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Fight the “Summer Slide”

August 9, 2013

August is here and once again we want to stave off parents’ anxieties about that “summer slide.”

If you were to walk into the children’s room of the Bank Street College Library today, you’d see an array of graphic novels on display that range from an exceptionally moving memoir of a childhood spent studying at the American School of Ballet under George Balanchine, To Dance by Siena Charson Siegel, illustrated by her husband, Mark Siegel. You’d also see Little White Duck, a memoir of growing up in Maoist China by Na Liu and Andrés Vera Martínez, illus. by Andrés Vera Martínez.

To Dance

And you’d find more classic comics such as George O’Connor’s action-packed, gloriously illustrated Olympians series (my special favorites so far of the planned 12: Poseidon and Hera); plus a middle school Drama–literally–written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier about theatrical antics on and off the stage.


As with her graphic novels display, children’s librarian Allie Jane Bruce’s terrific summer reading lists include fiction and information books as well as poetry. The lists are divided into lower school (K-3rd grade), middle grades (4th-6th grade) and upper school (7th-8th grades). At the top of each list, she also offers tips to parents on how to present summer reading as fun, rather than a chore.

And here’s the summer reading list I put together in May, just in case you missed it. Please don’t miss Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein–my favorite summer read since my May list came out. Part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (a wealthy gentleman searches for a young successor) and part Mysterious Benedict Society (testing wit and intelligence through unusual means), it’s a great read-aloud for the entire family.

Escape from Mr Lemoncellos Library

Not quite enough books? Have a look at Allie Bruce’s “Back-to-School” Pinterest selection.

Happy reading!

–Jennifer M. Brown, director of the Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street College of Education

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