Now that the weather is getting warm, thoughts are turning to SUMMER! YEA! With summer there will be family occasions, graduations, vacations, and more. But there will be days where kids will have some time on their hands. This is the perfect time to attend the Grant Park Library’s Summer programs. I am including a list of good books to read over the summer. They are recommendations grouped for children entering their next grade. There are several titles per grade, keep looking!
Before Entering First Grade
Bailey: Stanley’s Party c2003 dogs, humor
When a dog’s owners leave for the evening, he gets into a lot of mischief.
Bloom: A Splendid Friend Indeed c2005 friendship
A polar bear and a goose learn to get along and be friends.
Bourgeois: Franklin in the Dark c1986 fear, fiction
A turtle afraid of small dark places, and therefore of crawling into his shell, asks a variety of animals for advice, only to find out that each has a fear of its own.
Bruel: Bad Kitty c2005 alphabet
Finding that there is no food in the house, a kitty chooses to be very bad.
Carle: Mister Seahorse c2004 animals, fiction
Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, after which Mr. Seahorse carries the eggs through the sea, greeting other fish fathers.
Cousins: Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales c2009 fairy tales
Simple text and bold illustrations tell eight classic fairy tales.
Cronin: Dooby, Dooby, Moo c2004 animal humor
Duck organizes the farm animals for a talent show at the county fair. The first prize is a trampoline.
Ehlert: Market Day: A Story Told with Folk Art c2000 stories in rhyme, fiction
While keeping a diary, the young fly records how hard it is to be an insect.
Falconer: Olivia series pigs, fiction
Olivia is a feisty pig who has too much energy for her own good.
Lester: Hooway for Wodney Wat c1999 fantasy, abilities awareness
Students in Rodney’s class make fun of him, because he can’t pronounce his name properly; but it is his speech problem that helps to punish the class bully.
Lionni: Swimmy c1991 fish stories
A small black fish, finds a way to protect a school of small red fish from their natural enemies.
McKinley: One Smile c2002 kindness
While walking through the park with her mother, a child smiles at a discouraged stranger and sets off a chain of events that spreads kindness and comes full circle.
Numeroff: Beatrice Doesn’t Want To c2004 realistic fiction, humor
Beatrice Doesn’t Like to Read, but a librarian changes her attitude during a story session in this humorous, well illustrated book.
Prelutsky: Me I Am c2007 poetry
A book of poem for children celebrating being an individual.
Rathmann: Ruby the Copycat c1991 school, fiction
Ruby wants to fit in on her first day at school, so she begins to copy her classmate Angela; but then Ruby’s teacher shows her how much fun it is to just be herself.
Shannon: A Bad Case of Stripes c1998 individuality, fiction
A girl who is always concerned about what others think of her wakes up one day to discover she is covered with stripes.
Capucilli: Biscuit series dog stories
Biscuit, the adorable little tan puppy, has many adventures.
Gelman: More Spaghetti I Say c1993 stories in rhyme, humor
Minnie the monkey is too busy eating spaghett all day, in all ways to play with her friend Freddie.
Johnson: Alphabet City c1995 alphabet
Photographs of objects in an urban setting present the letters of the alphabet.
Before Entering Second Grade
Brett: Town Mouse, Country Mouse c1994, 2003 fable
After trading houses, the country mice and the town mice discover there’s no place like home.
Cannon: Crickwing, Pinduli, Stellaluna, Verdi, insects, fiction
Picture books about unappreciated and fascinating creatures
Ernst: Sylvia Jean, Scout Supreme c2010 fantasy animals, humor
Sylvia Jean disguises herself in order to assist a neighbor who does not want her enthusiastic help.
Hoberman: You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together c2001 stories in rhyme
This collection of short, rhythmic stories and cheerful art is designed to be read out loud by both child and adult.
Hoffman: Amazing Grace c1991 diversity, fiction
Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.
Mayer: Little Critter stories fantasy, animals
Little Critter is a small creature who is amazingly like a young human boy. His adventures take place with different members of his family who expose him to daily life experiences.
McKissack: The Honest-to-Goodness Truth c2000 character, ethnic diversity
A young girl promises not to ever lie but then discovers that there are times that one actually should not tell the entire truth.
McNaughton: Once Upon an Ordinary School Day c2004 school story
Mr. Gee, the new teacher, changes “ordinary” when he challenges all the children to use their imaginations.
