‘Tis the Season for Summer Readin’


Summer is one of Kellie and my favorite times of the year. Students and staff members ask us for reading recommendations for the upcoming break. Whether you’re looking for a reading contest or some recommended summer reads, we have ideas that can be used for a variety of readers and/or age groups. 

Reading Contests

Antioch and Lakes ILCSponsored by the Illinois School Library Media Association, the 2017 Abe Lincoln Book Award is designed to encourage high school students to read for pleasure and to become lifelong readers. The list of 20 books includes adult and young adult fiction and nonfiction titles. Both schools challenge their students to read all 20 books to enter our respective Reader Hall of Fame programs. Students are up for the challenge. Are you?

Antioch Public Library – They are offering a “Get in the game, Read” summer reading program where participants read six books or for 600 minutes. The program starts May 31 and ends July 31. Prizes will be awarded for registering and completing the reading program. There will also be gift basket drawings and a pool party on July 29.

Lake Villa District Library – Teens in grades 7–12 are invited to participate in the Lake Villa District Library’s reading challenge starting June 6. The challenge is inspired by the summer Olympics. Students can complete “events” to earn a gold, silver, or bronze medal. The entire community also is invited to participate in the library’s One Book, One Community program by reading Daniel Brown’s The Boys in the Boat.

Reading Lists

GoodReads2015 Goodreads Choice Awards – This is one of our favorite reading lists, as the winners in 20 categories were chosen by the readers! This site also has a “Best of” Lists link (left-hand side) that includes recommendations from the New York Times, Amazon,  and many more!

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books – This is a leading children’s book review journal for school and public librarians located at the University of Illinois. Every year, they publish a free 2015 Guide Book to Gift Books. This annual publication highlights more than 300 of the best books and is organized by age group: Picture Books, Books for Young Readers (Grades 1-3; 6-8 years), Books for Middle Readers (Grades 4-6; 9-11 years) and Books for Older Readers (Grades 7-12; 12-18 years).

MU Libraries – University of Missouri – The professors at the University of Missouri celebrated its 175th anniversary by compiling a list of the 175 most influential books. Their choices are broken down by autobiographies/biographies, fiction, nonfiction, philosophy/spirituality, plays and poetry, science and social sciences. As you can see, it’s pretty impressive.

POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge – Looking to broaden the scope of your reading in 2016? Whether you want to transport yourself to a distant country or learn something new about a time period, this challenge will make you grow both as a reader and as a person. This challenge is particularly great because POPSUGAR isn’t providing you with specific books, just different kinds of books you can try to read. 

We don’t know where you will be this summer, but wherever you are, Kellie and I are confident that you will find a reading contest or a list of book recommendations that will keep you reading all summer long!


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