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It's the middle of summer and typically a time when people (myself included) hit a summer reading slump. Maybe you're still in the queue for the books you put on hold at the beginning of summer. Or you're on vacation and ON THE GO without a break to relax and read. Or, God forbid, you are reading but the books are just "meh."


So, I decided to offer up some of my FAVORITES of the summer to get you through that mid-summer reading slump. Many of the following are 5 STAR books for me so fingers crossed you will also find something amazing to get you through the rest of the summer.


25) This Beach is Loud! by Samantha Cotterill is a great book for kids with sensory issues (sensory processing disorder and/or autism), or who are anxious about new experiences. Great for classrooms and families also. I would pair it with There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi. Grades PreK-2nd.



26) Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan. I REALLY enjoyed this one about a young woman stuck working the worst summer job at an amusement park. Perfect summer vibe, and a fun rom-com. Grades 8-12


27) Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. This one is written for adults, but I could also see interested high schoolers enjoying it also. Based on a frightening episode in American history.


28) War in the Ring by John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro. Highlighting Joe Louis, Max Schmeling and the lead-up to their fight. This includes quite a bit of history also. Grades 7-10, or even adults interested in this time period. Pair it with Berlin Boxing Club by Rob Sharenow (YA Lit), or A Nation's Hope by Matt de la Pena and Knockout! by George Sullivan (picture books).


29) NOPE! by Drew Sheneman. Pair this with Dude (Reynolds) for another story that is told basically using only one word. Good for inferring story from illustrations, and hilarious for parents to read as well. Grades K-2 for sharing.


30) The Line Tender by Kate Allen. I LOVED THIS BOOK! Could be because I read it during Shark Week, but this will likely be one of my top picks for Grades 4-7 this year. For fans of The Thing About Jellyfish (Benjamin).


31) Hum and Swish by Matt Myers. YES! What a great book for sharing, storytimes, or encouraging creativity. For anyone that loves to build on the beach. Grades K-3.


32) Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay. There are just no words for how much I love this book. Will likely be one of my top picks for High School for 2019. SO. MUCH. GOODNESS here. A powerful book that will stay with you and give you plenty to talk about. Good for current event tie-ins also. Grades 8-12. All. The. Stars.


33) O Captain, My Captain by Robert Burleigh. I never thought I'd give 5 stars to a biography of Walt Whitman, but here you go. If you read Whitman in your ELA classes, or study the Civil War in your social studies/American History classes, then you need this. It discusses a period in Whitman's life when he volunteered at military hospitals during the Civil War, and why he was inspired to write his famous poem, O Captain, My Captain. Maybe only interesting to history and literature buffs, but very well written!


34) Ink Knows No Borders, various. This includes poems by several YA Lit authors among others. All poems about life as an immigrant or refugee.

Fresh Off the Boat: Six Words, various. These are part of the Six Word Memoir collection with a focus on immigrants. TERRIFIC!

Obvious tie-ins to current events as well as many current fiction titles. Grades 7-12 for both.


35) Sign Off by Stephen Savage. This wordless book creates a story from road signs. I thought it was unique and I love encouraging students to create the story on the pages. Grades K-5.


36) Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali. Loved the characters, loved the setting, loved the cover. A dual narrator story that will find many fans of romance and realistic fiction. Grades 8-12.


What are you reading this summer? Do you have a favorite so far?


#summerreading #yalit #fiction #kidlit #nonfiction #picturebook #biography #newbooks #curriculumconnections #classroombookaday

Updated: Sep 2, 2019


WOW! Time sure flies when it’s summer and you’re reading good books.


If you missed the first 12 books I recommended, click here.


Books #13-#24 include some FANTASTIC books and several 5 STAR titles!


Without further ado, the next round of #60daysofsummerreading.


13) On July 13th, I officiated a friend’s wedding. (Which was a BLAST... I may have quoted Albus Dumbledore. And I may have decided to make this my new side gig). In honor of this special occasion, I’m highlighting three of my favorite wedding-themed #yalit titles, all appropriate for grades 8-12 (and middle school readers who have already read all the Sarah Dessen books).

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

Save the Date by Morgan Matson


14) There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

I ADORE this new one by Menon! 5 STARS for sure! This is a stand-alone companion to When Dimple Met Rishi. The perfect rom-com plus so much more! Grades 7 and up, fans of Dumplin’ will find much to love here. Each book by Menon I like a little bit more so now I can’t wait for whatever might come next.


15) Because of the Rabbit by Cynthia Lord. This is just the latest in a line of great books by Lord. Animal lovers, readers who feel like they don't quite fit in, and classroom teachers looking for a new read-aloud will especially enjoy this one. Grades 3-6.


16) Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry & Vashti Harrison. One of the best picture books that I've read so far this year. I'm completely in love with Hair Love, and you will be too! Grades K-2 and a good one for #classroombookaday.