Numeroff: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and sequels c1985 cumulative tales
When a mouse requests a cookie, a cycle of events occurs that brings the reader full circle.
Orloff: I Wanna Iguana c2004 letters, fiction
Alex and his mother write notes back and forth in which Alex tries to persuade her to let him have a baby iguana for a pet.
Pallotta: Dory Story c2000 sea story, fiction
Danny’s ocean adventures are completely enchanting, even if they take place in the bathtub.
Peet: The Ant and the Elephant c1972 animals, fiction
Of all the animals the elephant rescues, only the tiny ant returns the favor..
Polacco: Aunt Chip and the Triple Creek Dam Affair c1996 TV, reading, fiction
Since the invasion of television, no one can remember how to read.
Schachner: Skippyjon Jones c2003 humor
This Siamese kitten spends his “time-out” imagining himself as “El-Skippito” who comes to the rescue of some Chihuahuas.
Steig: Brave Irene c1986 fiction
Brave Irene, the dressmaker’s daughter, ventures out into a fierce snowstorm to deliver the beautiful ball gown her mother has made for the duchess.
Stevens: And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon c2001 nursery rhymes
From the Mother Goose nursery rhyme, Dish and Spoon run away. Concerned about the fate of the rhyme, Cat, Cow and Dog set out to find them.
Woodson: The Other Side c2001 friendship, ethnic diversity
A fence divides a town where two girls – one white and one black – sit and gradually become acquainted.
Crews: Below c2006 fiction
When Jack drops his action figure into a mysterious hole, he has to devise a rescue.
Lionni: Little Blue and Little Yellow c1959 friendship, colors
A little blue spot and a little yellow spot are best friends, and when they hug each other they become green.
Lobel: Frog and Toad stories classics
Each of the frog and toad stories include several short tales about two very good friends.
Rylant: Henry and Mudge stories family, dogs, humor
A young boy named Henry and his dog Mudge share many adventures with Henry’s parents and other important people in his life.
Sharmat: Nate the Great series mystery
Solve each mystery alongside the most popular sleuth in the business.
Silverman: Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series fiction
Two new wranglers have hit the ranch. Read how the west will never be the same again!
Before Entering Third Grade
Bridges: Ruby’s Wish c2002 historical fiction, ethnic diversity
During the 1800s in China, when few girls learn to read and write, Ruby fervently desires to attend university with all the males in her family.
Curtis: The Bat Boy and His Violin c1998 sports, music, ethnic diversity
Reginald loves to play his violin, but Papa wants him to be outdoors more and enlists him as the bat boy for the baseball team Papa manages. Reginald plays his violin in the dugout, and the team improves.
Adler: Bones series mystery
Everyone needs bones — Detective Jeffrey Bones that is. With his bag of detective tools in hand, read how Jeffrey can solve any mystery.
Bourke: Christian the Lion: Based on the True Story of Anthony (Ace) Bourke, John Rendall and Christian the Lion c2009 nonfiction
Details the experiences of Anthony Bourke and John Rendall, who bought a lion cub from a department store, raised him as a pet, reintroduced him to the wild in Kenya and years later received a warm welcome from the grown lion.
Bunting: One Green Apple c2006 historical fiction, ethnic diversity
Farah is new to the U.S. and her class. She feels alone until she goes on a field trip and realizes things are alike everywhere.
Cleary: Math is CATegorical series stores in rhyme, mathematics
Mathematical functions are explained in rhyming text and simple, silly cartoons.
Cronin: Diary of a Fly c2007 animal fiction
A young fly discovers, day by day, that there is a lot to learn about being an insect, including the dangers of flyswatters and that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
Dadey: Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series schools, fiction
There are some pretty weird grown-ups living in Bailey City.
DeFelice: One Potato, Two Potato c2006 fairy tale
A very poor, humble couple live so simple a life they share everything, until the husband discovers a pot with magical powers buried under the very last potato in the garden.
DiCamillo: Mercy Watson series animal, fantasy, humor
Welcome to the wry and endearing world of Mercy Watson, the beloved “pig wonder” of the Watson household.
Foxworthy: Dirt On My Shirt c2008 poetry
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy presents more than thirty illustrated poems for children on such topics as friends, bugs, family members and pretending.
