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SSFP Students America and Christy Compile Summer Reading Lists

America's Best Books

by America Moreno, age 14

Most kids get excited about the summer because it means more free time to hang out with friends, do outdoor activities, and they get to give their brains a break from school. However, one of my favorite things about summer is that I have a lot more time to read books of my choice. [Read More]

Christy's Summer picks

by Christy Zheng, age 13

As an avid reader, I try to read a variety of genres. Statistics show that reading only 4 books over the summer will keep your reading level up for the upcoming school year. If you need a new book to try, check out this list! [Read More]

Learning to Read Is a Science

by Katrin Brendemuehl, age 14

The way people have learned to read and interpret written language is something that scientists have studied for a long time. How is it that simple marks on a mere piece of paper can convey mind-changing ideas?

There are many different alphabets in use today. These include not only the familiar Latin alphabet employed by Western European languages, but also Cyrillic used in Eastern Europe, Hangul used in Korea, Cherokee used by American Indians, and Hanzi used in China. Other alphabets include the Armenian alphabet, the Hebrew alphabet, the Arabic alphabet, and the Greek alphabet. If you are reading this with ease, that means you were taught the common Latin alphabet. But how did you learn to read this?

[Read More]

Four Great Books for Middle Schoolers

by Felicia Zheng, age 13

1] The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series is about a boy named Harry Potter and his adventures as he leaves behind his mundane life to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Just as Harry is settling into his new life as a wizard, he learns that the infamous villain Lord Voldemort is preparing to take over the wizarding world. Harry and his friends have to find a way to defeat Voldemort.

[Read More]

Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth

reviewed by Rory Schaefer, age 12

The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, is a whimsical tale full of imagination and adventure. It all starts when Milo, a curious and bored-with-life 11-year-old, discovers a mysterious tollbooth in his bedroom. With nothing better to do, Milo hops in his toy car and drives through the tollbooth.

Milo winds up in an odd land called “Wisdom” where he is introduced to many strange creatures and places. In Wisdom, Milo meets different people and things such as "Tock", the watchdog whose body is a clock, and "The Humbug," a well-dressed, oversized beetle who always has something to say. [read more...]

More Recent Book Talk Articles

The way people have learned to read and interpret written language is something that scientists have studied for a long time. How is it that simple marks on a mere piece of paper can convey mind-changing ideas? [read more...]
Mel was next. She nervously fidgeted with her skates. The steward shouted, “you're next!” She pulled on her helmet and took a deep breath. Mel was ready to participate in inline skating trials at the San Francisco X games. [read more...]
Read Felicia Zheng's picks for middle school reading! [read more...]
Most kids get excited about the summer because it means more free time to hang out with friends, do outdoor activities, and they get to give their brains a break from school. However, one of my favorite things about summer is that I have a lot more time to read books of my choice. [read more...]
The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, is a whimsical tale full of imagination and adventure. It all starts when Milo, a curious and bored-with-life 11-year-old, discovers a mysterious tollbooth in his bedroom. With nothing better to do, Milo hops in his toy car and drives through the tollbooth. [read more...]
Laura Ingalls Wilder was an author and educator. She wrote all of the famous “Little House” books that tell tales of her childhood. Wilder’s family, just like every family, had their tragedies and triumphs. But it’s clear throughout her books that Wilder loved her family all the same. [read more...]
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatly Snyder is an exciting story of imagination and friendship. The flamboyant April has just moved in with her grandmother, and isn’t very happy about leaving the excitement of Los Angeles. But when April meets Melanie, a friendly neighbor, everything changes. They notice they share a very strong interest in ancient Egypt. [read more...]
As an avid reader, I try to read a variety of genres. Statistics show that reading only 4 books over the summer will keep your reading level up for the upcoming school year. If you need a new book to try, check out this list! [read more...]
2015. The year of Black Lives Matter, Caitlyn Jenner, same-sex marriage, and Rachel Dolezal. It seemed that with each passing month, 2015 continued to push, question, and challenge social norms and issues. [read more...]
The Golden Compass is a fantasy adventure story involving a little girl named Lyra Belacqua. Lyra is an orphan who has been placed in the care of the headmaster of a college in Oxford, England. [read more...]
Are print books becoming obsolete? Some say that electronic devices are challenging the popularity of books, newspapers, and magazines. Many readers prefer the adjustable screens of cell phones, tablets, computers, or eReaders to the pages of a printed book. [read more...]
Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner is a poignant novel that examines turmoil in Afghanistan. It presents the story of two Afghani boys, Amir and Hassan. [read more...]