisters
- National Geographic Kids- This Book Stinks!
- I Survived...(Series)
- The Luck Uglies
- Captain Nobody
- The Sisters Grimm
- Running Out of Time
- Among the Hidden
- Space Case
Pernille Ripp, published teacher and speaker shares her students’ favorite picture books:
Recommendations from your ELA Teachers:
Mrs. Allan Recommends…
- The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
- 11/22/63, Stephen King
- Just Kids, Patti Smith
- Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
- Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alice Saenz
- Looking for Alaska, John Green
Mrs. Conklin Recommends…
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
- Dante's Inferno by Dante Alighieri
- Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Adichie
- The Confessor by Daniel Silva
Mrs. Griesbeck Recommends…
- Cry the Beloved Country, Alan Payton
- Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult
- A Cure for Dreams, Kaye Gibbons
- Garlic and Sapphires (memoir), Ruth Reichl
- Merle's Door (memoir), Ted Kerasote
- The Sixteen Pleasures, Robert Hellenga
Mrs. Laliberte Recommends…
- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Educated by Tara Westover
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Mrs. Lauter Recommends…
- Internment by Samira Ahmed
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- There, There by Tommy Orange
- Beach Music by Pat Conroy (especially if you’re in AP Lit!)
And many more! Follow email@example.com on Goodreads!
Mrs. Lowry Recommends…
- The Breakbeat Poets
- The Stand
- Me Talk Pretty One Day
Mrs. Lyon Recommends…
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Nightingale & The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Mrs. Rose Recommends…
- The Alchemist
- Bruce Lee Striking Thoughts: Wisdom for Daily Living
- The Little Prince
Mrs. Tier Recommends…
- Pride and Prejudice--Jane Austen
- The Art of Racing in the Rain--Garth Stein
- The Red Tent--Anita Diamant
- Never Let Me Go--Kazuo Ishiguro
- 1984--George Orwell
Mrs. Weaver Recommends…
- Great Small Things or The Storyteller or 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult
- The Great Alone or The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Find Recommendations Online:
- Barnes & Noble Teen Blog
- Books & Authors (login with your public library card number on your student ID)
- Teen Book Finder and the Teen Book Finder app
- LitPick Under "All Books," search using the drop down menus
- Reading Rants
- Young Adult Books Central
- Amazon's Teen Book Section browse with the menu on the left
- OurStory Teen books about various diversities
- Epic Reads
- Booklist Reader
- 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels
Ideas for Titles and Authors to Check Out:
Click on a title for reviews from Goodreads!
- The Hate U Give
- Once and for All
- I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
- The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
- You Bring the Distant Near
- Turtles All the Way Down
- What Girls are Made of
- Eleanor & Park
- Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
- Everything, Everything
- Me & Earl & The Dying Girl
- All the Bright Places
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- Anne of Green Gables
- The Awakening
- The Bell Jar
- Brave New World
- The Call of the Wild
- The Color Purple
- Death of a Salesman
- A Doll's House
- East of Eden
- The Grapes of Wrath
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- Invisible Man
- Jane Eyre
- Little Women
- Moby Dick
- Native Son
- The Old Man and the Sea
- One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Robinson Crusoe
- Slaughterhouse 5
- The Sound and the Fury
- A Streetcar Named Desire
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Things Fall Apart
- Wuthering Heights
- All Rights Reserved
- Jane, Unlimited
- The Marrow Thieves
- The Knife of Never Letting Go
- The Maze Runner
- The 5th Wave
- Mask of Shadows
- Strange the Dreamer
- Book of Lies
- Wonder Woman: Warbringer
- The Last Magician
- The Disappearances
- The Black Witch
- Wild Beauty
- A Skinful of Shadows
- Throne of Glass
- Shadow and Bone
- Clockwork Angel
- The Iron King
- City of Bones
Mystery / Suspense / Adventure
- Long Way Down
- Remember Me Always
- One of Us Is Lying
- The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage
- Confessions of a Murder Suspect
- I Hunt Killers
- Heist Society
- The Girl I Used to Be
- The Naturals
- The Body in the Woods
- No One Else Can Have You
- When Dimple Met Rishi
- Words in Deep Blue
- Paper Hearts
- The Fault in Our Stars
- Pushing the Limits
- If I Stay
- To All the Boys I've Loved Before
- anything by author Sarah Dessen
- anything by author Simone Elkeles
- Crossing Ebenezer Creek
- Between Shades of Gray
- Code Name Verity
- A Great and Terrible Beauty
- Fever 1793
- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
- Prisoner of Night and Fog
- Anna Dressed in Blood
- A Monster Calls
- Rot & Ruin
- The Graveyard Book
- anything by author Christopher Pike
- anything by author Darren Shan
- Waste of Space
- Landscape with Invisible Hand
- Defy the Stars
- These Broken Stars
- I Am Number Four
- Across the Universe
- anything by authorScott Westerfeld
- A Dog's Purpose
- Rain Reign
- The Book Thief
- The Dog Master
- The Book Thief
- Tuesdays with Morrie
- And Then There Were None
- The Outsiders
Pernille Ripp, published teacher and speaker shares her students’ favorite books:
- The Best Books for Middle School According to My Students 2018
- The Best Books for Middle School According to My Students 2017
- The Best Books for Middle School According to My Students 2016
Middle School Titles and Authors to Check Out:
Click on a title for reviews from Goodreads!