Holm: Babymouse series c2005 graphic fiction, friendship, imagination
An imaginative mouse learns life lessons while living her life.
Hopkinson: Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) c2008 historical fiction
In Knob Creek, Kentucky, in 1816, seven-year-old Abe Lincoln falls into a creek and is rescued by his best friend.
Johnson: Just Like Josh Gibson c2007 sports fiction, historical fiction
A grandmother recounts the story of the day she was allowed to play in a baseball game, even though she was a girl.
Kerrin: Martin Bridge: Ready for Takeoff! c2005 fiction
Martin means well, but his ideas don’t always turn out as expected. In three stand-alone chapters, Martin deals with issues at home and school.
Pinkney: The Ugly Duckling c1999 fairy tale
This adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic portrays an unhappy year for an ugly duckling who eventually grows up and transforms into a beautiful swan.
Sachar: Marvin Redpost series fiction
Marvin Redpost encounters hilarious problems with school, family and friends.
Stilton: The Geronimo Stilton series mice, fantasy, mystery
Geronimo Stilton is a mouse newspaper editor and journalist who travels the world to chase important interviews but winds up in the middle of adventures that involve solving intriguing mysteries.
Tunnell: Mailing May c1997 historical fiction
Five-year-old May wishes to visit her grandmother, but the train is too expensive. May’s father and cousin concoct a clever means of sending the child after all.
Warner: Only Emma c2005 fiction
Emma’s mother loses her job, so Emma becomes the new kid in the school and neighborhood. An only child, Emma’s life changes when a four year old comes for a visit.
Before Entering Fourth Grade
Abbot: Secrets of Droon series fantasy
Take along with a trio of best friends who stumble upon the magical world of Droon.
Birney: The World According to Humphrey c2005 fiction, humor
Humphrey, a classroom hamster, surveys his surroundings and finds ways to help the children in the class.
Bruchac: The Girl Who Helped Thunder and Other Native American Folktales c2008 folklore
A collection of illustrated Native American folktales.
Clements: Lunch Money c1994 school, humor
Hart is a popular boy who sometimes “goofs off”. When he hits the music teacher with a rubber band, he is put in charge of the holiday concert. Both Hart and his teacher learn lessons.
Fleming: The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School c2007 fiction, school
Mr. Jupiter becomes the 4th grade teacher of an unruly class with surprising results.
Grimes: Talkin’ About Bessie c2002 biography, ethnic diversity
How Bessie Coleman became the first African-American woman to become a licensed pilot as told by her family and friends.
Gutman: My Weird School school, humor
A fun series of books about school life that appeal to reluctant readers.
Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat c2008 poetry
Hurwitz: Fourth Grade Fuss c2004 school story
Julio and his friends enjoy their fourth grade activities – the yard sale, ice skating, and a surprise party; but the students get serious when they have to study for end-of-the-year statewide tests.
Kehret: Shelter Dogs: Amazing Stories of Adopted Strays c1999 animals, non-fiction
Tells the story of 8 dogs who were saved from the animal shelter and went on to better lives.
Klingel: Go Fly a Kite! (And Other Sayings We Don’t Really Mean) c2008 idioms, figures of speech
Explains the meaning of many common idiomatic expressions used in English.
Mazer: Amazing Days of Abby Hayes series fiction
Myers: Blues Journey c2003 poetry, ethnic diversity
Presents blues lyrics that chronicle the history of the African-American experience, and includes information about the development of blues music.
Noble: The Last Brother (Tales of Young America series) c2006 historical fiction
Gabe becomes a bugler in the Civil War to protect his only surviving brother.
Osborne: Magic Tree House series time travel, fiction
Explore the world with Jack and Annie.
Pennypacker: Clementine c2006 fiction, series
Clementine is a funny, energetic, third grader with a talent for getting in trouble and a heart of gold.
Shelby: Adventures of Molly Whuppie and Other Appalachian Folktales c2007
A collection of fourteen that combine traditional Appalachian folktales with contemporary themes.
Van Draanen: Shredderman series fiction
Discover how Nolan Byrd goes from being the number one nerd at Cedar Valley Elementary to a world famous superhero.
