By Sherri Ginsberg
Editor’s note: Summer is here, which means your children have more time to read for pleasure. Here, Hillsides’ award-winning librarian Sherri Ginsberg, gives some top book recommendations for children of all ages.
Readers 4 – 8 years old
How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk
A picture book that makes coding explainable for the little ones in the house.
Ordinary Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson
A gorgeous picture book of one of our greatest writers who was quiet and shy, but oh, could she write!
Have a Little Pun: an Illustrated Play on Words by Frida Clements
Artist Frida Clements playfully combines colorfully detailed flora and fauna drawings with funny hand-lettered wordplay in this collection of beautifully illustrated puns.
Readers 8 – 12 years old
Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart
Brodie is a mutt who has died but will return to save his boy in this emotionally driven fantasy about change, loss, love and loyalty.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Melody is an 11-year-old with a photographic memory unable to talk until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The diminutive Supreme Court judge has become a cult figure while attempting to transform the USA into a just and fair country for all.
Sunny by Jason Reynolds
When a perpetually happy seeming boy, Sunny, is chosen for an elite middle school track team, we learn that he is not as joyful as he seems. We root for him as he finds a unique way to use his athletic ability to heal from the past.
The Button War by Avi
This historical fiction novel, which takes place in Russian-occupied Poland in 1914, revolves around seven boys who compete to steal the best military button and be crowned Button King.
All Summer Long by Hope Larson
This coming of age story focuses on what happens when a girl’s best friend is away at summer camp and she has to figure out how to entertain herself.
The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell
This graphic novel follows a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary cardboard (hello, Amazon!) into fantastical homemade costumes as they explore conflicts with friends, family, and their own identity.
The Mortification of Fovea Munson by Mary Winn Heider
A summer job for 12-year-old Fovea Munson in her parents’ cadaver lab leads to her discovery of three talking heads in need of a favor.
Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet
This is a fascinating portrait of the famed New Yorker essayist and author of “Stuart Little” and “Charlotte’s Web,” who had an extreme fear of public speaking and struggled with depression and hypochondria.
Young adult readers (13 & above)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen year old Starr Carter moves between two worlds; the neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. Her life is turned upside down when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend by a police officer.
The sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha is spending her last day in New York City because her family is being deported to Jamaica after her father’s recent arrest when she meets Daniel, falls in love, and doesn’t want to leave the city.
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
A high school student writes a poem for his high school English class, which inspires the teacher to have a weekly poetry session that becomes one of the most popular classes.
Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
Millie is fine being fat and doesn’t want to return to weight-loss summer camp. Instead, she winds up working at her aunt and uncle’s gym, which leads to some unlikely friendships and a romance.
I am not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez
A “perfect” Mexican daughter stays home, doesn’t go to college, and is loyal to her family. However, this all changes when she is killed in an accident and her not-so-perfect sister Julia is left to pick up the pieces of her family while discovering maybe her sister wasn’t as perfect as she seemed.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
The dead are rising from their graves at Gettysburg, and the recently emancipated slaves are sent to combat schools to learn how to kill the walking dead.
Sherri has worked at Hillsides for 12 years, and previously worked at libraries on the East Coast, where she designed a library, worked in a law library, a public library, and two school libraries. She has a master’s degree in information sciences from Rutgers University. Sherri was recently honored to receive a 2016 “I love my librarian award” awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Public Library, The New York Times, and the American Library Association. Sherri says she reads “tons and tons of books of all genres,” and especially enjoys bringing authors to the library so they can share their works with the children of Hillsides.