California School Library News

June, 2015

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Summer Reading

The theme of this month's newsletter is summer reading. Without reading, kids lose an average of one to three months of achievement over the summer. By the end of 6th grade, children who do not read over the summer are as much as two years behind other kids who do.

McGill-Franzen, A., & Allington R. (2003 May/June) “Bridging the Summer Reading Gap” Instructor 112 no.8

California Young Reader Medal

The California Young Reader Medal (CYRM) program encourages recreational reading of popular literature among the young people of our state. Since its inception in 1974, millions of California children have nominated, read, and voted for the winners of the California Young Reader Medal. A book must be an original work of fiction published within the last five years by an author who is still living to be considered for nomination the following year. It is a two-year cycle, from the time of nomination by students to the presentation of the California Young Reader Medal to the winning authors. Books are nominated for the medal in five categories. Students may read and vote for books in any and all categories, but they MUST read all books nominated in a category to be eligible to vote. Students read the nominated books from July through March and vote for their favorites. Winning titles are announced in May.

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This year’s winners are:

Primary: Exclamation Mark! Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, and published by Scholastic Press, 2013, an Exclamation Mark discovers his amazing powers.

Intermediate: Wonder. Written by R.J. Palacio and published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. This celebrates the power of kindness and the resilience of a boy with one unusual face.

Middle School/Junior High: The False Prince. Written by Jennifer A. Nielsen and published by Scholastic Press, 2012. A thrilling adventure where three orphans battle to impersonate a long lost prince and thereby rule the medieval kingdom.

Young Adult: The Fault in Our Stars. Written by John Green and published by Dutton Books, 2012. Incredibly moving, as well as fresh and funny, this is the story of first love set against the background of terminal cancer.

Picture Books for Older Readers: Brothers at Bat: The Incredible True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Team, written by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Steven Salerno, and published by Clarion, 2012. This is the true story of the twelve brothers who were an incredibly successful baseball team in New Jersey in the 20th century.

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Reading Rocket

Check out Reading Rockets’ new summer website, Start with a Book. You’ll find a treasure trove of themed children’s books, parent–child activities and other great resources for summer learning.

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James Patterson’s Read Kiddo Read website

Author James Patterson’s passion is to get children to read more books. As part of his long-standing commitment to boost reading among children he hosts a book recommendation website, “Read, Kiddo, Read”. He was inspired years ago when his eight-year-old son was a reluctant reader who just needed to be exposed to books that excited him. Check out the site for tips on how to find books your child will love, and for book reviews and recommendations.

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Free Audiobooks from SYNC

Each year, SYNC offers a total of 24 summer reading audiobooks free of charge. The weekly titles are paired with one YA (young adult) title and one more classic work on a related theme. You download and install the books on a mobile device or desktop computer during the week they are offered; they are only available during that time frame. Once you have downloaded the audiobooks, there is no deadline on when you listen to them, and they are yours to keep. To avoid missing any of the weekly offerings, you can sign up for email and text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available to download at

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CSLF is a tax-exempt charitable foundation. Donations submitted to the Foundation fund projects that support California school library services. You can target your donation for a specific project or for general support. You will receive an email donation receipt for your tax records.

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California School Library Association

CSLA’s mission is to advocate for excellence in school library programs, develop leaders in the school library field, and collaborate with other educational leaders to ensure that all California students are effective, responsible users and creators of ideas and information. We welcome “Friend” members, who can be anyone not employed in a school library position who supports California school libraries. Friends are a great addition to our association in support of providing strong school libraries for all the students of our state, and they get the benefits of attending our various conferences and events at member rates.
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