eSchool News: Great Summer Reading for High Schoolers

Whether compiling a school booklist or addressing a parent’s request, teachers can be challenged to come up with numerous summer reading suggestions. eSchool News has suggested 10 books for high school students’ summer reading based on works “that not only provide educational value through themes such as self-discovery, culture, social mores, feminism, and political activism, but also . . .inspire students to keep reading.”

Compiled with the aid of school library lists and literary awards, here are the choices in alphabetical order:

1.  Bluefish by Pat Schmatz (2012 Notable Children’s Book)

2.  The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; National Book Award for Fiction)

3.  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick (1968 Nebula Award nominee; 1998 Locus Poll Award for All-Time Best SF Novel before 1990; inspired film Blade Runner)

4.  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Winner of 1986 Hugo Award and 1985 Nebula Award)

5.  From the Barrio to the Board Room, or Mi Barrio by Robert Renteria (Endorsed by leaders since release; used in schools, universities, juvenile justice centers, battered women’s shelters, foster homes, etc.)

6.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Translated into 26 languages; production rights sold in 38 countries; positive major reviews; now major motion picture)

7.  House Rules by Jodi Picoult (2012 Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Award nominee; German Reader’s Choice award “Leserpreis 2011” for Audiobook)

8.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, accompanied by Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (First book inspired adaptations and scholarly study; latter: WH Smith Literary Award winner in 1967;  among Time’s 100 best English-language novels since 1923; #94 on Modern Library’s list of 100 Best Novels; 1966 winner of Cheltenham Booker Prize)

9.  Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory (Author’s works have won or been nominated for many awards such as 2009 Crawford Award, World Fantasy and Philip K. Dick Awards; book received positive critics’ reviews)

10.  Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Among Time’s 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005; translated into 50+ languages)

What other books are on your must-read summer list?

Literature Resources from PBS LearningMedia

Toni Morrison Interview Screenshot

Currently on the home page of PBS Learning Media, you’ll find a panoramic picture well of resources for literature ranging from Toni Morrison to children’s literature.  Many of these resources also include related content:

Eeyore’s Books for Children (4-7):  Understand how working in a bookstore helped Brian Selznick learn about children’s literature and launch his career as a children’s book illustrator.

Toni Morrison on Paradise (6-13+):  Discover how Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison creates a sense of place in her novels and examine her typical writing rituals and processes.

The Recreation of the Globe Theater (6-13+):  Learn about the re-creation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London and consider how architecture can affect the craft of performance.

Literary Elements (9-12)  What is a literary element? Find the answer in this video segment that highlights the personal and artistic life of Walt Whitman.

Great Expectations 3:  Happily Ever After? (9-13+)  This video excerpt is the moving, final scene from the 2012 MASTERPIECE adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel when Pip, returned to his humble origins, hears that Estella, now a widow, has returned to Satis House.

Anita Silvey (K-12)   Discover that young adult literature of today differs from the adult literature from the past 20 years, with teenagers preferring paranormal fiction to realistic fiction.

Poems and Poets for All Times

Referenced in a recent post about GIFs (one of the web’s oldest image formats now widely used for its innovative potential),  PBS Arts is the core of an online strategy for strengthening arts awareness, appreciation and education in America.  To spark a resurgence of the visual, cultural and performing arts, this PBS Arts Online concept brings audiences directly into the creative process, fosters individual artistic expression and promotes experimentation.

You can browse a broad and diverse range of  genres such as dance, theater and film, and with April being poetry month, you might especially want to explore writing, where you’ll find these videos and more:

Five Good Answers from a Shakespeare Scholar, Dr. Gail Kern Paster, director of the Shakespeare Folger Library and renowned Shakespeare scholar who collaborated with PBS Teachers to help educators bring Shakespeare into the classroom.

Patrick Stewart:  What We Learn from the Bard , an interview of Emmy- and Grammy-nominated actor of “Star Trek” and “X-Men” fame, who explains what young people can learn from Shakespeare and why Shakespeare remains relevant.

“Mother’s Day” by Daisy Zamora, one of Nicaragua’s most distinguished poets, who eloquently expresses the dilemma of being a mother today, especially one who makes unconventional choices

“One Boy Told Me” by Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye, who uses her unique perspective as his mother to transform a boy’s everyday chatter into a work of art that perfectly captures the magical thinking of children.

This Week’s PBS Kids Summer Reading Theme: “Cool Cat Week”

Cool Cat Week

This week’s PBS Kids Summer Reading theme is “Cool Cat Week.”

Filled with both adventure and silliness, The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That!, based on the acclaimed The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library book series, will appeal to preschoolers’ natural curiosity, and engage them in the process of scientific exploration and discovery.

Four episodes featuring the Cat and company in cold places will air this week (with an encore presentation on Friday).  Episodes include:

  • “Flower Power”/“Snowman’s Land” – Monday, July 25, 2011
  • “Flight of the Penguin”/“Let’s Go Fly a Kite” – Tuesday, July 26, 2011
  • “A Long Winter’s Nap”/“The Tree Doctor” – Wednesday, July 27, 2011
  • “Reindeer Games”/“Along Came a Spider” – Thursday, July 28, 2011
  • * ENCORE PRESENTATION: “Flower Power”/“Snowman’s Land” – Friday, July 29, 2011

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That airs at 8:30am and 2:30pm on WGBY.  For more cool cat adventures, visit The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That website


This Week’s PBS Kids Summer Reading Theme: “Wet Kratts Week”

Kratts week

This week’s PBS Kids Summer Reading Theme is “Wet Kratts Week.”  Creature teachers Chris and Martin Kratt take 6- to 8-year olds and their families along on extraordinary animal-powered adventures in Wild Kratts.  Animals can take you anywhere in science!  The Kratt Brothers explore water creatures in five episodes starting Monday which include:

  • “Walk on the Wetside” – Monday, July 18, 2011
  • “Build It Beaver” – Tuesday, July 19, 2011
  • “Whale of a Squid” – Wednesday, July 20, 2011
  • “Platypus Café” – Thursday, July 21, 2011
  • “Bass Class” – Friday, July 22, 2011

Wild Kratts airs at 5:00pm on WGBY.  For more summer fun, visit the Wild Kratts website.