- It All Comes Down to This
- Saving Marty
- Hello, Universe
- The Lotterys Plus One
- The End of the Wild
- The Stars Beneath Our Feet
- Amina's Voice
- Forever, or a Long, Long Time
- The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine
- As Brave As You
- Dream On, Amber
- Fish in a Tree
- Hour of the Bees
- Listen, Slowly
- Counting Thyme
- The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price
- The Key to Extraordinary
- Sticks and Stones
- Raymie Nightingale
- Wolf Hollow
- Finding Perfect
- The Haunted House Project
- All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
- I Am Drums
- Ms. Bixby's Last Day
- The Thing About Jellyfish
- All's Faire in Middle School
- Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver
- The BFF Bucket List
- My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights
- The Last Boy at St. Edith's
- Fenway and Hattie
- The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society
- A Properly Unhaunted Place
- Dragonfly Song
- The Witch Boy
- The Shadow Cipher
- Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
- Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869
- Blueberry Pancakes Forever
- Rise of the Jumbies
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon
- The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three magical Children and Their Holy Dog
- The Hidden Oracle
- The Sword of Summer
- The Lost Knight
- Secrets of the Dragon Tomb
- The Voyage to Magical North
- The Iron Trial
- Some Kind of Happiness
- The Goblin's Puzzle: The Adventures of a Boy With No Name and Two Girls Called Alice
- The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
- Behind the Canvas
- Wishing Day
- The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee
- Poppy Mayberry, The Monday
- Story Thieves
- Time Stoppers
- The Seventh Wish
Action / Adventure
- The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora
- The Adventurers Guild
- Beyond the Bright Sea
- Pilfer Academy: A School So Bad It's Criminal
- Treasure at Lure Lake
- Summer of Lost and Found
- Some Kind of Courage
- Alistair Grim's Odditorium
- The Scourge
- The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes
- Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas
Mystery / Suspense
- Quicksand Pond
- Greenglass House
- Elizabeth and Zenobia
- Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
- The Eye of Midnight
- The Wig in the Window
- Howard Wallace, P.I.
- The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle
- The Classy Crooks Club
- The Door by the Staircase
- The Gallery
- The Maypop Kidnapping
- The Distance to Home
- Anything by author Mike Lupica
- Anything by author Tim Green
- Anything by author Matt Christopher
Fairy Tale Re-Writes
- The Rat Prince
- Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel
- Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella
- Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood
- Fred Korematsu Speaks Up
- The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts
- Lucky Broken Girl
- The War that Saved My Life
- The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming
- A Wrinkle in Time
- Anne of Green Gables
- Diary of a Young Girl
- Lord of the Rings
- The Little Prince
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- The War of the Worlds
Resources and Ideas:
- NewPages Young Writers Guide Lists of print and online literary magazines, links to publish your writing, and writing contests.
- Go Teen Writers
- Writers Notebooks From the website Always Write, scroll down to find unique ideas for writing with samples.
- Summer Writer's Notebooks Entries and Creative Students' Writers Notebook Pages Samples of student writing notebooks.
- Writer's Digest Full of resources for the serious writer.
- Poets and Writers Another location of resources for serious writers starting out.
- National Novel Writing Month In November, would-be novelists attempt to write a 50,000-word book in thirty days.
About Publishing Your Work:
- So You Want to Be a Teenage Author? Published Teen Authors Tell It Like It Is
- Can You Get Published if You're a Teenager?
- Go Teen Writers: How To Get a Book Published: A Step-By-Step Guide
Places to Publish Your Own Writing:
(and read writing submitted by others)
- Canvas For teens, by teens. Read others' work and submit your own.
- Teen Ink Submit an original writing for publication in their online magazine.
- Cicada Publishes original writing by ages 14 and up.
- Underlined An online community where students self-publish. Contributors earn badges by reading and reviewing others' work and submitting their own.
- Rare Byrd Review For middle and high school students.
- One Teen Story Ages 13-19 can submit original fiction.
- PolyphonyHS Print magazine; submit original writing online.
- The Claremont Review Publishes writers and artists ages 13-19; publishes only in print.
- Stone Soup Publishes stories, poems, and art by kids under 13.
- Launch Pad Publishes original writing and art by ages 6-14.
- The Telling Room Stories
- The Daily Writing Prompt Generator
- WriteShop: Creative writing prompts for teens
- Writers Digest Creative Writing Prompts
- Storybird create your own online books with pre-built illustrations to guide you. See others' stories for inspiration.
- High School Journal Topics
- 180 Journal Writing Prompts
- Creative Writing Prompts for Teens Pinterest collection
- Favorite 15 Prompts another Pinterest collection
sponsored by Oakland University
sponsored by Michigan State University
- Ten Ideas That Get Kids Writing From the National Writing Project. Read more about how young writers need to do real writing, how they write best about what concerns them most, and how writing can connect kids to their communities.
