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Summer    Reading

Methuen Public School

June 2009

Dear Parents and Students,

Again this year we are inviting all students to take a journey to new and different places by using their imaginations through the summer reading program.  There is no more important activity to support learning than through reading fun and interesting stories.  This summer, the books for each grade are based on a theme. 

All students are required to read two books during the summer before the 2009 - 2010 school year. The grade-level book lists are included in this packet. The books were carefully chosen to address diverse ability levels and interests, and we encourage parents to help their child find a “just right book.” (Helpful hints on how to do this are included in this packet.)  The Nevins Memorial Library, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and the Safe Haven Homework Center have stocked the titles in preparation for this program.  The grammar schools also have copies of each book which students may borrow. Students are encouraged to share books.

Each book has follow-up assessments, which are detailed on the next pages.  These assessments will help each child share what was learned this summer through reading.

Make reading a part of your summer and enjoy all the places and adventures you will find in these stories.


Jennifer A. Smith, Ed.D.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment    
Methuen Public Schools



Summer Reading Information

Summer Reading Information (Spanish)

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Choosing Just Right Books
Tips for Parents

Part I
Selecting a just right book is important for improving the reading ability of students.

Children need books that are good for their learning. We call these books Just Right Books. The following is a description of books that would be too easy, just right, and too hard for children. It is okay to sometimes read a book that you know is too easy; adults do this all the time, but children are developing as readers and need to be challenged a bit in order to become better readers. Books that are too hard just cause frustration and may even help develop a poor attitude towards reading.

Too Easy

  • Can read all the words
  • Can understand and retell the story
  • Reads with complete fluency – reads like talking and with expression

Just Right

  • Can read most of the words – students do not struggle with more than three words on one page
  • Should be able to use strategies to figure out most of the tricky words
  • Can understand and retell the story
  • Reads mostly with fluency except when attempting to figure out a tricky word

Too Hard   (This may be a good book for a parent to read to a child.)

  • Cannot read many words
  • Does not have fluency
  • Cannot retell much of the story
  • Note – Even if a book is read with fluency, if a child cannot retell the story, the text is probably too difficult.

Part II
Children should be selecting books that are interesting to them. Before selecting a book, become familiar with the content.

  • Talk to someone who has read the book.
  • Look at the cover and ask: “What do you think this book is about?”
  • Read the back cover to get an idea of the story’s content.
  • Read the first page to see if it is a “just right book.”
  • Look at the table of contents or chapter titles.
  • Flip through and look at the pictures.


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