Booked for summer

Library officials suggests books for summer reading

June 11, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Bored this summer? Read a book.

The folks at Washington County Free Library rounded up a list of kid-friendly summer reads just in time for its Summer Reading Club, which began last week.

Children's library associate Abigail Andrews and former children's librarian Dawn Borgardt - who's relocating to Oregon - rounded up these lists for kids, teens and tweens.

Picture books

  • "Duck Dunks," by Lynne Berry; illustrations by Hiroe Nakata (2008, Henry Holt and Co.)

    Age: 3 to 5

    According to the publisher's website, the book is a companion to "Duck Skates," though this time, it's summer and five little ducks can't wait to splash into the sea.


Why Andrews picked it: "This one I've used a lot at Story Time," said Andrews, who said "Duck Dunks" was well received among the library's youngest patrons. Parents like it, too. "It happens to include some counting," Andrews said.

  • "The Gold Miner's Daughter: A Melodramatic Fairy Tale," by Jackie Hopkins; illustrations by Jon Goodell (2006, Peachtree Publishers)

    Age: 5 to 9

    Summary: The heroine in need of gold to pay a mustache-twirling villain encounters Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, the former owner of the Golden Goose, Sleeping Beauty's spinning wheel, Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin's sister along the way.

    Why Andrews picked it: This book is ideal for group settings due to the use of rebus-style icons, which signal audience participation. Example: The mustache symbolizes the bad guy. So when that icon appears, she said the kids are supposed to place a finger beneath their noses like a mustache "and say 'Boo, Hiss!'"

  • "Bats at the Beach," written and illustrated by Brian Lies (2006, Houghton Mifflin Co.)

    Age: 5 to 9

    Summary: According to the author's website, pack your buckets, banjos and blankets - don't forget the moon-tan lotion - and wing with this bunch of fuzzy bats to where foamy sea and soft sand meet.

    Why Andrews picked it: It's kid logic translated into bat logic - e.g. eating fried bugs and going to the beach in the middle of the night. This book might be a little long for younger kids, so Andrews recommends this for elementary school-age kids.

    "I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean," by Kevin Sherry (2007, Penguin Group USA)

    Age: 3 to 5

    Summary: According to the publisher's website, a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean and realizes that he's way bigger than most of them. Of course, there are bigger things lurking around, but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn't really care.

    Why Andrews picked it: The book has wonderful illustrations and a punch line at the end that most parents will appreciate. It also ties into the summer reading club's water theme, Andrews said.

    Books for tweens and teens

  • "Catching Fire," by Suzanne Collins (2009, Scholastic)

    Age: 12 to 18

    Summary: "Fire" follows Collins' win at "The Hunger Games," the first book of this trilogy. Katniss is preoccupied with the government's expectations for her romantic life, but she soon has more important worries.

    Why Borgardt picked it: "That's one of my favorite reads," said Borgardt. She said while the story is intended for teen audiences, it can easily pull in older readers. "I loved it."

  • "The Color Trilogy" ("The Color of Earth," "The Color of Water," and "The Color of Heaven") graphic novels by Kim Dong Hwa (2009, Macmillan)

    Age: 12 to 18

    Summary: Romance blooms in the parallel stories of a young girl and her widowed mother in traditional Korean society.

    Why Borgardt picked it: These books fall outside what most consider strictly manga, Borgardt said. "These are visually amazing," she said. "I loved how it combined the graphics and the language."

  • "The Reformed Vampire Support Group," by Catherine Jinks (2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

    Age: 12 to 18

    Summary: Fifteen-year-old vampire Nina has been stuck for 51 years in a boring support group for vampires, and nothing exciting has ever happened to them - until one of them is murdered and the others must try to solve the crime.

    Why Borgardt picked it: This book will likely attract fans of the current vampire craze - the "Twilight" series. "We can't keep them on the shelves," Borgardt said of the Twilight books. Except "Reformed" offers a lighter, sillier take on the whole vampire genre.

  • "The Baby-Sitters Club Prequel: The Summer Before," by Ann M. Martin (2010, Scholastic)

    Age: 8 to 12

    Summary: Before there was the Baby-Sitters Club, there were four girls named Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi and Stacey McGill.

    Why Borgardt picked it: Prequels seemed to be a predominant theme this summer Borgardt said, adding that the BSC series remains a favorite among parents and young readers alike.

  • "The Red Pyramid: Book One of the Kane Chronicles," by Rick Riordan (2010, Hyperion Books for Children)

    Age: 8 to 12

    Summary: In the new series by the author of "Percy Jackson and the Olympians," two children are forced into a journey that draws them closer to the truth about their family and its links to a secret order that predates the pharaohs.

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