Category Archives: Summer Reading

Summer Reading – 2021

All it takes is a stack of great books and a commitment to read every day!

To support our students with their summer reading goals, the ASIJ Elementary Library allows returning students to check out books during summer vacation. If your child is interested in participating in summer check out, please complete the summer checkout parent permission form below. 

Click on link:  Summer Checkout Parent Permission Form

due May 31st

  • This form is required for returning students to check out books.
  • This year, homerooms will have a specified time for students to check out their summer reading books.
  • Students will be limited to 10 print books.
  • All books are due on student orientation day in August.

Ms. Pretz’ Recommended Reading Lists

(Click on the hyperlink above to access Ms. Pretz’ recommended reading lists.)

Best Books of the Year 2020

(collated by Ms. Pretz – ASIJ ES Teacher-Librarian)

SORA App How To Access Tutorial and How to Navigate SORA Tutorial

Step 1: On your iPad install the SORA app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. On your laptop point your browser to

Step 2: On SORA find The American School in Japan (tap). 

Step 3:  Then sign-in using your ASIJ Student Gmail login.  

All ASIJ Student Gmail logins start with the students’ graduation year followed by last name and first initial. Example:

All ASIJ Parents should log in using “The Gate” username and password is the number on the back of your ASIJ ID card.

Step 3:  Tap the Explore tab (binoculars icon). 

Step 4:  Tap Open Book or Open Audiobook to read or listen to the book. Tap Options to renew or return the book.

Step 5: Go to the SORA bookshelf icon and click on OPTIONS to return a book early or to renew a book.  

Please email or for assistance using this app.

If You Like…Tearjerkers & Books with Heart

As a result of several students requesting sad books, tearjerkers and books with heart, I have created this list of recommendations. Although I do not regularly seek out “tear-jerkers” or sad books, it came as a surprise to me as I was making this list that I had read most of the books on this list at some point in time in my life.

Then I began to dig a little deeper. Many of the books on this list will tug at your heartstrings. They are books with characters you will remember long after you have finished the book. Quite a few books on this list have won top literary awards in children’s literature.

Summer Check Out 2020

Summer Checkout Procedures: click here

The Google Form must be completed for each student no later than May 31st to allow time for the librarians to prepare for book pick-up beginning June 8th. Note:  The maximum number of books per child is 10 books this year.

Not sure what to check out?

You must be logged into Destiny Catalog  for these links to work.

Log in using your ASIJ Gmail username & password.

NEW FictionNEW BiographiesBeginning Reader
Read Alouds
NEW Beginning Chapter SeriesNEW NonfictionChapter Book Read AloudsMagic Tree House
Roald Dahl
NEW Easy SeriesNEW MakerspaceFeelings & Friendship Read AloudsWonder
Genius Files
NEW Graphic NovelsNEW Japanese CollectionSEL Read AloudsHarry Potter
Percy Jackson
The Noisy Librarians’ Summer Checkout Recommendations

20 Minutes A Day, Goes A Long Way

Just 20 minutes a day,
Summer slide goes away!

Tips for Parents

Set aside 20 minutes every day for reading.

Share your enjoyment of books with your child.

Read the same book with your child and discuss it.

Continue to read aloud to your child, even after they read independently.

Encourage your child to choose a book to read aloud to someone else.

Broaden your child’s horizons by helping to select from a wide range of subjects & genres.

Encourage your child to read whatever they enjoy, even if it appears to be too easy or too hard.

If your child is multilingual, have your child practice reading in all their languages.

21 Questions to Ask Your Child about a Book

Interesting Articles about Reading

2020 Summer Reading Challenges and more

If you were unable to participate in one of the reading challenges during Distance Learning or want to participate in a challenge again, feel free to give it a go during summer vacation.

Countdown Reading Challenge
(Click on the link to access the Goggle Form.)
Which grade level will check off the most boxes?
Return to the Google Form throughout the summer & check off as many boxes as you can!

1,000 Minute Reading Challenge

1,000 Minute Summer Reading Challenge
20 Minutes A Day, Goes a Long Way
Share with Ms. Pretz when we return to school in August.
(Print or download image below.)
Summer Reading Checklist Challenge
Share with Ms. Pretz when we return to school in August.
(Print or download image below.)
Book Genre Bingo
How many different genres will you read this summer?
Share with Ms. Pretz when we return to school in August.
(Print or download image below.)

Maker Challenges

Summer Checkout Success!

IMG_1193 (1)

The bookshelves are looking mighty bare in the ASIJ Elementary Library.  After three days of patrons visiting the library to checkout books for summer reading, the checkout statistics are phenomenal this year.  Without bribes, prizes or golden stickers, over 2x as many books were checked out this summer than last summer.

Total Summer Checkouts 2015 3,944 books

Total Summer Checkouts 2014 1,806 books

My goal this year was to support and encourage independent reading and wild readers.  I do not think I could have ended my first year as the ASIJ Elementary Librarian on a happier note.