Ed Tech, Edu Apps, Language Arts, Reading and Literacy, Summer

Summer Reading

Summer Reading

Originally published in TEACH Magazine, July/August 2020 Issue

It’s no secret that students can experience a loss of reading proficiency over summer holidays. Keeping them engaged in learning can be a challenge when school isn’t in session, but there are plenty of apps and websites that promote reading by making it a fun, interactive, and collaborative experience. Here are a few such resources to help keep students’ reading skills sharp during the break.

(Free – Website, iOS, Android)

Goodreads is the largest book tracking and recommendation website, allowing readers from across the globe to find and share the books they love. By joining the Goodreads community, high school students can keep track of books they’re reading, want to read, and have read. They can also connect with their friends, leave reviews, receive personalized book recommendations, and even participate in challenges. The site also regularly posts recommended reading lists, which can be found in the News & Interviews section. Previous lists have included: “The Big Books of the Summer,” “Favourite Authors Recommend Summer Reads,” and “Goodreads’ Top Reviewers Pick the ‘It’ Book of Summer.”

This resource was created by the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) Foundation to make the best in children’s literature from around the world available online for free. By providing kids ages 3–13 access to books from their native countries and first languages, this library gives them the opportunity to learn about their family heritage and culture. The goal of the Foundation is to collect books from every culture and language, so children can learn and appreciate literature from the global community. Currently the ICDL offers books from over 60 countries in 50+ languages.


Scholastic Home Base
(Free – Website, iOS, Android)

Developed for Scholastic’s Summer Read-a-Palooza, this online destination is a place where reading for fun is celebrated. Kids ages 8–12 can read books, play games, attend live events, and even interact with Scholastic characters. Scholastic has also partnered with United Way Worldwide to donate 100,000 books to children across the United States who don’t have sufficient access to any during the summer. Kids are also able to help contribute: for every two days in a row they keep track of their reading streak, Scholastic will donate one book. Kids can even print a report of their reading progress at the end of the summer and celebrate their achievements with a certificate.

Start with a Book
(Free – Website)

Start with a Book is a summer reading program for K–3 kids developed by Reading Rockets. Parents, librarians, and summer staff can explore 24 different kid-friendly topics—such as bugs, birds, and animals; detectives and explorers; or folktales, fairy tales, and myths. Each topic links to a curated list of books, as well as specific activities, writing prompts, and educational apps/websites. Kids can also participate in two hands-on science adventure programs: Space Rangers and River Rangers. Each adventure program includes five days of lesson materials, an adventure log sheet, and printable certificates to celebrate the child’s participation in the program.