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

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

June means the end of the school year and the start to SUMMER READING! Check out the June edition of my newsletter for all things to help you wrap up the school year and get Summer Reading Ready... plus a few ideas to get you ready for the fall. There's even a fun literature quiz to test your useless trivia knowledge :)


Bonus: a link to a mini documentary on Jason Reynolds!


Scroll down or click here to read it.



#newsletter #summerreading #classroom #curriculumconnection #teachers #librarians #fridayfive #classroombookaday



Looking to #buildyourstack or #readtherainbow this month? Here’s my Top 12 picks to help you do both! All of these are #mustreads for teens, tweens, and the libraries that serve them! (I tried to narrow it down to 10, but let’s be real, it was just too hard).



Top row:

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang


Middle Row:

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Drag Teen by Jeffrey Self

Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzlet

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee


Bottom Row:

Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Stonewall by Ann Bausum

Do you have any favorites on this list?




#yalit #nonfiction #memoir #teachers #bookstack #librarians #summerreading #mrsyuskotop10 #whattoreadwednesday #pridemonth #top10tuesday

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

We are about 1/3 of the way through SYNC's Summer of Audiobooks. This is year #10 of the service that provides FREE AUDIOBOOKS (to keep...forever!) all summer long.


If you are not familiar with SYNC, visit their website immediately for all the details and then bookmark it so that you are in the loop for next year! SYNC provides two complete audiobook downloads a week - a pairing of high interest titles, based on weekly themes. Sign up for email or text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available. If you work with students this summer, or have teens of your own, you can download posters, calendars, and promotional materials to help you keep track ...all ready to go!


Since our school year officially ended, summer travel has been booked, and audiobooks make GREAT traveling companions, I thought that I would highlight my 5 favorite books remaining for download from SYNC. And trust me, it was tough to narrow down. #booknerdproblems


See the calendar below for the remaining dates and titles. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!



Books mentioned in the video:

Wild Bird by Van Draanen

Heretics Anonymous by Henry

Name of the Star by Johnson

Vincent and Theo by Heiligman

Becoming Kareem by Abdul-Jabbar



#fridayfive #audiobooks #top10 #mrsyuskoreads #yalit #nonfiction #biography #memoir #newbooks #summerreading


My seniors graduated over the weekend, and my last middle school class was YESTERDAY! Hooray, I officially survived my 20th year in education! I hope that you are rounding the bend to the end of your school year too. Regardless, CONGRATULATIONS are in order... you survived the madness that is May.


The beginning of June marks my favorite season: SUMMER READING! School year reading is in the books (no pun intended). Summer reading means sunshine (or rain, if you're from the Pacific Northwest like me), free choice, road trip audiobooks, vacation reads, or staying up all night with a good book.


Every day this summer, I'll be posting my favorite new books on social media. There may even be a #FridayFive video or two... stay tuned! Follow @MrsYuskoLibrary on Instagram or Twitter, or like Mrs. Yusko's Library on Facebook for my daily recommendations.


If you'd like some good suggestions for the readers in your life to get started NOW, check out the "Summer Reading" lists below! Every year for the last 16+ I have created these Summer Reading Book Lists of suggestions for ALL ages, (Preschool through High School), and 2019 is no exception.


Happy Summer and Happy Reading!

My Summer Reading Suggestions for all! PreK/K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th, 6th-8th, and High School. I've ** my Top 10+ titles directly on the lists for elementary grades. I've created separate Top 10+ lists for each grade 6th-12th, as well as a Top 10 Elementary.












Share with anyone you know that needs a good read this summer...family and friends...coworkers...parents of students in your class…print it out and attach it to the fridge...put holds on all the books you want to read all summer...use it however you see fit! (Adults: there are some GREAT titles on the High School list).

The lists are divided by grade level, from PreK/Kindergarten through high school. Students of all ages, reading levels, and interests will find something good to read, I promise! Many students will find LOTS to read. The lists are designed for students "graduating" from the grade levels listed, but some students will also find titles of interest on the lists above and below their grade level. You know your student best so make sure to take a look at several of the lists.

And in case you're worried that you'll run out of books to read, never fear! I have many GREAT books to share with you all summer long. Follow me on Facebook @Mrs. Yusko's Library or on Instagram @MrsYuskoLibrary.

#summerreading #bestnewbooks #yalit #kidlit #booksuggestions #amreading #newbooks

Stories and smiles and books, oh my!


Our last #FeednRead of the school year was a success and a chance for many students to get SUMMER READING READY!


As always, it takes a village and we could not do it without our great volunteers: teachers, principals, teens, families, community members, and more. Even one of my dear friends in town on vacation joined in the fun. We appreciate our local businesses Daylight Mind Coffee and Kiawe Smokehouse for the FOOD, and to Ulu Wini for letting us be a part of your community.


Check out the pictures of just a few of the kids building their book stacks. Thanks to all the books I was able to purchase from Scholastic Book Clubs (HOORAY $1 deals!), it was a chance for us to let the kids stock up for summer reading.