This Week’s PBS Kids Summer Reading Theme: “WordGirl’s Ludicrously Literate Library Week”

Word Girl Week

This week’s PBS Kids Summer Reading Theme is “WordGirl’s Ludicrously Literate Library Week.”

WordGirl is a PBS KIDS GO! series that chronicles the adventures of Becky Botsford, a mild-mannered fifth grader who, at the call of duty, transforms into WordGirl – caped crusader and definition dynamo.  Five episodes with a book theme will air this week that include:

  • “Princess Triana and the Ogre of Castlebum” – Monday, July 11, 2011
  • “The Stew, the Proud…” – Tuesday, July 12, 2011
  • “Book Ends” – Wednesday, July 13, 2011
  • “Granny’s Book Club – Thursday, July 14, 2011
  • “That’s Entertainment” – Friday, July 15, 2011

WordGirl airs at 4:30pm on WGBY.  For more summer fun, visit the WordGirl website.

This Week’s PBS Kids Summer Reading Theme: “What’s the Story? Week”

Electric Company Week

This weeks PBS Kids Summer Reading Theme is “What’s the Story?” Week. 

Like many of us here at WGBY, lots of you out there grew up with the old-school Electric Company.  Well, in 2009, a new version of The Electric Company premiered as a multi-media literacy powerhouse charged with reducing the literacy gap between low and middle income families and advancing the idea that ‘reading is cool.’   Here are the episodes scheduled to air this week:

  • “Wicked Itch” – Tuesday, July 5, 2011
  • “Unmuffins” – Wednesday, July 6, 2011
  • “One Smart Cookie” – Thursday, July 7, 2011
  • “One Bad Apple” – Friday, July 8, 2011

The Electric Company airs at 5:30pm on WGBY.  For more fun activities and games to promote summer literacy, visit The Electric Company website.

WGBY’s Super Readers Summer Photo Share Project Launches Today!

Curious George ReadingWGBY wants to see your Super Readers!  We’re collecting your best photos of kids reading in cool places, in fun ways, or to their favorite people.  Submissions will be randomly selected throughout the summer to receive a “Super Readers Family Fun Package” which will include books, activities, stickers, and some other special surprises.  The best photos will be shared on WGBY to help spread the word about reading, so we hope you’ll be creative!  The Super Readers Photo Share project is a part of a summer long campaign focused on inspiring children’s interest in reading.

Update: The WGBY Super Readers program has concluded.

This Week’s PBS Kids Summer Reading Theme: Martha’s Fun Summer Week

Martha Speaks Week

This week’s theme for PBS Kids Summer Reading is “Martha Fun Summer Week.”

Based on the best-selling children’s book series by Susan Meddaugh, the Martha Speaks animated TV series follows the adventures of Martha, a loveable dog whose appetite for alphabet soup gives her the ability to speak.  Here are this week’s episodes:

  • “Martha’s Slumber Party of the Weird”/“Return to Martha’s Slumber Party of the Weird” – Monday, June 27, 2011
  • “Martha Puts Out the Lights, Parts 1 & 2” – Tuesday, June 28, 2011
  • “Escape from Flea Island”/“No Dogs Allowed” – Wednesday, June 29, 2011
  • “Martha in the Hold”/“Get Along, Little Dogies!” – Thursday, June 30, 2011
  • “The Long Rotten Summer”/“The Case of the Shattered Vase” – Friday, July 1, 2011

Martha Speaks airs at 7:30am and 3:30pm on WGBY.  For more fun things to try this summer, visit the Martha Speaks website.

WGBY and PBS Kids Celebrate Summer Reading Through Theme Weeks

This summer, WGBY and PBS KIDS will celebrate reading through the following on-air theme weeks:

  • Super Why! – “Family Story Week” – starting June 20
  • Martha Speaks – “Martha Summer Fun Week” – starting June 27
  • The Electric Company – “What’s the Story? Week” – starting July 4
  • Wordgirl – “WordGirl’s Ludicrously Literate Library Week” – starting July 11
  • Wild Kratts  – “Wet Kratts Week” – starting July 18
  • The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! – “Cool Cat Week” – starting July 25

Kids can tune in, watch episodes of their favorite shows, and visit program websites for fun things to try this summer.  Each week, we’ll update you with information about the latest theme week.  Here’s the information for this week featuring Super Why!:

With a breakthrough interactive approach to reading education, classic fairytales with an innovative preschool twist and colorful and empowering young heroes, SUPER WHY is the only preschool property created to help kids learn the fundamentals of reading through interactive storybook adventures.  This week’s episodes include:

  • “Super WHY and The City Mouse and the Country Mouse” – Tuesday, June 21, 2011
  • “Super WHY and The Prince and the Pauper” – Wednesday, June 22, 2011
  • “Super WHY and The Cookbook” – Thursday, June 23, 2011
  • “Super WHY and Tom Thumb” – Friday, June 24, 2011

Super Why airs at 9:00am and 12:00pm on WGBY.  For more fun activities, visit the Super Why! website.