Happy Summer Solstice! Even though the unofficial start of summer was nearly a month ago, the first official day of summer is Saturday. In BookKids, we love summer – popsicles, outdoor concerts, cooking things over fire, swimming at Barton Springs, and catching fireflies. We also love books about summer. We have a display of some books about summer, and here are a handful of our favorites from both the children’s and teen sections. Don’t forget, we also have a summer reading program for kids in grades K through 8. Be sure to check out those great books, too.
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan
It is often hard to tell if Shaun Tan is writing adult stories for children, or children’s stories for adults. His stories are often not stories in the conventional sense, but a cryptographic key to unlocking a reader’s imagination and the stories that lie within. And what can be more in line with the rules of summer than that?
My Best Friend by Mary Ann Rodman
This picture book takes place at a community pool, where Lily has decided that Tamika should be her best friend. The only problem? No matter how hard Lily tries to impress Tamika, she keeps getting snubbed and ignored! Keesha would love to be Lily’s friend, but somehow it’s just not the same as having an older girl like Tamika for a best friend. I love this story because of it’s message of what it means to be a true friend, also the watercolor illustrations make me nostalgic for childhood summers past.
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
This is the based-on-a-true-story story of two best friends who spend a week with Grandma & Grandpa and get to go to a week of nature day camp. Even though camp is a bit of a bust, the week is saved because there are so many other things to do at Grandma & Grandpa’s beach house. I love Marla Frazee’s colorful artwork that is so true to life and has playful humor. This book perfectly captures the fun of summer (e.g. creating & eating ice cream icebergs, exploring tide pools), and best friends.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
I like this story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California to meet their mother, who left when they were very young. The story takes place during the summer of 1968. With dreams of going down to Disneyland, the sisters are excited but nervous about their trip. Their mother has other plans for them, and they end up spending the summer with the Black Panthers. What I liked most about the story is the relationship between the sisters and how they bond during the summer. It’s also a funny story at times, and the setting and time period are well-described. I like the follow up book P.S. Be Eleven, too.
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Belly, short for Isabel, lives for summers at Cousins Beach. Most summers she hangs out with the guys and lives a carefree life. But this year, it is a summer of change for Belly. She likes a boy. He might like her or this other new guy might like her. Either way, Belly has some summer romance on her hands. This is a fun, beach-y, summer read for teens.
Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Wish You Were Italian tells the story of Pippa, who is upset about being sent off to Italy to attend at a summer art program that she really wants nothing to do with. She likes photography and adventure, and art school is not part of her idea of an amazing summer. When Pippa arrives in Italy, she decides to make the trip worth while and take matters into her own hands – meaning skipping out on the summer art program and backpacking around Italy. She gets some amazing photographs along the way. With the help of a little journal and her best friend keeping her secret intact at home, Pippa gets a sneak peak of what it is like to be on her own for the entire summer, the importance of taking charge of her life, and putting what she loves doing out into the world. If you love Italy, gelato, and an adorable love story this book is for you and everyone else!
*Kristin Rae will be at BookPeople on Friday, June 27 at 7PM! Also with her will be authors Lindsay Cummings, Julie Murphy, and Jennifer Mathieu.