17) Undaunted by Anita Silvey. Another 5 star book! I love this one as much as I loved the author's Untamed (about Jane Goodall). And now I'm desperate for one about Dian Fossey to complete the set. So far, this is my favorite non-fiction book of the year.


18) Hope and Other Punch Lines by Julie Buxbaum. I'm always a fan of Buxbaum and this one did not disappoint. A book about loss, healing, and 9/11 for readers that weren't alive to remember. Sprinkle in summer and a "treasure hunt" of sorts and you'll find wide appeal for this one. Grades 7-12.


19) When Sue Found Sue by Toni Buzzeo and Diana Sudyka. For dinosaur lovers and anyone that dreams of science and making discoveries. A good introductory biography for grades 1-4.


20) Moon! Earth‘s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty and Stevie Lewis. I LOVE THESE BOOKS by McAnulty! (Sun! and Earth! complete the set). These are "autobiographies" filled with science vocabulary and kid-friendly facts, written with a humorous voice. Entertaining and inspiring for the next generation of scientists. Grades K-3 (and older).


21) You Are Home by Evan Turk. A 5 star book and gorgeous ode to many of our National Parks. For the youngest readers, this is really a book for anyone that appreciates nature and the beauty of our world. And I'm SO PROUD of myself for "discovering" this book in time to give it as a baby shower gift for my National Park trekking friends.


22) Where the Heart Is by Jo Knowles. A quiet gem that will find readers. A story of family, friendship, and unknown futures. Grades 4-7.




23) Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett. My view on this one might be tainted by love of the PNW and because I listened to it right after spending a month back home in Seattle. This book was great! A nod to Seattle, Bainbridge Island, riding the ferry, classic mystery/detectives, writers, and romance...it has something for everyone. Grades 8-12.


24) We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai. 5 stars! Absolutely. This has so many fiction and nonfiction book-pairing possibilities, as well as classroom/curriculum/current event tie-ins. The audiobook is good, and Malala narrates the introduction. Grades 6-12.


What are you reading this summer?


#yalit #kidlit #newbooks #summerrreading #fiction #nonfiction #teachers #librarians

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

Hard to believe, but we are 20% of the way through #60DaysofSummerReading.


Time flies when you're reading books.


I thought I would pause and list my first 12 Summer Reading Suggestions. Check out Instagram for suggestions each day.


1) The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring-Blake. ALL THE STARS (or hearts) for this one! A must-read for grades 5-8.



2) Handimals by Silvia Lopez and Guido Daniele. Besides being gorgeous to look at, and filled with animal facts, this will likely inspire many wannabe artists to try their hand (no pun intended) at recreating the hand art. Gorgeous! A must for all elementary library collections.

3) Don't Date Rosa Santos by Rita Moreno. A refreshing #yalit rom-com with a strong sense of place and community. Grades 8-11.


4) Liberty Arrives by Robert Byrd. Engaging, informative, and beautifully illustrated. A look at the gift that was the Statue of Liberty. MUST READ. Grades K-5.


5) Saving Fiona by Thane Maynard. I ADORE this true story about baby Fiona, a hippo born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo and the efforts to save her. WITH PICTURES OF THE BABY HIPPO. Grades K-2


6) Rocket to the Moon by Don Brown. This title launches (wink wink) Brown's new graphic novel series: Big Ideas that Changed the World. This is fantastic, done by a master, and you will want multiple copies. For science and history fans alike, and anyone that enjoys the Hazardous Tales series (Hale). Grades 4-8.


7) 25 Fun Things to do For Your Neighbors by Paul Mason. Random acts of kindness meets Sunday Funday in this guide to community service projects. Grades 3-7 (or family projects with slightly younger kids).


8) Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes. This is one of my Top picks of 2019 and the PERFECT summer reading book for grades 4-6. Lety chooses summer camp at an animal shelter in this book filled with friendship, finding your voice, and furry critters needing new homes. Classroom teachers will want to check this out for the read-aloud rotation. Important for all readers, and a window for ELL, immigrant, and bilingual kids.


9) Girls of July by Alex Flinn. Four girls from different walks of life learn to live with each other over the course of one July in the Adirondacks. A great summer vibe! Grades 7-10


10) The Quiet Boat Ride by Sergio Ruzzier. Another in the Fox + Chick series, this is a summer adventure story for the newly minted reader that has graduated from Elephant & Piggie. Grades K-3


11) The Rest of the Summer by Sarah Dessen. A NEW SARAH DESSEN BOOK. Enough said. Grades 8-12 (and adults)


12) Let Er Buck by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Gordon C. James. A picture book biography of rodeo champion George Fletcher combine outstanding writing and illustration to bring Fletcher's spirit and this moment in history to life. One of my few 5 star books this year. Grades 2-5, and secondary teachers doing #classroombookaday.


Happy Reading! What are you reading this summer?

#kidlit #yalit #summerreading #newbooks #mrsyuskofavorite

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Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

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