Reading List

book-stackAs I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit of a procrastinator. So, as school is starting in two weeks, I decided I should go ahead and get my kids started on their summer reading lists that they were supposed to do over the summer.

The problem I have found (in years past and as well this year) is that the reading list is so obscure that I can’t find any of the books on it. I didn’t have the money to buy 5 books at roughly $8 each for three kids at the end of the school year, and I went to my library’s website to look them up and couldn’t find them.

Now, I had a couple of the ones I needed for my second-grader because I had bought some of them two years ago when my now fourth-grader needed them. However, the book list has changed some, so not all the books I have are exactly the same as the ones I need. And even then I didn’t buy all the books he needed, I just bought a couple.

The books for my kindergartener are mostly picture books, a couple of which I had and some of which I was able to put on hold at the library, even though they weren’t currently available, and I did the same for my second-grader. The main problem I’m having is finding the books for my fourth-grader.

There are twelve books on his list, of which he needs to read four. I have one (just lucky on that one) and one I put on hold at the library. I had never even heard of the other ten. Four are by the same author, and although she may be lovely and have delightful books, I’ve never heard of her and I could only find one the required books on the public library website. And we have a good library system. All the Phoenix libraries are connected, so if any one of them has it you can place a hold on it and they’ll transfer it to your local branch for you and all you have to do is pick it up. Anyway, I placed a hold on the title I needed (it was currently unavailable, so whenever the person who has it returns it then they’ll hold it for me), then proceeded to go through the rest of the list. This author was not even the most obscure one. At least the library had heard of her. The rest of them weren’t even in the system.

Now, I’m all for branching out and reading some new things and even getting some obscure titles, but when it’s so obscure the public library has never even heard of it, there’s something wrong. My hubby emailed the teacher, and she basically said we should’ve ordered them at the end of the last school year, and maybe we’d get lucky and the used book store would have them.

Yes, I know, if I’d started this at the beginning of the summer I’d be a lot less stressed. But seriously, couldn’t they make this process a little less painful if they actually want the students to accomplish these reading goals?

Okay, I’m done ranting now. I hope you’re all enjoying the rest of your summer. Best of luck getting all the things done that need doing before school starts again!


About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

14 comments on “Reading List

  1. Have you looked on Amazon? It’s were I got my first copy of Firefly.

  2. Umm…yeah. The school district should be giving the library system the reading list so the libraries can get the books in.

    I’m curious what the consequences are of not completing the list. My boy never brought one home. Which isn’t to say there wasn’t one, only that he never brought it home. 😉

    • They go to a private school, so the district wouldn’t matter. One would think that with all the books available in the world the teachers could pick some that are a little more accessible, though.

  3. Since we moved to Mesa, I’ve been so jazzed with the library system (as opposed to the starved little rat that is the California library system), that I’m amazed the books aren’t in the system. It makes me wonder if they’re actually junk. My critique partner is an English teacher for high school and college, and the reading lists academia puts out are the biggest piles of steaming garbage I’ve ever heard of. You might want to preview them on Amazon to see if they’re any good. Me being a freethinking butthead, I’d substitute classics for each obscure title. Assuming they haven’t already digested E. Nesbitt and E.B. White and Beverly Cleary and the Black Stallion and all those old goodies. Class credit smash smedit.

    • I like your thinking!!!
      My oldest is only 9, so he’s just now getting to the point where he’s old enough for some of those good ones. I have a whole bunch of those abridged classics (I’m not a huge fan of abridged books because then they miss a lot of the really quality writing, but I like that he’s reading classics) that he really likes.
      And if you’re in Mesa, why haven’t we gotten together for coffee or something? It’s not that far!

  4. Well, we only have one car and my hubby needs it for work, so my visiting options are limited. We’ve only been in Mesa since April. 🙂

    • Well we should really figure out a way around that. 🙂

      • Many books a the ABQ library can be downloaded to you cell phone or iPad/Pad.

        • Oooh, good to know! I think the Phoenix library also has a way to borrow electronically, but I haven’t tried it yet.

          • You can even download audio books. I’ve listened to most of the Wheel of Time, The Hunger Games trilogy, several Jesse Stone books, and the “I am Number Four” books using bluetooth stereo headphones on my android cell phone. Sometimes technology is really cool.

          • Sweet!!! I will definitely have to look into that.

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