It is time for school librarians to dust off their summer reading lists and refresh them. I know that the public librarians are wondering how we can possibly just start thinking about summer reading now, but in the school things are a bit different. We tend to release the students to you all to fulfill their summer reading duties!
Since the majority of librarians at my school came from the public systems, we are hyper sensitive to the look and feel of our summer lists. We remember keenly the super long, out-of-print, completely off grade level lists that we had handed to us. So we make sure not to contribute to that problem.
My own lists are updated every year with award winners, books that will give students a running start in terms of curriculum, books that provide both mirror and window opportunities as well as some personal favorites. I don’t reinvent the wheel every year, but instead add about 30-40% new titles each year.
In the past I reformatted the lists to read “Lower Elementary” (grades 1 and 2) and “Upper Elementary” (grades 3 and 4). While I enjoyed the fluidity, the parents were much more comfortable with set grades. So there is quite a bit of overlap in titles between the grades. And that is ok.
This year, I am thinking of embedding some book trailers into the lists as well to freshen them up even more.
What do you do to your reading lists to keep them fresh?