Atrium School Summer 2016 Reading List
By Susan Jacoby, Librarian
Every spring, I approach the compiling of Atrium's "Summer Reading Suggestions" with the same mixture of joyous excitement and anxious trepidation.
Joyous excitement: Yay, books!!! What's not to love about diving deeply into the waters of children's/YA literature and surfacing with some pearls of literary treasure -- as well as (to extend the metaphor) assorted colorful flotsam and jetsam, because everyone - kids included - needs a "beach read" sometimes.
Anxious trepidation: Will I be able to find at least one something for everyone, from the child who's "read everything in the library," to the child who's read the Lunch Lady series of graphic novels over and over and over again, and "can't find anything else" s/he likes?
Anxious trepidation: Will my selection be representative enough? Inclusive enough? Will it rely not only on my personal tastes, but also on what I know about the particular crowd of kids I am serving this particular year? Will it be the mosaic I want it to be, not only of genres of fiction, non-fiction, reading levels and interests, but also of the beautiful mosaic that makes up our communities of people, both within and just outside of our doors?
Joyous excitement: I come up with the idea this year of formally asking kids to write reviews of books they really like and want to recommend to their peers. The kids come through with more and better book reviews than I ever could have imagined!
Joyous excitement: Now, ideas seem to be coming at me from everywhere at once: Visits to my favorite bookstores: Porter Square Books in Cambridge, The Bookrack in Arlington, Concord Bookshop in Concord; websites like "Indiebound," and "WeNeedDiverseBooks;" Children's Literature publications like Horn Book and School Library Journal; my own bookshelf at home, and even from writer-friends on Facebook!
Anxious Trepidation: Is my list now unwieldy, oversized...and just plain too long to be accessible and useful?
Joyous Excitement: I figure out a way to organize the list - by genre - that I think will make it easier to navigate, as well as a color-coding system (thank you, Michael!) to roughly divvy up the selections as to "age-appropriateness."
Anxious trepidation: Will anyone actually use this thing?!?
Joyous Excitement: YOU can help with this! If you are an adult, please, please share this document with your child(ren), and if you are a kid, tell your friends to check it out! All of my library classes from this past year should be expecting it, and many will be excited to look for their own book reviews on the list.
You can also print the list and take it with you to libraries, to bookstores, or have it beside you when doing on-line shopping for summer ebooks!
Finally, share comments about books on this list that you/your kids read, by adding a comment to this blog. Not only will this give me valuable feedback, but you will also be sharing with the entire Atrium Community, and with anyone who checks out our website. I love and welcome diverse opinions, so long as they are shared with thoughtfulness and respect for the opinions of other readers/reviewers! Feel free also to share about books that aren't on this list, that you think other Atrium students would enjoy!
May this summer's reading bring you many moments of joyous excitement! And in case you missed the link to the full list at the top, here is the link to the official Atrium School Summer 2016 Reading List!!!