Here's an op-ed piece about the difference between what kids are "expected" to read over the summer now and what "suggested" reading was all about in decades past. It used to be all about leisure and enjoyment. Now, the idea is more equated with "work." Children's books are no longer just for fun.
"We seem to have lost sight of what children can actually process, and more important, of their own innate capacities. Instead of our children being free to roam and dream and invent on their own timetable, and to read about children doing such things, we increasingly ask our children to be sober and hard-working at every turn, to take detailed notes on their required texts with Talmudic attention, to endure computer-generated tests. And the texts we require them to pore over have become all too often about guarded, world-weary, overburdened children, who are spending their childhoods trying to cope with the mess their parents left them." Read More.