Wiles: Each Little Bird Sings c2005 family life, grief, fiction
Comfort Snowberger is well acquainted with death since her family runs the funeral parlor in their small southern town, but even so the ten-year-old is unprepared for the series of heart-wrenching events that begins on the first day of Easter vacation with the sudden death of her beloved great-uncle Edisto.
Before Entering Fifth Grade
Alvarez: How Tia Lola Learned to Teach c2010 divorce, family life, fiction
Juanita and Miguel’s great aunt, Tía Lola, comes from the Dominican Republic to help take care of them after their parents divorce, and soon she is so involved in their small Vermont community that when her visa expires, the whole town turns out to support her.
Clements: We the Children series c2010 mystery
Sixth-grader Ben Pratt’s life is full of changes that he does not like but when the school janitor gives him a tarnished coin with some old engravings and then dies, Ben is drawn into an effort to keep the school from being destroyed.
Collins: Gregor the Overlander c2003 fantasy
Gregor and his two-year sister fall down a shaft in the basement and find a world of giant insects and rats. They become part of a huge battle.
DiCamillo: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane c2006 fantasy
Edward Tulane is a selfish, thoughtless toy rabbit until he loses the little girl who loves him.
Giff: Storyteller c2010 families, historical fiction
Forced to spend months at an aunt’s house, Elizabeth feel a connection to her ancestor Zee, whose picture hangs on the wall, and who reveals her story of hardships during the Revolutionary War as Elizabeth comes to terms with her own troubles.
Going: The Liberation of Gabriel King c2005 race relations, friendship
Gabriel, a white boy who is being bullied, and Frita, an African-American girl facing prejudice, decide to overcome their many fears together as they enter fifth grade in Georgia in 1976.
Hahn: All the Lovely Bad Ones c2008 ghost stories
Travis and his sister Corey decide to boost business at their grandmother’s Vermont inn by staging a few “hauntings” that soon draw tourists from across the country, but when their antics awaken a dark force, they must find a way to put to rest the ghosts they have disturbed.
Hawkins: The Year the Money Grew on Trees c2008 farm life, fiction
In early 1980s New Mexico, thirteen-year-old Jackson Jones recruits his cousins and sisters to help tend an elderly neighbor’s neglected apple orchard for the chance to make big money and, perhaps, to own the orchard.
Lowry: The Willoughbys c2008 family life, humorous stories
A tongue-in-cheek take on classic themes in children’s literature, in which the four Willoughby children set out to become “deserving orphans” after their neglectful parents embark on a treacherous around-the-world adventure, leaving them in the care of an odious nanny.
Lupica: Two-Minute Drill c2007 dyslexia, football stories
Brainy Scott, a great kicker who otherwise struggles with football, and star quarterback Chris, who has dyslexia, team up to help each other succeed in both football and school.
Maya Angelou c2007 poetry
A brief profile of African American poet Maya Angelou accompanies some of her better known poems.
Nelson: Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, US Marshal c2009 biography, ethnic diversity
An illustrated biography of Bass Reeves, a former slave who was recruited as a deputy United States marshal, based on his ability to communicate with the Native Americans in the area that was to become Oklahoma.
Paulsen: Hatchet c1987 survival, fiction
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given to him by his mother and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.
Pearson: Kingdom Keepers series suspense fiction
When Disney comes looking for five teenagers to serve as actors for a new technology-Daylight Hologram Images (DHIs), there is more to it than meets the eye.
Peck: A Year Down Yonder c2000 humor, historical fiction
In 1937, during the Great Depression, Mary Alice lives with her very unusual grandmother in rural Illinois.
Smith: Bone c2004 graphic novel
Three cousins leave their home of Boneville. On their journey they meet royalty, dragons, and monsters as they try to return home.
Stewart: The Mysterious Benedict Society c2007 fiction, adventure
Four children are secretly spies as students in the Learning Institute for the Enlightened. They have to avoid being brainwashed by Mr. Curtain, one of the owners of the school. This is a mystery you will be eager to see unfold.
Thomas: The Kids Guide to Money Cent$ c2004 , personal finance, nonfiction
Text and cartoon illustrations introduce kids to the concept of money.
Wilson (editor): Maya Angelou c2007 poetry
A brief profile of African American poet Maya Angelou accompanies some of her better known poems.
Various authors: 39 Clues series mystery
Follow Amy Cahill and her brother, Dan, as they travel the world to hunt for the 39 Clues