Summer reading list encourages kids to keep learning

Special to The Log
Charlotte's Web, a children's novel by American author E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams, was published in 1952 by Harper & Brothers.

Summer break is just a month away and the Florida Department of Education encourages kids to keep learning while they are outside of the classroom. More than 150 books have the department’s official seal of approval as good picks to entertain young readers and prevent summer learning loss.

Years of research confirm students lose vital reading and math skills, with some researchers estimating at least a month of learning loss, during each summer break. Prolonged breaks deteriorate student learning gains and widen the achievement gap among low-income students. The more students practice reading, math and critical-thinking skills during the summer months, the better prepared they will be to graduate high school ready for college and careers.

“Empowering a child with the ability to read has a transformational effect on their future success in life,” said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. “The new Common Core State Standards underscore the importance of reading and literacy, and we must do more to ensure kids don’t fall behind while they’re out of the classroom. If we can help kids love to read, we’ll ensure they are lifelong learners.”

The FDOE also encourages parents to get involved in their children’s reading activities this summer. Some tips to help children get excited about reading are to read aloud to young children, take children of all ages to the library and allow them to choose their own books, or to create light-hearted sibling rivalry by encouraging a competition to see who can read the most books over the summer months. 

Examples of great books to enjoy from the 2013 summer reading list include:

• Grades K-3: Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White

• Grades 4-5: The Black Stallion, Walter Farley

• Grades 6-8: Old Yeller, Fred Gipson  

• Grades 9-12: The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

Visit the department’s Summer Reading List at