Those three words send chills down the spines of middle school and high school students all over the country. Every student relishes the first day of summer – no homework, no projects, no studying for tests. Unfortunately, too many schools and teachers sabotage the joy of reading by assigning required books to be read and reports and projects to be completed on these books during the days of summer.
As a person who can’t wait for Tuesday to roll around so my teaching responsibilities will be behind me giving me time to read, I hate the idea of required summer reading. I’m all for teachers providing suggested reading lists for students. Those who want to read but need help finding titles of books that may enjoy will appreciate these lists and students who already love to read may refer to the list but will probably have developed their own reading plans for the summer now that they have more free time. Of course, there are others who will not read, but that’s preferable to resenting reading and books because they associate books with assignments, projects, reports, and school work.
Personally, my summer reading list grows every day. I’ve downloaded a dozen or more non-fiction books on my Kindle and I visited the library on Thursday and picked up the three books on my list. I’ve decided to concentrate on Florida books this summer. Among the titles on my list (in no particular order):
Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White (actually South Georgia)
Team Rodent by Carl Hiaasen (non-fiction)
Florida Forever and Allapattah by Patrick Smith
Totch A Life in the Everglades by Loren G. “Totch Brown (memoir)
Ocali Country by Eloise Robinson Ott and Louis Hickman Chazal
Condominium by John D. MacDonald
Barefoot Mailman by Theodore Pratt (time to reread this one)
Tourist Season by Carl Hiassen
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
No book reports. No projects. No deadlines. No requirement to finish a book I’m not enjoying. Now that’s what I call summer reading!