Blogger Jennifer Schultz

Summer Reading Lists

Now that summer is winding down, many librarians are undoubtedly seeing an increase in patrons clutching stapled white sheets while approaching reference desks.  It’s time (or nearing time) for students to consult their required summer reading lists and hopefully choose something that will not be too much of a chore to read.

As I look at these lists, I occasionally think about what I would put on a required summer reading list. Would I even have a required summer reading list if that was a decision I needed to make? Although some summer assignments take me aback with the rigidity and amount of homework they require, I have to give credit to my high school’s freshman summer reading list; it introduced me to Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, which is now one of my favorite books.

If I were creating a required summer reading list, I would

–include a mix of standard classics and modern favorites

–include titles that featured diversity (not only racial, but geographic diversity, include differently abled characters, and the like)

–include nonfiction and graphic novels

–include authors that live in Virginia and write stories that take place in Virginia, either fiction or nonfiction (historical or present day). If I lived in another state, I would do the same for that state.

On the other hand, chucking the notion of a  standard required summer reading list is also appealing. It could be as simple as reading 2-3 new books, and to be be prepared to recommend them to the teacher and/or class at the beginning of school.

If you had to put together a required summer reading list, what would you put on it? Or, if you had the power to make such a choice, would you not have a required summer reading list?

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