CTA President Dean Vogel, Supt. Tom Torlakson
As part of CTA’s California Reads program, CTA members are recommending books for summer reading. You can find more teacher and librarian book recommendations plus lesson plans, activity guides and resources for the books listed here at cta.org/californiareads.
Pre-K – Grade 2: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown is dumbfounded when his cows discover an old typewriter in the barn and begin airing their grievances: “Dear Farmer Brown, The barn is very cold at night. We’d like some electric blankets. Sincerely, The Cows.” With help from a neutral duck mediator, the exasperated Farmer Brown finally makes concessions. But much to his dismay, the cows are not the only creatures that can type. Kids and underdogs everywhere will cheer for the clever critters that calmly and politely stand up for their rights.
Grades 3–5: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the mall and video arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home — and his own art — through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
Grades 6–8: Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Ally, Bree and Jack meet in a campground run by Ally’s parents. They are about to witness an eclipse of the sun and embark on separate journeys that lead them to friendship despite the odds. Told from three distinct voices and perspectives, this powerful yet humorous novel weaves an intricate and compelling story about strangers coming together, unlikely friendships, and finding one’s place in the universe.
Grades 9–12: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set amid the unsettling political background of 1939 Germany is the heartbreaking account of Liesel Meminger. The narrator of her story is Death, who encounters Liesel on three separate occasions — first, when he comes to claim a family member; second, when he comes to claim souls after a bomb is dropped on her town; and finally, when he visits Liesel as an older woman. Death finds the book Liesel was writing during the bomb raid and uses it to tell us her story. Now a major motion picture.
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