Summer reading list crosses cultures

June 16, 2011|Lesley Mason | Kids Ink

Summer Reading Club is under way. Are you signed up? The Washington County Free Library has reading clubs for all ages.

Summer reading programs are an efficient, fun way to incorporate reading and related activities into summer family time. This month's book list brings you culturally diverse titles that enhance this year's theme of "One World, Many Stories" for children, and "You are Here" for teens.

 "Abiyoyo," by Pete Seeger (ages 3 to 5)

Based on a South African lullaby, a ukulele-playing boy and his magician father are always known for getting into mischief. They have an opportunity to redeem themselves when Abiyoyo, a horrible, people-eating giant approaches the village.

 "Yoko," by Rosemary Wells (ages 3 to 5)

It is Yoko's first day at school, and she is excited to make new friends, but her Japanese heritage only makes her stand out from the rest of her classmates.

 "A Pot O'Gold," by Kathleen Krull (ages 6 to 8)

Created for families, this anthology compiles classic and rare examples of Irish culture, including stories, poems, songs, recipes and even a little blarney.

 "Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions," by Margaret Musgrove (ages 6 to 8)

This book is a Caldecott Medal winner for its stunning portrayal of the ABC's of African culture.

 "One Hen," by Katie Smith Milway (ages 9 to 12)

After his father dies, Kojo quits school to help his mother collect firewood to sell, but there is little money or food. Kojo uses a few of the coins lent to him to buy a hen. This story is based on the experiences of an actual Ashanti poultry farmer.

 "Call It Courage," by Armstrong Sperry (ages 9 to 12)

Based on Polynesian legend, Mafatu overcomes his fear of the sea and proves his courage to his village and his father, Great Chief of Hikueru.

 "A Long Walk to Water," by Linda Sue Park (ages 13 and older)

Based on a true story of two Sudanese two children, Salva, and Nya, this story follows their struggle to survive during the country's brutal civil war.

 "19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East," by Naomi Shihab Nye (ages 13 and older)

This collection of poetry for young adults evokes the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Middle East, especially Jerusalem, as experienced by a young Palestinian-American.

Lesley Mason is children and teen librarian at Washington County Free Library.

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