NIS Stories

Summer is for Reading! - Part 1

Dog Man books by Dav Pilkey line the shelf of a library.Whether you are packing your bags for a trip or staying close to home, summer is for reading! Every June, when summer vacation rolls around, so do the lists of recommendations for what to read over the long vacation period. This year the NIS Primary students got in on the fun of recommending some of their favorite books that they’ve been reading throughout the year. Let’s check out what they recommended!

ELC - Our youngest readers (and listeners!) really enjoy what they call the Piggie and Gerald books. Elephant and Piggie book coverThe official name of the series is Elephant and Piggie, written for early readers by Mo Williams. Their second recommendation is another series called The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale.

Grade 1/2 Pod - This group of emergent (and enthusiastic!) readers weighed in with their favorites and gave us three great series to check out! One of their top picks is The Fly Guy series by Ted and Todd Arnold. Narwhal and Jelly book coverThey also recommend Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton and the Mia Mayhem series by Kara West. With three fun series to dive into, surely your students will have a busy summer of fun reading!

Grade 3/4 Pod - These often precocious but fun-loving students were busy making their way through the very popular Dog Man and Cat Kid Comic Club graphic novels. Both are by Dav Pilkey (of Captain Underpants fame!) and have all the appeal that Captain Underpants created in this age group of readers. Another class favorite was the Dory Fantasmagory series, written by Abby Hanlon, about a little girl with a big imagination that sometimes gets her in trouble! Probably something most kids in this age range can relate to! 
Grade 5 - The Grade 5 students were eager to recommend the Explorer Academy series, written by Trudi Trueit with some side collaborations with National Geographic Kids. In this series, Cruz Coronado finds endless adventures with his friends after joining an Academy of scientists to become one of the generation of next great explorers.Last Last-Day-of-Summer book cover As one of the Legendary Alston Boys Adventure series, The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, written by Lamar Giles, was also a top pick!

With all these great selections - and multiple books in a series - your Primary students should be pretty busy keeping up with their reading over the long, hot days of summer. But if they are still looking for more adventure, stories, and beautifully illustrated books to capture their imaginations this summer, Ms. Conolly, our library and Gr. 3/4 Pod teaching assistant, put together an extensive list of great reads for you to inquire about and be inspired by. Just click HERE to be taken to a wonderfully fun, interactive list of books ranging from picture books to novels and even graphic novels for students of all ages. Click on each book cover for details.
Many of these are candidates for the Sakura Medal readers' choice awards. The Sakura Medal is an annual literacy program that nominates picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels for international school students across Japan to vote on and choose their favorites. Himawari House book cover.According to the website, the mission of the Sakura Medal awards is to “create a community of lifelong readers in international schools in Japan.” Librarians all over Japan who nominate books aim to highlight new and diverse authors and themes. This is a great place to start exploring your new favorite books! NIS librarians Mr. Mayer and Ms. Conolly both nominated books for next year's list in the categories of picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books. In addition, although NIS doesn't yet run the Sakura Medal program at the high school level, we nominated the Young Adult (YA) graphic novel Himawari House by Harmony Becker in the national high school category. This remarkable story about a young adult returnee who comes to Tokyo on a gap year and makes friends with roommates from Japan and all over the world is likely to ring true with our very international high school students. This exciting graphic novel is written in English but also features many of our other school languages, as the characters come from diverse language backgrounds.
So set your student up for a fun-filled summer of reading that will take them to new worlds and on fascinating adventures wherever their summer vacation finds them. Whether it is on a long plane, train, or car ride, or maybe even closer to home in their own bedroom, let the summer reading begin!


A boy reading a book with a teacher

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