By Sherri Ginsberg
Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Now that your children are out of school for a few precious months, they have more time to read for pleasure. Here, Hillsides librarian, Sherri Ginsberg, gives 10 of her top book recommendations for the summer. Share this list with your kids, and happy reading!
For ages 8 – 13
Wonder by Palacio
Auggie has always been homeschooled because of a severe facial deformity, but now he enters school in the 5th grade. Even though he has an extraordinary face, he’s an ordinary kid with a huge heart and a terrific sense of humor.
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Echo is an epic novel that spans history and countries while telling the story of three children who are transformed by music. The story begins as a fairy tale and quickly gets into the harsh realities of Nazi Germany. The action then crosses the pond and lands in Pennsylvania with two orphan boys and finally in California where a Mexican girl learns about living in the USA during World War II.
The One and Only Ivan Applegate by Katherine Applegate
This story is based on a true story. Ivan is a gorilla living in a circus-themed mall and has grown accustomed to staring at adults and children. He is friends with an elderly elephant and a stray dog. He no longer thinks about the jungle where he was raised. Ivan risks everything to save a baby elephant and fortunately, spends his last days at a zoo among other gorillas instead of a mall.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Kyle Keeley is a 7th grader who loves to play games, especially video games. Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, builds a new library in town that is a combination of Disneyland and Hogwarts, and it is pure genius. Kids are selected to stay overnight and explore this amazing place and play games in order to figure out how to escape. Will Kyle and the other children ever find the way out? You’ll have to read this fun book to discover how they do it!
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Josh and Jordan are twin basketball stars. The unique thing about this book is that it is written in poems, which makes it a really easy read for this age group. Beautiful words like these below permeate the book and make it the ideal book for reluctant readers: “True champions/learn/to dance/through/the storm.”
For Young Adults and Adults
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
If you have grown up reading Blume’s books or even if you haven’t, you should start now. Blume writes a story set in the 1950s taken from a story of an event that happened in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey where Newark Airport is located. This is a fictionalized account of three plane crashes and how the crashes affected the lives of the people in the town. A fantastic book!
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Dessen is the Judy Blume of our time. She writes about real life, and the ups and downs of being a teenager. She is extremely popular and this is her 11th book. All of her books are terrific, but this could be the best of all.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven is as much a mystery as a post-apocalyptic tale. This is a popular theme amongst teenagers, and this author is really good at keeping us all guessing. Civilization as we know it seems to becoming to an end and yet a traveling symphony pops up to spread the magic of music.
Color Me Calm 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation (A Zen Coloring Book) by Lacy Mucklow
This is not a book to read, but to own. It has amazing coloring pages for young and old alike. Once you start coloring, the stress just melts away.
A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka
Avie is a very privileged teen growing up in Los Angeles who feels her life is over when her father “contracts” her into marriage. A hormone in beef killed 50 million American women 10 years ago, and now young women are so valuable that the government has taken the opportunity to protect females by restricting their rights. This speculative political thriller is a very scary – but compelling –book.
Sherri Ginsberg is Hillsides librarian. She arranges visits, projects, and performances of an incredible array of artists, authors, and musicians during the year to enrich the lives of the children at Hillsides.