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    YCIS Beijing’s Hand-Picked Summer Reading List for Primary School Students


    30 Jun, 2017

    10 : 00

    • School’s out for the summer! Pull your kids off their computers, iPads, and Nintendo Switches for some summer reading with this selection of excellent stories and short novels. We’ve compiled the top book picks from teachers across the Yew Chung International School of Beijing Primary School to ensure children from every year level have something inspirational to read this summer!

      Without further ado, check out our superb summer reading list below!

      Ages 5 to 7

      The Most Magnificent Thing – Ashley Spires

      Year 1 team leader Mr Poole recommends this book for the youngest primary school students. In addition to sharing the story of a girl and her best friend who set out to create the most magnificent thing, young learners are taught a variety of lessons, from how to persevere in the face of adversity, to how to deal with frustration, to the idea of delayed gratification, and much more.

      Today I Will Fly – Mo Willems

      A delightful tale about a pig who wants to learn to fly, Year 2 team leader Ms Banerjee recommends this book as both a comical and educational read for young learners thanks to its comical plot and plenty of new vocabulary, especially sound and sight words.

      Looking for even more ways to use this book to enhance your children’s learning? Ms Banerjee has all kinds of suggestions, such as:

      • Write a book about Pigge and Elephant on a new adventure (trying something new). 
      • Reenact the story, video tape your presentation, and show it off to friends and family. 
      • Have conversations with your child about limitations they may have, e.g. not being able to go in the deep end of the pool. It’s a great opportunity to review the idiom: “When pigs fly!” 
      • Make a list of things that are so crazy they’ll never happen. Discuss possible consequences if child were to exert themselves beyond their limitation.

      Dragonbreath – Ursula Vernon

      An exciting book for Year 3 students to enjoy over the summer holidays, Year 3 Learning Community teacher Mr Cole recommends this book about a student, Danny, who happens to be a dragon at a school for reptiles and amphibians. Overcoming bad grades and classmate bullying (such as a Komodo stealing his lunch), Danny ends up going on an adventure with his sea-serpent cousin to complete an amazing research project for his teacher.

      The first book in a series of stories for primary school readers, Dragonbreath #1 teaches students how to overcome problems and gives plenty of educational information about marine life, all through a delightful combination of prose and comic book-style writing.

      Ages 8 to 10

      Ottoline and the Yellow Cat – Chris Riddell

      Year 4 team leader Mr Honey selects this book for Year 4 readers thanks to its funny and strange character that encourages children to think about the world in a slightly different way. The incredibly imaginative story features a young girl named Ottoline Brown who is called upon to solve mysteries revolving around large-scale robberies and missing dogs. With the help of her friend Mr Munroe and her penchant for disguise, she sets about trying to find out who is responsible for the strange goings-on in the city.

      The unique story and beautiful and imaginative illustrations are both greatly inspire students to be more creative with their own ideas. The story stimulates children’s imaginations, demonstrating that there really is no limit to what one can write as long as it’s fun, interesting, and exciting!

      His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

      This well-known trilogy of young adult fiction, recommended by Year 5 team leader Ms Wade, follows Lyra and Will as they move between parallel universes on a dangerous rescue mission from Oxford to the ice kingdoms of the Far North, all while learning about "Dust", a mysterious substance for which war between different worlds will be fought.

      This trilogy’s extensive list of awards and prizes speaks for itself, but it offers a beautiful, vibrant world with deep characters, even bringing in history, physics, and other themes in a masterful manner. Also, it includes witches and armoured polar bears; what’s not to like?

      Beyond the wonderful story, these books impart lessons anyone can learn from, as the heroes learn to overcome their fears, learn to trust others and themselves, become braver throughout the trilogy. 

      There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom – Louis Sachar

      For our oldest students getting ready to progress to middle school, Year 6 team leader Ms. Tinubu recommends this relatable and educational story of Bradley Chalker, the oldest kid in the 5th Grade. He’s a classic bully, constantly picking fights with girls, lying, and even (as the title suggests) going into the girl’s bathroom. However, thanks to Carla, the school counselor, and Jeff, the new kid in class, Bradley is able to embark on a tough journey of self-development and improvement.

      For the older primary school reader, this book tackles a plethora of issues that they themselves face today. There are some hilarious moments that make you laugh out loud. It’s also written in such a thought provoking way that it is hard not to empathise with the characters. This is a great book to read with your child as, once finished, there are a wide variety of complex themes worth discussing, such as Bradley’s motivations and how his history in school and family circumstances affected them.

      We hope you enjoyed this excellent list of story recommendations to help keep your children learning this summer!