by librarians Katy Vance & Viki Radford
Summer is almost upon us, and in these changing times, our options for travel may be limited. But there’s a time-honoured tradition of travel without the need for aeroplanes, customs declarations, border control, or even leaving your own bedroom. As with so many things, the solution lies in BOOKS!
Reading has always been a way of escaping; a passport to adventure. It’s crucial both for relaxation, and for understanding our own situations and challenges. In a time when we all feel the urge to escape, but our options are limited, reading is an incredible outlet: regular readers sleep better, experience less stress and have higher levels of self-esteem (Seiter).
And we’re not just saying this because we’re librarians! A 2009 study by researchers from Washington University in St. Louis scanned the brains of fiction readers and discovered that “their test subjects created intense, graphic mental simulations of the sights, sounds, movements and tastes they encountered in the narratives they read. In essence, their brains reacted as if they were actually living the events they were reading about” (Everding).
So what better way to expand your horizons than by reading - whether you have your own home library to enjoy, prefer to browse ebooks, or listen to a skilled narrator guiding you through an audiobook.
Looking for a holiday? Visit the cities of the world with novels that conjure up the sights, sounds, and experiences of your dream destinations.
Feel the urge to travel back in time? Historical fiction transports immerses you in the experiences and lives of ages past.
Need a little magic in your life? Take a journey into the worlds of fantasy, and travel to The Shire, Hogwarts, Fillory, Tortall, the Grishaverse… where you’ll be limited only by your own imagination.
Dreaming of a different future? Science fiction will expand your mind and allow you to explore all kinds of possibilities, whether those involve space travel, artificial intelligence, alien races, or simply surviving in an unfamiliar world.
Maybe you just need to know that somebody out there is going through the same challenges as you. When we read about the lives of others, we better understand our own selves. And understanding makes everything easier.
Summer Reading Checkout
Parents will have received an email from the school explaining how students can request books for summer checkout. Secondary students will have received an email directly from the library. Please email us if you have any questions about the process.
How to read Without a Library/Bookstore
Whereas over past vacations you may have visited bookstores in your home countries and spent lazy afternoons in libraries, we know that for many of our community members, traveling for holidays this summer may be limited. But while we need to recognize the feeling of loss that comes with this change to our normal plans, it doesn’t mean we have to live without stories.
YIS students are lucky to have access to ebooks in two different ways:
Wheelers ePlatform - Thanks to a consortium with several different international schools in Japan, we have access to nearly 2000 ebooks and audiobooks. You can read through the Wheelers ePlatform app on your phone or tablet, or through the browser on your computer. Try listening to an audiobook as a family this summer or reading an old family favorite aloud right before bed. Students can log in using their school email address.
Tumblebooks - Through your browser, students can explore ebooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, read alouds and more. Tumblebooks and Teen Book Cloud offer thousands of books for our youngest readers all the way to adults. You can get the login information by accessing this document using your school account.
Japanese Reading Online
商品一覧 | 学研2020年春の応援ライブラリー - Aozora Bunko: This website is a collection of Japanese classics digitized in plain text format.
Gakken - This collection includes popular Japanese books for kindergarten through teens, including graphic novels of classic novels, biographies and encyclopedias.
eHonNavi - This is a collection of Japanese picture books. More than 2000 titles are available without a login, and nearly 10,000 are available with an account.
Free Reading Resources
Many companies around the world are generously providing free access to their services right now. As of publication, the resources listed below are free to students.
Time for Kids - The Time for Kids magazine digital collection is free through July.
Audible: Discover - Audible has made several collections of audiobooks freely available, including stories in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch and Japanese! There are collections for our littlest listeners as well as for teenagers, including recent releases and literary classics.
National Emergency Library - This “temporary collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed” includes lists of recommended books by age level.
Our Reading Challenge
It is a YIS tradition to celebrate our reading upon our return to school in August! This holiday, we challenge all YIS community members to read as widely and creatively as possible. Use this BINGO card for ideas, print it out to record your reading adventures and bring it to school during the first week back to celebrate with us in the library.
Everding, Gary. “Readers Build Vivid Mental Simulations of Narrative Situations, Brain Scans Suggest.” The
Source, Washington University in St. Louis, 26 Jan. 2009, source.wustl.edu/2009/01/readers-build-
vivid-mental-simulations-of-narrative-situations-brain-scans-suggest/. Accessed 25 May 2020.
Seiter, Courtney. “The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction: 9 Ways It Make Us Happier and More Creative.”
Open Blog, Buffer, 7 Sept. 2018, open.buffer.com/reading-fiction/. Accessed 25 May 2020.