#bookaccessforall #communityoutreach #literacy #storytime #kidlit #ifyoubuildittheywillcome #projectlitkona #whyiteach #teachers #librarians #bookaccess #kidsneedbooks #outreach #volunteers #summerreading


It's the madness that is May: you survived testing season only to be rewarded with too many things to do before summer vacation and not enough days left in the school year. I feel your pain! (For those of you that get out of school in June, please just procrastinate reading this post until then).


Are you looking to get your kids excited about READING this summer? Don't have time to read all the books yourself? Looking for a way to promote good books to your students in a limited amount of time? I've got you COVERED!


Every year I create Summer Reading Booktalk videos for some of my teacher friends. This year I thought, why not make these available to anyone that's interested? So, over the weekend I recorded four videos, highlighting good books for various grade levels that your students will want to read this summer! If you already have a subscription to MrsYuskoReads, you can access all of them for FREE immediately. Click here, choose "subscriber webinars," and login with your email. They can be found under "Subscriber Booktalks." ENJOY!


Videos range in length from 16:00-35:00 minutes (depending on grade level) and can be shown in class or uploaded to your Google classroom. They are designed for students "graduating" from the grade levels listed below, but depending on your readers they might find books of interest in the one above or below. You know your audience best. You can choose from:

2nd-4th Grades

5th- 7th Grades

8th - 9th Grades

High School


Not a subscriber? You can join now and get immediate access to all of these videos, plus past webinars on best new books.

OR... I've made the 2nd-4th Grade one available for free to everyone...click here (you'll find it under "Booktalks") or scroll down.


OR...You can purchase individual videos on my TPT site. I've also bundled all four together, but feel free to contact me for a special bundle price if you only want two of them. Stay tuned for "Are You Summer Reading Ready, Part 2" later this week where I'll post my FREE Summer Reading Suggestions Book Lists for all ages, PreK- ADULTS! Can't wait? Click here and see last year's lists. Print, post, share WIDELY!


Happy reading! See you soon with more to help you get Summer Reading READY.

#summerreading #bestbooks #newbooks #mrsyuskoreads #booktalks #teachers #librarians #elementary #middleschool #highschool #yalit #kidlit

Check out the latest edition of the newsletter to get you in the mood for SUMMER and Summer Reading! New books with a summer vibe, how to get FREE audiobooks all summer long, and how I'm using Jason Reynolds' commencement speech at Lesley University. There's also a link to a SNEAK PEEK of Book #3 in Neal Shusterman's "Arc of a Scythe" trilogy. You'll also find all the usual suspects: fiction/nonfiction pairings, articles of interest, curriculum connections, and a good book to use for #classroombookaday.

Check out the May edition of Mrs. Yusko Reads!

Happy Reading!


#mrsyuskoreads #newsletter #newbooks #booklist #curriculumconnections #yalit #kidlit #summerreading #nonfiction

Updated: May 30, 2019

Hooray, the end of the school year is near! Congratulations parents and teachers...you survived the madness that is May. The beginning of June marks my favorite season: SUMMER READING!

School year reading is in the books (no pun intended). No more essays to write/grade, or reading logs to track, or AP Lit tests to prepare for.


And as much as I enjoy spending time reading aloud to my students, or helping other teachers pick the perfect read aloud for their classroom, for me, there is nothing better than SUMMER READING!


Summer reading means sunshine (or rain, if you're from the Pacific Northwest like me), free choice, road trip audiobooks, vacation reads, or staying up all night with a good book.


Every day this summer, I'll be posting my favorite new books on social media. Follow @MrsYuskoLibrary on Instagram or Twitter, or like Mrs. Yusko's Library on Facebook for my daily recommendations. If you'd like some good suggestions for the readers in your life to get started NOW, check out the "Summer Reading" below!


Happy Summer and Happy Reading!

Every summer for the last 15+ years, I've created suggestions for Summer Reading for ALL ages, (Preschool through High School), and 2018 is no exception. Here are my Summer Reading Suggestions for all! PreK/K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th, 6th-8th, and High School. I've ** my Top 10+ titles directly on the lists for elementary grades. I've created separate Top 10+ lists for each grade 6th-12th, as well as a Top 10 Elementary.











Share with anyone you know that needs a good read this summer...family and friends...coworkers...parents of students in your class…print it out and attach it to the fridge...put holds on all the books you want to read all summer...use it however you see fit! (Adults: there are some GREAT titles on the High School list).

The lists are divided by grade level, from PreK/Kindergarten through high school. Students of all ages, reading levels, and interests will find something good to read, I promise! Many students will find LOTS to read. The lists are designed for students "graduating" from the grade levels listed, but some students will also find titles of interest on the lists above and below their grade level. You know your student best so make sure to take a look at several of the lists.

And in case you're worried that you'll run out of books to read, never fear! I have many GREAT books to share with you all summer long. Follow me on Facebook @Mrs. Yusko's Library or on Instagram @MrsYuskoLibrary.

#summerreading #bestnewbooks #yalit #kidlit #booksuggestions #amreading #newbooks

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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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