Hey kids! Add these books to your summer reading list

By John Hoover

School’s out (or almost), so what are you going to do with all your free time this summer? You could sit inside and play video games – nothing wrong with that – but may we at Misty Valley Books make a suggestion? Find yourself a Good Read, one that you can take with you anywhere you go: to the lake, the beach, sitting on a porch swing or under a tree? You don’t need any electronic equipment or any sort of plug-in. WeGood Reads1 copy’re sure you’ll be able to find something to tickle your fancy among the suggestions below (and you’ll also score points with Mom and Dad when they see you reading a book).

Kindergarten through Grade 3

In this first category I suggest two books: One Cool Friend ($17.99) by Toni Buzzeo, the delightful story of a boy and his new friend – a penguin, and Chloe and the Lion ($16.99) by Mac Barnett, the story of what happens when the writer and the illustrator of a children’s book disagree.Minnie and Moo Go Dancing

Kim likes Minnie and Moo Go Dancing ($3.99) by Denys Cazet. Two of the craziest cows you’ll ever meet are convinced they are really humans. She also recommends Amelia Bedelia ($3.99) by Peggy Parish, in which Amelia takes a job as a housekeeper for Mr. & Mrs. Rogers, and follows their instructions “exactly as they say” — with hilarious results; Green Eggs and Ham ($8.99) by Dr. Seuss, classic Seuss – “I do not like them Sam I am; I do not like green eggs and ham!” and Are You My Mother? ($8.99) by P.D. Eastman in which a baby bird hatches and finds himself alone in the tree, so he goes on a quest to find his Mother.

Grades 3 through 6

Amanda recommends a classic for this age group; Dr. Dolittle ($8.99) by Hugh Lofting. This book captures the thrill of travel and exploration of exotic, faraway places – without the expense of a plane ticket. Best of all, even the animals can talk!

Lynne likes Phoebe Stone’s The Romeo and Juliet Code ($6.99). Felicity has lived in London her whole life but is dropped off by her parents at her grandmother’s house in Maine as London is in the midst of the Blitzkrieg and a wonderful series of adventures follows. The Children of Green Knowe

Kim has a number of suggestions in this category also: Brian Jacques’ Redwall ($9.99), an epic fantasy adventure novel focusing mainly on an Abbey of mice and other woodland animals; The Penderwicks ($6.99) by Jeanne Birdsall is the summer adventures of four sisters, their dog, their absent-minded father and the friends they make while on vacation at an old estate in New England; The Children of Green Knowe ($6.95) by L.M. Boston takes place in a magical English Manor house called Green Knowe, and features the children who have lived and visited there throughout its long history; and Elizabeth Enright’s Gone Away Lake ($6.99), in which a pair of siblings, sent to the country to stay with their aunt and uncle for the summer, discover a “lost community” of derelict homes surrounding a dried up lake, and have wonderful adventures with the eccentric people who still live there.

I suggest Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion ($6.99), the first book in a series about a boy and the Arabian stallion he befriends.

Upper grades

For older readers I really like James Patterson’s Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life ($7.99). A middle school student attempts to break every rule in his school with an interesting and surprise twist at the end.

CinderJory has chosen a number of books for readers in the upper grades. Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon ($19.99) by Steve Sheinkin is a page-turning nonfiction that chronicles the building of the first atomic bomb. Marissa Meyer’s Cinder ($9.99) is a retelling of Cinderella, except this Cinderella is a cyborg who lives in New Beijing. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour ($8.99) by Morgan Matson tells the story of Amy’s summer, which begins horribly, but perhaps her cross-country road trip can be the beginning of something better; Don Calame’s Swim the Fly ($7.99) is about three less-than-cool high school friends who try to spice up their summer with a hilarious goal; and Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ($15), in which two magicians are caught up in a deadly game but can’t help but fall in love along the way.

Look for July’s Good Reads column for our Summer Fiction Reading List for adult readers. Fun, light, entertaining books to help while away a summer day.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeGood Reads

About the Author: After a 35-year career as a high school social studies teacher, John Hoover and his wife, Sally, retired to Vermont. He lives in Windham where he serves as a Justice of the Peace and Library Trustee. He works part time as a book-seller at Misty Valley Books, is active at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and sings in several choral groups.

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