“Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible.” 

– Barack Obama,

How true that is and not only does reading for pleasure make learning of other subjects possible, in fact we could go so far as to say easy! Developing your reading skills early gives a strong foundation for your education, but also helps you grow as individuals; enabling you to express yourself better, gain a wider perspective of the world, and foster your critical  thinking skills. You can thank us later for giving you the perfect way to enjoy your Summer, and to learn in the bargain! 

To get you started  we have carefully created  a list of recommended texts from which we have selected our Top 10 which you can download as a pdf too to track your own progress. The full list can be accessed at the bottom of this page. We hope you can read, enjoy and benefit from many of these brilliant works over the summer.

Here is Our Top 10 Reading list, with reviews from acclaimed critics: 

1. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros 

“Cisneros draws on her rich [Latino] heritage . . . and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters we want to lift off the page. She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one.” 

– Bebe Moore Campbell of The New York Times Book Review

2. The Outsiders by SE Hinton

“The Outsiders is a classic in young adult fiction that revolutionised the genre by presenting adolescent characters that were the opposite of everything a teenager, by adult standards, should have been.”

– The Guardian, dated September 23, 2015

3. The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

“The genius of the movie (Play) is the way it sidesteps all of the obvious cliches of the underlying story and makes itself fresh, observant, tough and genuinely moving.”

– Roger Ebert’s review of the movie based on the bestselling Play. 

4. Boy by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is one of those people who can turn something as boring as mice into something scandalous and eerily fabulous. Almost every chapter written in Boy describes a fairly ordinary event in a young boy’s life made extraordinary with that little bit of Dahl magic.”

– The Guardian, dated October 7, 2013

5. My family and other animals by Gerald Durrell

Imagine the animal lover in you, moving to a new exotic place, with your mildly eccentric family. Now add to it some hilarious experiences with some of the most startling animals, a shooting adventure gone bad…memorable picnics to the most unusual but beautiful places and you have the story of this gem of a book! 

– Vanatha Parthasarathy’s review at The IndiaBookStore

6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 

There is something in the force of Alexie’s description that captures your heart, even while some of his raunchiest statements can turn your stomach…Knowing that he fought a successful fight against all the things that oppressed him as a kid gives (the book) even greater resonance. Hope is indeed the thing with feathers.

– Jana Sicilliano’s review on Bookreporter.com

7. The Hate you Give by Angie Thomas

“Beautifully written in Starr’s authentic first-person voice, this is a marvel of verisimilitude.”

– Michael Cart, writing in Booklist

8. The Giver by Lois Lowry

“With a storyline that hints at Christian allegory and an eerie futuristic setting, this intriguing novel calls to mind John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl. Lowry is once again in top form – raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers.”

– Review by Publishersweekly.com

9. Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez

Martinez’s honest voice, and descriptions sprinkled with elegant imagery, offer a rare and consummately believable portrait of barrio life.”

– Review by Publishersweekly.com

10. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoos

The heroism in Phillip Hoose’s “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler” reads almost like a pulp-fiction tale of juvenile swashbuckling…Told in straightforward, even prosaic language, this account will help young readers imagine themselves in the midst of the unimaginable — and will show them how kids much like them managed to survive.”

– M.T. Anserson, reviewing for the New York Times, dated September 11, 2015. 

We’ve designed a printable version of our Top 10 reading list to help you track your progress and reflect on the book(s) as you read. You can download it using the button below. Feel free to print and share with your friends too.

Happy Reading!