The purpose of summer reading in FBISD is to engage students in enjoyable reading that maintains and fosters literacy.


  • For summer reading, we ask parents and families to commit to 30 minutes a day of reading texts of their choice during the summer months. Research suggests that this simple commitment provides growth in vocabulary, fluency, background knowledge, and overall comprehension.


    What should my child read?

    • Students provide access to different types of reading on different platforms, including news, audio books, magazines, even online content. We often think of reading just in terms of books, but other types of text offer engagement and opportunities to practice reading.
    • Audio books are fine! While we certainly want our readers to practice reading print, audio books model the important skill of fluency as well as comprehension. For some readers, audio books spark an interest in reading that might not be otherwise.
    • Graphic novels are also fine. Graphic novels and their comic book counterparts often have very complex stories, and the images support them.
    • Don’t worry about the reading level or genre of a text. The most important feature of a text is a child’s interest in reading.
    • We agree with author James Patterson, “There is no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong book.” Start with what a child is willing to read, then nudge them into other books or genres. 
    • Don’t worry if your child abandons a text. Just try another genre, author, topic, or format. Keep trying!



  • Books, books, and more books!

    If you and your child are selecting books and need some suggestions for titles, several organizations spend their time reading and thinking about texts for kids. Check out the links below. Review books alongside your child to find the best match to suit their interests.


    Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

    The International Literacy Association (ILA)

    The Texas Library Association (TLA)

    Houston Area Independent Schools Library Network We Need Diverse Books Walter Awards

    The American Library Association 


    Favorite ALA Lists:

    Newbery Honor Books

    Coretta Scott King Honors


    Free resources for audiobooks:


    Creating a literacy rich environment

    • Set a goal for your child to read 30 minutes a day. Include the whole family! As you work towards that goal, determine how much time is reasonable to spend during a week reading. Take into account work responsibilities, summer activities, and family events. Keep track of the time spent reading, then celebrate when you meet your goal. Look ahead to the next week and see if you can increase the goal. Even a few extra minutes a week add up quickly!
    • Visit your public library. Libraries are good for checking out books, but also for joining book clubs and talking to other readers. Fort Bend County Libraries currently provide a wide range of services and resources, including e-books.
    • Talk to your kids about what they are reading. Whether a person loves or hates a book, they are always eager to talk about Give your children this opportunity. (See page 3 for ideas on how to start these conversations.)
    • Read with, to, and alongside your children. Your children will value reading more if they see that their parents value reading. Talk to your children about what you are reading. Share your reading life with your children, no matter your interests. It might even inspire them to look at new
    • When your child asks what a word means, help them look it up in a traditional or web-based dictionary. Help them use clues in the text to find the best definition, then talk through how the definition helps them understand what they are
    • Keep a family word wall. As you and your child come across new words in text, write them on a piece of paper and put them up on the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, the back of a door—any blank space. Watch for those words in other texts, or listen for them on
    • Be flexible. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable. Work with your reader to find the “right-for- them” text, the right time of day to read, the right goal to
    • If your child is constantly on the internet, encourage them to do their own fact-checking and research on topics of
  • Talking about reading

     There’s no one way to get your child talking about books, but here is an easy way to talk to your child about their reading that may help develop beyond those one-word teenage responses. You can pick just one question or use a combination. Use the questions to model how you think when you read, too.

    • BHH Reading: When you read, tell me about what is… In the Book:
    • What’s this about?
    • Who’s telling the story?
    • What does the author want you to know?

    In your Head:

    • What surprised you?
    • What does the author think you already know?
    • What changed, challenged, or confirmed your thinking?
    • What did you notice?

    In your Heart:

    • What did you learn about yourself, others, or society?

     (adapted from Disrupting Thinking, Kylene Beers and Robert Probst, 2017)

    Write sentence stems on strips of paper or popsicle sticks. Draw one and fill in the blank to talk about a book. Some sentence stems include:

    • That reminds me of…
    • I don’t understand…
    • Why…
    • It confused me when…
    • I got it when…
    • I wonder…
    • This is good because…
    • I agree/disagree…
    • I can relate to…
    • This makes me think of…
    • I have connection to…
    • I got stuck. . .
    • I figured out. . .
    • I got confused when. . . so…
    • I didn’t expect. . .
    • I first thought. . . but now I realize. . .
    • What puzzled me the most was. . .
    • I was really surprised when…
    • I will understand this better if I . . .
    • I think tomorrow I’ll try…

    (adapted from The Reading Strategies Book, Jennifer Serravallo, 2015)


    Why read at all during the summer?

    Summer reading prevents the “summer setback” that often happens when students refrain from reading. Research has shown that students who do not continue to read in the summer decline in academic achievement (Cahill, Horvath, McGill-Franzen, & Allington, 2013; Cooper et al., 1996; Entwisle, Alexander, & Olson, 1997; Heyns, 1978).

    Reading over the summer months keeps students, minds engaged and makes for an easier transition to the next grade level because they have continued, not stunted, their reading levels (Cahill, et al., 2013; Kim, 2004).

    Summer reading has been proven to reduce the gaps between student demographic groups, and to help close achievement gaps (Cooper et al., 1996; Duncan & Murnane, 2011).

    While engaged in summer reading, students are enhancing their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and reading achievement in general. Summer reading supports and encourages students to be become lifelong readers. This supports lifelong critical thinking skills, habits that we strive to create for all students.