Summer Reading Recommendations from Stratford's Librarians!

Reopening and Reuniting at Stratford in the Age of COVID-19

As California counties have begun to allow schools to reopen for in-person instruction, many of Stratford’s schools are in the process of welcoming K-8 students back to campus, with stringent health and safety protocols in place.  Prospective families are invited to schedule a tour and learn more.

Help your child have a summer full of reading! Stratford's librarians put together a curated list of recommended books by grade level to keep your child reading all summer long. 

Before Entering Kindergarten

Schachner: Skippyjon Jones
This Siamese kitten spends his "time-out" imagining himself as "El-Skippito" who comes to the rescue of some Chihuahuas. 

Lazar: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
A witty picture book for those who love plays on words, mysteries and humorous tales. Counting has never been so mysterious or so much fun! 

McNaughton: Once Upon an Ordinary School Day
Mr. Gee, the new teacher, changes "ordinary" when he challenges all the children to use their imaginations.

Before Entering First Grade

Cannon: Crickwing, Pinduli, Stellaluna, Verdi
Picture books about unappreciated and fascinating creatures. Janell Cannon's books have won many awards and are beloved around the world. 

Ernst: Sylvia Jean, Scout Supreme
Sylvia Jean disguises herself in order to assist a neighbor who does not want her enthusiastic help. 

Hoberman: You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together
This collection of short, rhythmic stories and cheerful art is designed to be read out loud by both child and adult. 

Before Entering Second Grade

Adler: Cam Jansen Series
The Cam Jansen books are perfect for young readers who are making the transition to chapter books, and CAm is a spunky young heroine whom readers have loved for over two decades. 

Osborne: Magic Tree House Series
Explore the world with Jack and Annie. The bestselling Magic Tree House series maeks history fun by taking you right there, whether it's to France in the Middle Ages, the prairies of America, the moon, or beyond.

Stilton: The Geronimo Stilton Series 
Geronimo Stilton is a mouse newspaper editor and journalist who travels the world to chase important interviews but winds up in the middle of adventures that involve solving intriguing mysteries. 

Before Entering Third Grade

Clements: Lunch Money
In this funny and timely novel, Andrew Clements again holds up a mirror to real life, and invites young readers to think about money, school, friendship, and what it means to be a success. 

Pennypacker: Pax
From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. 

DiCamillo: Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Another story of longing, loneliness, and love from DiCamillo. It tears at the heartstrings long after the reader has finished the book. Again, it is a story of the ages for the ages. With its beautiful imagery, multi-layered characters, messages for all ages, and spot-on illustrations, it is destined to become a classic. 

Before Entering Fourth Grade

Various Authors: Spirit Animals Series
In the world of Erdas, every child must discover if they will summon a spirit animal, a rare and incredible gift. Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan were rare even among those few. They summoned legendary animals-brave guardians who were reborn to protect their world. A fast paced series similar to 39 Clues that students will have a hard time putting down.

Alexander: The Crossover
"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

Various Authors: The Infinity Ring Series
In an alternate reality, fifth-graders Dak Smyth and Sera Froste discover a time-travel device invented by Dak's parents called the Infinity Ring. After a test run leaves his parents lost in time, the friends learn of a secret group called the Hystorians who claims that there are breaks in the past that have caused history to go off course. A great series with different authors, lots of action and many historically accurate references.

Before Entering Fifth Grade

Various Authors: 39 Clues Series
The books chronicle the adventures of two siblings, Amy and Dan Cahill, who discover that their family, the Cahills, has been the most influential family in history. The main story arc concerns Dan and Amy's quest to find the 39 Clues, which are ingredients to a serum that can create the most powerful person on Earth.

Goldberg Sloan: Short
Sensitive about her height, Julia gains new perspective and self-acceptance when she is cast as a munchkin in a summer stock theater production of The Wizard of Oz. Bubbling over with humor and tenderness, this is an irresistible story of self-discovery and of the role models who forever change us.

Park: A Long Walk To Water
Park presents a novelization of how Salva Dut, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, escaped his war-ravaged country and returned years later to found a company called Water for Sudan, Inc. A tandem narrative follows another Sudanese eleven-year-old, Nya, in 2008, as she trudges to and from a murky pond to collect water for her family. Park's spare text is riveting.

Before Entering Sixth Grade

Munroe: What if?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and wit, gleefully and accurately explaining everything from the relativistic effects of a baseball pitched at near the speed of light to the many horrible ways you could die while building a periodic table out of all the actual elements.The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? is an informative feast for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.

Palacio: Wonder
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Award winning and very popular.

Cooper: Dark is Rising Series
One of the most celebrated fantasy sequences of all time, The Dark Is Rising is a searing, epic rendering of the eternal conflict between good and evil. This complete collection includes Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; and Silver on the Tree.

DuPrau: City of Ember Series
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever!

Colfer: Land of Stories Series
The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.