One week from today I will be on summer vacation! WOOT! WOOT! I can not believe it! Someone pinch me! I am over-the-top excited for summer to be here. I mean I love my job and my little cuties, but summer is just soooooo nice!

To celebrate the beginning of summer time, Britney over at Tailor-Made Teaching has organized this summer hop!

As the school year comes to a close, I start to think about summer reading. While I love to read a good adult novel, I also enjoy reading young adult books or chapter books written for elementary students. There are some wonderful ones out there! I spend time reading these books because knowing about books helps me to motivate my readers and helps me help them find what interest them. I think it's vital to be up on what is NEW in children's literature.  I get it about "the classics" out there, BUT what kids want to read is what is new and popular, not old and tire. I'm talking about those books where the characters on the cover look like they walked out of the 70s. These are not appealing! Do you agree? So as you are packing up for the summer, take a run through your classroom library. If books on your shelves look old, yellow, or just plain unappealing...say goodbye! Over the summer, check out your local library or yard sales for book sales. Ask parents to donate gently used books to your classroom. Use up those Scholastic points you've been saving or go through your book shelves at home. Have your own kids do some summer cleaning. If the books aren't the right age for your classroom, share with other teachers.

Besides making kids read outdated stories, my other pet peeve is outdated summer reading lists! I don't send them home anymore and it drives me nuts when I see lists going out to kids with books I know are outdated. UGH! Drives me nuts! I like to encourage my kids to do what all good readers do to find books. Go to the library. Go to the bookstore. Talk with friends and get recommendations. Join  Check out the New York Times best sellers list. In Florida, we have the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award list and it always has a variety of levels and interests for elementary and middle school students. Find a series you love. Join a book club or start one with friends. Find a reading list online and see if there are books that interest you. I also encourage my parents to give their child the opportunity to self-select books. Teach them to find good books the same way YOU do!

Here are some of the books I will be reading and recommending this summer are:

Janitors, Book 1

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

A Tangle of Knots

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles

I hope you found a book or two to read and/or recommend to a student.

I created a little Summer Time Fun Time Activity Calendar of 30 fun activities to give your kids as they head off for the summer.

Specify the number of activities for them to complete and have them return it to you in the fall for a special back to school treat.

Now hop on over to Sparkling in Second for some more summer time fun and freebies!

Find even more freebies here:

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. Cinder is on my summer reading list. I'm also thinking about Donalyn Miller's new book.
    Artistry of Education

  2. What a great resource! Glad to have gotten the opportunity to do this hop with you. Thanks for sharing!

    A Rocky Top Teacher

    1. And...forgot to add that Kate DiCamillo is one of my favs so I am going to have to check out Flora and Ulysses. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Just finished book 3 "Cress" of the LC last night. Now I've got to find book 4 "Winter". Really enjoyed them.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

  4. Cinder is on my to-read list too! (But that list is very, very long...) Also own a copy of A Tangle of Knots - seemed interesting. Love reading posts from fellow Florida teachers!! :)
    -Elyse @ A is for Apples

  5. I love this Summer Time fun! I have to add it to my kiddos' bags! So many of the books you mentioned are on my summer must read list. I can't wait to dive into them.

    Searching for Teacher Balance

  6. Great summer reading list! I have a few of these on my list too. I'm reading The Book Whisperer
    MicheleCoffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  7. Great suggestions about books.....I will have to add EVEN more to my list!!

    Mind Sparks

  8. I have Flora and Ulysses, A Tangle of Knots, and Mr. Lemoncello's Library on my summer read list. I'll have to add these others to my list as well. Thanks for sharing!

    A Teaspoon of Teaching


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