Summer Reading!

Sunshine State Readers 2016I don’t know about you, but I look forward to May 1 each and every year!

Why you ask? Picture this: children standing outside the public library automatic sliding doors in the month of May. Sweat beading down their young faces as they grip in their hands the list of all lists – the Sunshine State Young Reader (SSYRA) book list for the year!

Will my book be on the shelf?

The Sunshine State books are coveted and hoarded by children all over the state of Florida each year. These titles literally fly off the shelves of stores and public libraries.

Libraries have wait lists 50 students long waiting for the popular titles to come available. Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble pile these books 10 deep on tables with the title “Sunshine State Award Books” each summer knowing families are looking specifically for these hot titles!

There are two Sunshine State Young Reader Book lists – one for elementary grades and one for middle grades. The elementary titles are great for students in grade 3-5 and the middle school novels are selected for readers in grades 6-8. Each list represents the best in young literature and there are typically a dozen titles or more nominated to each list.

How are these books selected? These lists are created by librarians and teachers from across the state through an intense nomination and voting process. The Florida Association for Media in Education team received nominations from across the state of Florida. The criterion is very specific and clear. Books must:

  • Be Fiction
  • Have an author who lives in North America.
  • Be appropriate for students from all around Florida in grades 3 to 5 and/or 6 to 8.
  • Have a Copyright Date of 2010 or Later.

Here are some of the exciting SSYRA titles for grades 3-5. (There are 15 titles in all!)

2016 SSYRA 3rd-5th titles

Here are some of the exciting SSYRA titles for grades 6-8. (There are 15 titles in all!)

2016 SSYRA 6th-8th titles


Pick up a few of these titles this summer and extend your love of reading!

If you need assistance selecting interesting and grade appropriate titles for your child please reach out to your FLVS Literacy Coaches!

The full 2016-17 Sunshine State Book List is available here.


Dr. Jeanne GiardinoDr. Jeanne Giardino, FLVS Parenting Skills instructor, has a true passion for all things literacy. She enjoys the collaborative process in promoting reading in all aspects of virtual education. Having held a variety of positions with FLVS since 2006, she brings a global perspective to her current position. After 20 years in the field of education, she maintains a wealth of literacy knowledge and enthusiasm for student success.



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