When the days get longer and the sun shines warmer, you know that the summer vacations are round the corner. And as you gear up for those endless summer days, may we give you suggestions on a fantastic reading list to explore for your young reader!
We have picked eight of the best reads of 2020 that have won worldwide acclaim for their distinguished contribution to children’s literature. What’s more, we have sorted them by grade for easy reference.
1. The Book Hog
Geisel Award winner, The Book Hog introduces us to a book-loving hog. He loves books – the way they look, the way they feel, the way they smell-and he’ll grab whatever he can find. There’s only one problem: he can’t read! But when a kind librarian invites him to join for story time, this literature-loving pig discovers the treasure that books really are.
Author: Greg Pizzoli
Reading Level: Grade UKG | Page Count: 44
2. Double Bass Blues
Double Bass Blues is a nearly wordless picture book with very unique and vibrant illustrations that are sure to thrill your little one. This is a sweet, melodious picture book about how dedication, music, and family can overcome any obstacle.
Author: Andrea J. Loney
Reading Level: Grade 1 | Page Count: 28
3. The Undefeated
The Undefeated is a 2019 poem by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The poem’s purpose is to inspire and encourage black communities. The book delivers a tribute to black Americans while acknowledging issues faced by them like slavery and discriminations. The Undefeated won the 2020 Caldecott Medal and a Newbery Honor.
Author: Kwame Alexander
Reading Level: Grade 2 | Page Count: 40
4. Bear Came Along
Winner of the Caldecott Medal, this book is the story of a group of animals on an unexpected river trip. It is a cheerful and action packed adventure that highlights the importance of going with the flow, teaming up with new friends and having fun while you are at it!
Author: Richard T. Morris
Reading Level: Grade 2 | Page Count: 36
5. Going Down Home with Daddy
This Caldecott Honor-winning picture book by Kelly Starling Lyons and Daniel Minter is a rich and moving celebration of Black history, culture, and the power of family traditions. It is warm story that reminds the reader of the joy and strength to be found when families come together. The illustrations are a visual delight.
Author: Kelly Starling Lyons
Reading Level: Grade 3 | Page Count: 32
6. New Kid
New Kid is a 2019 graphic novel that won the Newbery Medal, 2020. It is the story of a 12 year old black boy who enrols at a private school only to realise that his school life isn’t turning out quite as he imagined it. The book scores for being honest and real yet hopeful. The struggle to fit in is a universal theme that we can all relate to.
Author: Jerry Craft
Reading Level: Grade 3 | Page Count: 249
7. White Bird: A Wonder Story
Following the hugely successful Wonder, R. J. Palacio made her graphic novel debut with White Bird. This novel won her the Sydney Taylor Book Award. The book centres around Julian’s grandmother who, at the time, as a young Jewish girl living in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II. It is a winning story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war.
Author: R. J. Palacio
Reading Level: Grade 3 | Page Count: 220
8. Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
A #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of Schneider Family Book Award, Just Ask! presents a story in which friends with different abilities work together to build a community garden. The book encourages the reader to look for each child’s special powers because everyone is special in their own way.
Author: Sonia Sotomayor
Reading Level: Grade 4 | Page Count: 32
9. Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Uly and Mia are two young foxes who were separated from their litter and are in constant fear of death. The book features eight intertwining horror stories centred around Uly and Mia as they search for a place to call home. Engagingly written and beautifully illustrated, this book is another Newbery Honor winner.
Author: Christian McKay Heidicker
Reading Level: Grade 4 | Page Count: 313
10 Genesis Begins Again
There are ninety six things that Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. You can tell Genesis is really hard on herself. This is a deeply sensitive story about a thirteen year old girl who learns self-love against all odds.
Author: Alicia D. Williams
Reading Level: Grade 4 | Page Count: 364
11. Other Words for Home
Jasmine Warga’s debut middle grade book, Other Words for Home, is a Newbery Honor winner. Written entirely in verse, it is the story of a young Muslim Syrian girl who escapes to America with her mother when the situation back home grows tense. Can America become home for this ‘Middle Eastern’ girl?
Author: Jasmine Warga
Reading Level: Grade 5 | Page Count: 352
According to research, reading for pleasure is closely tied to academic success. Make the most of your child’s vacation! Pick from these or loads of other fun reads from around the globe especially curated for BookGuru’s young readers. For we too believe just like Muhammad Ali did – ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count!’
About the Guest Author
BookGuru is a personalised children’s library that provides highly-rated books from around the globe. They aim to grow a lifelong love of reading in all children by putting each child at the centre of their library offering. They follow a personalised, child-centric approach in all aspects. Each child gets personalised book recommendations that are ‘Just Right’ for them – mapped to their reading, comprehension and interest levels. They source world-class books covering all 16 genres of fictions and nonfiction. They also track each child’s reading progress and reward their individual milestones.