12 Books to Stop Your Child From Going Down the “Summer Slide”

By: Alyssa Mendez
The “summer slide” may sound like a fun outdoor activity, but it’s actually something parents should prevent their child(ren) from experiencing. In this article, you’ll discover resources and books that will keep your child(ren)’s mind sharp while school is out. These books have been handpicked by our faculty and staff members just for you — welcome to CCA’s 2020 Summer Book Club!

The summer slide may sound like a fun outdoor activity, but it’s actually something parents should prevent their child(ren) from experiencing. A recent study from Scholastic revealed an increasing number of students who are not reading books over the summer (Jones, 2019). And further research has shown that a lack of reading can contribute to the summer slide, which Scholastic defines as “the loss of academic skills that occurs when school is not in session.”
Summer Slide = “the loss of academic skills that occurs when school is not in session.”
We all know the best defense is a solid offense, so what better way to combat the adverse cumulative effects of the summer slide than by encouraging your child(ren) to not only read books they may be asked to read for school, but also fun, engaging books that promote imaginative thinking, cultural appreciation, and spiritual growth.

Although a majority of public libraries are closed due to COVID-19, many, including the Broward County Library system, offer free online resources and partner with third-party content providers that give library card holders access to virtual books and other educational materials. If you don’t have a library card, you can apply online to gain immediate access. Some other free or low-cost resources that provide reading material from the comfort and safety of your home include:

As you peruse through these platforms, consider checking out the books listed below that have been handpicked by our school’s faculty and staff members for you and child(ren) to enjoy!




The Mouse and The Motorcycle
by Beverly Cleary

Recommended by: Linda Berardo, Elementary Teacher
Level: Elementary

Ralph the mouse lives with his family under the knothole in room 215 of the Mountain View Inn. His days at the run-down motel in the Sierra Nevada of California are boring and he longs for a life of adventure. Things begin to look up when a boy named Keith and his family come to stay in room 215. Ralph quickly notices that Keith has a shiny toy motorcycle, and he knows that he is destined to ride it. That is when the adventure begins! This book is full of adventure, silly times, and shows how to build trust in a friendship.

by Doreena Williamson

Recommended by: Alyssa Mendez, Content Specialist
Level: Early Childhood and Elementary

Imani and Kayla are the best of friends who are learning to celebrate their different skin colors. As they look at the amazing colors in nature they're surrounded by, they can see that their skin is another example of God's creativity! This joyful story takes a new approach to discussing race: instead of being colorblind, we can choose to celebrate each color God gave us and be colorFULL instead.

Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo

Recommended by: Erica Smith, Elementary Teacher
Level: Elementary

“Thank you most of all for friends. We appreciate the complicated and wonderful gifts you give us in each other.”
Opal and her father, who was a preacher, moved to Naomi, Florida. Opal went to a supermarket called Winn-Dixie and a stray dog was in the store. She calmed the dog who had no owner and named him Winn-Dixie. Opal thinks Winn-Dixie is great at making friends and helped her make great friends, like Gloria Dump who is nearly blind.

Un amor tan grande
by Raquel Díaz Reguera

Recommended by: Elizabeth Avilés, Elementary Teacher Assistant
Level: Early Childhood (for Spanish speakers/Spanish Immersion students)

A beautiful book for all the grandparents who forget, and for all the boys and girls who take care of their grandparents.



Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn

Recommended by: Amy Lawson, High School Teacher and Assistant Administrator
Level: High School & Adults

“Women aren't the problem but the solution. The plight of girls is no more a tragedy than an opportunity.”
This piece of nonfiction examines the challenges and oppression that women face around the world. I was shocked and appalled to read how half the population does not have a voice in some cultures. God has called us to go into all the world to tell His good news, and to do that effectively, we need to have an understanding of the culture. *Spoiler alert - the key to ending oppression and opening opportunity is education!

Soul Keeping
by John Ortberg

Recommended by: Dr. Jason Rachels, Head of School
Level: High School & Adults

“Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
This book will help you discover your soul—the most important connection to God there is—and find your way out of the spiritual shallow-lands to true divine depth. With characteristic insight and an accessible story-filled approach, the author guides you through several practices to restore your soul so you can experience a life of wholeness, balance, and hope.

Atomic Habits
by James Clear

Recommended by: Rachel Go, School Counselor
Level: High School & Adults

"Optimize your environment to make actions easier."
Goals are wonderful, however, the systems we put in place are what matter the most to accomplish our goals. This book has the potential to be life changing because it teaches how to apply simple principles for change, growth, and overall improvement in life to reach one's goals. It is incredible!

Riley Unlikely: With Simple Childlike Faith, Amazing Things Can Happen
by Riley Banks-Snyder

Recommended by: Kris Hughes, Elementary Media Specialist
Level: Middle School

Riley Unlikely is the inspiring story of Riley Banks, who first traveled to Kenya at age 13 and has been back every year since bringing backpacks of school supplies and hygiene kits for young girls, developing relationships and friendships. As a young millennial, she is currently raising money to build a complete learning complex in Kibwezi, Kenya for those who have nothing.

Not a Fan: Teen Edition
by Kyle Idleman

Recommended by: Kathryn Coury, Middle School Teacher
Level: Middle & High School

Many people follow Jesus for the wrong reasons. This book breaks down what a servant of the King really is and the blessings that come from that dedication and relationship with our Savior. In this teen edition of Not a Fan, the author uses humor, personal stories, and biblical truth as he challenges readers to look at what it means to call yourself a Christian and follow the radical call Jesus presents.
Have any book recommendations for students you’d like to share? Let us know in the comment section below!

  • Marybeth Snell
    I checked out “Call it Courage” for my daughter. It was on the book list for 6th grade, but she lost interest in it and didn’t finish the book. Are there any other high interest fiction books you can recommend? I have also looked at the 5th gr. list. Thank you.

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