Best Summer Realistic Fiction 2022

Posted on Updated on

These books are a mix of classic and new, perfect for a reader who likes realistic stories about kids (and some animals). They are loosely grouped by length and accessibility.

Early Reader (~32 pages, widely spaced large print)

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant and Suçie Stevenson

Ty’s Travels by Kelly Starling Lyons and Niña Mata

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Betsy Lewin

Annie and Snowball by Cynthia Rylant and Suçie Stevenson

Yasmin series by Saadia Faruqi and Hatem Aly

Transitional Chapter Book Series (<120 pages, larger print, shorter chapters)

Charlie and Mouse by Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes

Sam and Charlie by Lesley Kimmelman and Stefano Tambellini

Lola Levine by Monica Brown and Angela Dominguez

Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater and Adam Stower

JoJo Makoons by Dawn Quigley and Tara Audibert

Starla Jean by Elana K. Arnold and A.N. Kang

The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau and Matt Myer

Chapter Book Series (<200 pages, interest level 1st-4th)

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina

Carver School Elementary by Karen English

BAT by Elana K. Arnold

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

Life of Ty by Lauren Myracle

Nina Soni by Kashmira Sheth

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

Middle Grade Novels (>150 pages, denser text, more complex themes )

Maybe, Maybe, Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelley

Summer of Brave by Amy Noelle Parks

Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi

Flying Over Water by N.H. Senzai and Shannon Hitchcock

A Place at the Table by Laura Shovan and Saadia Faruqi

The Boys in the Back Row by Mike Jung

Life in the Balance by Jen Petro-Roy

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Want more kid’s fiction? Check out these recommendations from our own NYPL!

Elementary Division Summer Reading 2022

Posted on Updated on

Looking for something to read over the summer? Take a look at our Rodeph Sholom School top picks for 1st-5th grade summer reading. Select the Summer Reading tab from the navigation bar. and choose your rising grade from the drop down menu, There is overlap between the tags so don’t be surprised if the same books show up for more than one grade.

While our physical library is closed for the summer, ebooks and audiobooks are available for Rodeph Sholom Students through our Sora online collection. This is also a great way to discover new books and try the first chapter before getting a hard copy. Read in Sora here using your school Google email and password.

Did we miss something?

If you know a great book that isn’t on our site yet, tell us here by filling out this form.

Happy reading and see you in the Fall!

Summer Reading for the Elementary Division

Posted on Updated on

Free picture: daisy, flower, book, grass, reading, learning

Dear summer readers, we are wishing you the happiest, healthiest, most fun summer with a lot of time lying on the grass reading (or inside, in the air conditioning).

If you read with a device, remember that you still have access to our MackinVIA and Sora collections any time- new titles added weekly. On Mondays through Fridays, 8am to 4pm, you can also access our Epic and Pinna collections of books, audiobooks, and podcasts for kids. Your Epic class code is SNY9020 and your Pinna code is 6S1LJ9.

If you prefer a print book, don’t forget to get your MyLibraryNYC card that allows FINE-FREE BORROWING(!!) for Rodeph Sholom Students from the New York Public Library. Check out their summer reading goodies, too! Most NYPL locations are now open for curbside pickup and limited browsing. If you are going to buy, we highly recommend indie locals WORD bookstores and Books of Wonder for your ordering needs- and be sure to check out their summer book programming for author visits, book clubs, and more.

Slidebrary will remain open for business through the beginning of next school year. You can use Slidebrary to get to different websites for music, art, science, math, and coding. Slidebrary is now student-edited, so if you want to be an editor and add different sites that you enjoy over the summer, please email Ms. Shaw at

The Best 100 Closing Lines From Books

Now for the big question: What should you read?!?! The linked lists below will get you off to a great start. Parents, you can use your students’ login to access MackinVIA lists, or login with username rodeph and password sholom.

Student Recommendations – Rodeph Sholom’s Favorites

Dare To Be Scared Spooky stories to chill your bones

Falling for Sports Books for sports fanatics of all genders

Fantasy Magic, spells, witches and myths.

Funny Illustrated Fiction Like Big Nate or Dog Man? Try these funny illustrated books.

Graphic Novels For fans of Smile and El Deafo.

1st Grade Recommendations Great books for a range of interests and a range of 1st grade reading levels

2nd Grade Recommendations Great books for a range of interests and a range of 2nd grade reading levels

3rd Grade Recommendations Great books for a range of interests and a range of 3rd grade reading levels

Great Middle Grade Novels for Middle Schoolers Great books for fully launched readers with more middle-school themes.

Word Bookstore’s Summer Picks for Kids

Sora Sweet Reads

NYPL’s Summer Picks for Kids

The first books I’m reading? Not Your All-American Girl by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang and All Thirteen: The incredible cave rescue of the Thai boys’ soccer team by Christina Soontornvat.

For any account issues or password resets for current or former students, please contact Ms. Shaw at! Happy reading and…

5 tips for your home while you're out on a summer vacation

2nd Grade DL Recommendations

Posted on

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak (A.D.R.S.)

Blblblblb (J.S.)

Saturday by Oge Mora

Posted on

This gentle story about expectation, disappointment, and gratitude is perfect for teaching about Shabbat, special days, and dealing with unexpected challenges. -Elizabeth Shaw

Weslandia by Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes

Posted on Updated on

This is a fantastic book to talk about the activities that make up culture and civilizations. It’s a long one for little kids to sit through, but the vibrant illustrations make it delightful to pore over or use with older kids. -Elizabeth Shaw

Yo? Yes! by Chris Raschka

Posted on

I love the simplicity of this book and have found it to be a powerful tool with children who present with emerging language. The illustrations are emotive and the friendship has a universal feeling. -Zubeida Ullah-Eisenberg

Recommend a book!

Posted on

Mock Newbery II: The Sequel

Posted on Updated on

After this year’s Mock Newbery Club was a roaring success, we can’t wait any longer to get started on the next one!

Who It’s For

The Mock Newbery club is open to current, former, and future Rodeph Sholom Students who will enter the 4th, 5th, or 6th grade in Fall 2020.

What It Is

Every year, the American Library Association awards the John Newbery Medal to the most distinguished book for children published in America in the past year. A Mock Newbery Club is a group of students and teachers who read the books we think are most likely to win, talk about them, and vote on which one WE would give the medal to.

What Do Mock Newbery Club Members Do?

To participate in the club, you should try to read at least three books from the list below by November 3rd, 2020, and an additional two before January 22nd, 2021.

RSS librarians will host optional social meetings over the summer every Thursday from 3:30-4:30 at the RSS Virtual Library for anyone who is dying to talk about the book they just finished or get help deciding which to read next. After finishing a book, readers can post about it in an online forum or record a conversation with a friend or librarian about the book.

Between September and January we will have a monthly lunch or break meeting to discuss and deliberate on which books we think should win.

The week of January 27th, we will have a party to celebrate the reading we’ve done and kibitz about the ALA’s decision.

Benefits of Mock Newbery Club

Mock Newbery participants can use their Mock Newbery reading to count for summer reading and independent reading requirements. They also have priority on checking out these high-interest titles from the Rodeph Sholom School Library on MackinVIA and on site at 79th street.

What are the books?

To view the books and their summaries, please download the Mock Newbery One-Pager below!

How do I sign up?

Fill out the form below: