June 4th is the Kickoff for our Summer Reading Program, this year themed “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!”. With fun activities, programs, and logging your reading minutes to earn free books this summer coming up, here is a list of great books for kids to get your summer off to a great start.
Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson
This inspiring picture book tells the story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, who was born in Ghana in 1977 with a deformed left leg-and went on to bike 400 miles in 2001 to raise awareness and change perception of people with disabilities in Ghana. With warm illustration and thoughtful text, the author shows how Emmanuel persevered, hopping 2 miles to school every day, bought and shared his soccer ball as long as he could play on the team, and taught himself how to ride a bike with only one leg. This picture book truly shows that being “disabled does not mean unable”. An extraordinary story about an extraordinary person.
Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli
This adorable picture book is the perfect story for bedtime, with charming illustrations and a fun look-and-find aspect for the sharp-eyed children. Owl has settled into bed, but as soon as he does, he hears a sound, and he’ll never get to sleep until he finds what is making the sound. He looks everywhere, but fails to notice one small little detail. This adorable picture book is the perfect story for bedtime, with charming illustrations and a fun giggle-worthy look-and-find as children spy the noisy intruder keeping owl from getting a good night’s sleep.
The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
The newest book by Rick Riordan, author of several popular fantasy series for middle school kids needs little selling. Riordan continues his exploration of the world created in his Percy Jackson series by introducing some new characters. The god Apollo has irritated in father Zeus enough to be cast out of Olympus and tossed down into New York City as a mortal. With the help of a preteen demi god, the 4000 year old teenage deity makes his way to Camp Half-Blood with hilarious hijinks and enough snarky attitude to engage the most reluctant of readers. This is the perfect book to start off your summer reading list.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeiers, kids will love this graphic novel. 12 year old Astrid and Nicole have always done everything together. But this summer, Astrid signs up for derby camp and Nicole signs up for ballet. The two girls find their friendship tested as they make new friends and form new interests. This book nicely combines the excitement and sometimes danger of the rough-and-tumble sport roller derby with the trials of growing up and apart from childhood friends.
El Deafo by Cece BellThis touching graphic novel shows the difficult journey that the young Cece goes through after losing her hearing from spinal meningitis. Cece doesn’t pull any punches in this book, laying out clearly the difficulty of having to use hearing aids, learning how to lip read, making new friends, trying to watch TV and more. Cece lightens the conversation with cheery illustrations and characterizing everyone as rabbits. She also shows how as a child she dealt with the trials of being deaf by imaging herself as a super hero, El Deafo. With an honest afterwards explaining how she chose as a child not to learn ALS, and her later appreciation for the language, this is not a book to be missed.
--Sarah Rehborg, Youth Services Librarian