- Six Ways to Encourage Young Writers
- Ten Suggestions for Encouraging Kids to Write at Home Includes ideas such as notice reading and writing that is going on in the world, and leave notes for your child in his/her lunchbox, schoolbag or around the house, and ask your child to leave notes for you.
- Letters to Kids: 8 Words Every Child Needs to Hear Model how powerful writing can be by writing your child a letter with these ideas.
Note to Parents/Guardians: While this webpage provides some reading suggestions for our students, parents and guardians should determine if the books listed are appropriate for their families.
- Research on the Importance of Summer Reading
- Things You Might Do to Engage in Summer Reading Activities
- Summer reading is the single summer activity that is most strongly and consistently related to summer learning (Heyns, 1978).
- Since motivation is the key to voluntary reading, the two critical features of book selection are individual students' interests and reading levels (Smith and Brewer, 2007).
- According to Stephen Krashen in The Power of Reading, people who read more write better.
- Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary, and reading speed.
- Outstanding high school writers reported extensive summer reading.
- The relationship between free voluntary reading and literacy is extremely consistent, even when different tests, different methods of reading habits, and different definitions of free reading are used.
- If children read one million words a year, at least one thousand words will be added to their vocabulary.
- A study led by James Kim of the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that regardless of family income, the effect of reading four to five books over the summer was large enough to prevent a decline in reading-achievement scores from the spring to the fall. Kim’s other finding: children who said they had easy access to books over the summer ended up reading more. So seasonal alarm bells aside, the best way to push back against the summer slide is with your library card (Paul, 2013).
- Richard Allington, a professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and his colleagues found that giving kids 12 books to read over the summer was as effective as summer school in raising the students’ reading scores (Paul, 2013).
- Join Goodreads- find reviews, create a bookshelf, and share your favorites with other readers!
- Take a look at the High School Reads and Middle School Reads pages to get ideas for your next book.
- Complete our reading Survey
- Check out what’s happening at the Bloomfield Township Public Library or West Bloomfield Public Library
- Join a Newsela Summer Reading Club to read about current events and social issues important to you.
- Effects of Independent Reading on Learners
- Set Aside Time to Read Together
- Encourage Your Child to Read
- How to Help a Teen Choose a Book
- Quotes on the Importance of Reading
The amount of free reading done outside of school has consistently been found to relate to growth in vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency, and general information. Students who read independently become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have greater content knowledge than those who do not.
- From Independent Reading and School Achievement
Read aloud regularly, even to older kids. If your child is a reluctant reader, reading aloud will expose her to the structure and vocabulary of good literature and get her interested in reading more.
“Reading the first two chapters of a book together can help, because these are often the toughest in terms of plot,” notes Susan Becker, M. Ed. “Also try alternating: you read one chapter aloud, she reads another to herself. And let kids pick the books they like. Book series are great for reluctant readers. It’s OK to read easy, interesting books instead of harder novels.”
-From The Role of Parents
- Ask a librarian or teacher
Librarians and teachers know what books appeal to and are appropriate for teen readers. Visit the library with your teen so that you can talk with the librarian together to find some great (and perhaps unexpected) titles for your teen to try. Many libraries also sponsor books clubs where teens can connect over books. Librarians can point you to lists of suggested titles published online. Some schools also publish suggested and/or required lists of books for summer reading.
- Go to the blogs
Teens want to read what their peers are reading. There are many wonderful blogs where teens can teens can read and chat about the books they and their peers. This is a great way to learn about new titles and to help teens broaden their reading interests, as well as integrate reading and social activities.
- Peruse the aisles of your library or bookstores
Bookstores organize stock by level of age-appropriateness, as well as by subject matter and type of book. Encourage your teen to sit down with a read a bit of while you're still at the library or bookstore. Encourage your teen to check out several different titles, rather than just one or two.
- Find out what books your teen has enjoyed in the past
One way to help out is by choosing other titles by the same author. A teen who enjoyed Walter Dean Myers' Monster might also like Sunrise Over Fallujah. A teen who liked Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak might want to read Prom. Teens also like to read novels that occur in a series, like the Twilight and Harry Potter books. Once you know what the subjects and genres that your teen enjoys, consult librarians and even amazon,com to find other titles you might not have known about.
- Check out graphic novels
There are many great, high quality graphic novels appealing to a wide range of readers. If your teen read Maus, a graphic novel account of the Holocaust, check out Persepolis, a graphic autobiography of a young girl growing up during the Iranian revolution.
- Address problems with book
Teens who are exploring and perhaps struggling with their identities or personal problems might like help choosing books related to those issues.
- From How to Help a Teen Choose a Book ReadWriteThink" Readwritethink.org
International Literacy Association/National Council of Teachers of English, 2017.
- "Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." - Kate DiCamillo
- "Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his needs, is good for him." - Maya Angelou
- "It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own." - Katherine Patterson
- Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, reported in studies published in 2006 and 2009 that individuals who often read fiction appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective.
- Albert Einstein was asked once how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. “If you want your children to be intelligent,” he said, “read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” He understood the value of reading, and of imagining. I hope we can give our children a world in which they will read, and be read to, and imagine, and understand.