This summer, allow your imagination to soar among the stars as the Daniel Boone Regional Library celebrates a “Universe of Stories.” This year’s Summer Reading theme channels the explorer and dreamer in all of us. Our annual program launches May 22, and we have versions for all ages. The following book selections will inspire children and teens to look up at the sky with wonder and curiosity.
Ages 0-5: Our youngest summer readers will enjoy “Where Is the Rocket?” by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Barroux (Blue Apple Books, 2014). This brightly colored picture book uses space-themed imagery to introduce opposites and directional words, making it perfect for babies and toddlers.
What would you do if the electricity went out in your house on a hot summer night? “Blackout” by John Rocco (Disney/Hyperion Books, 2011) tells the story of a busy family who finds connection with one another and their neighbors after a city-wide power outage. The book’s illustrations, which are laid out like comic book panels, show the deep contrast between the night sky and the glow of candles, flashlights and stars.
Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the magical nature of darkness in his book, “The Night World” (Little, Brown and Company, 2015). A child’s mischievous cat beckons him from bed into the comforting shadows outside to watch the sunrise. As the reader moves closer to dawn, the artwork slowly shifts from soft black to vibrant yellow, blue and green.
Ages 5-12: This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human lunar landing. Brian Floca’s book “Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11” (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009) provides an accessible history for young readers while also conveying the enormity of this achievement. Told in verse with watercolor illustrations, Floca shares the story of NASA’s most famous mission.
Lovers of sci-fi and otherworldly adventures should check out Ben Hatke’s graphic novel, “Zita the Spacegirl” (First Second, 2010). While playing outdoors, Zita and her best friend Joseph discover a portal to another planet. Joseph is unexpectedly swallowed up by the portal, and Zita quickly follows to rescue her friend. Her action-packed escapades continue through two more books, “Legends of Zita the Spacegirl” and “The Return of Zita the Spacegirl.”
Ages 12-18: Best-selling author Veronica Roth has completed her “Carve the Mark” duology (Katherine Tegen Books, 2017), her first major project since her popular “Divergent” series. On the planet Thuvhe, there are two warring civilizations: the ice-dwelling Thuvhesit and the warrior tribes of the Shotet. Readers will also want to check out the follow-up book in the series, “The Fates Divide.” Both books are brimming with fantastical world-building, political intrigue, epic battles and a dash of romance.
In “Across the Universe” by Beth Revis (Razorbill, 2011), Amy is supposed to remain cryogenically frozen alongside her parents so that they can survive the 300-year space flight to a new colony planet. However, Amy is awoken 50 years too early and discovers that someone is thawing other passengers and leaving them to die. This title is part of a trilogy which also includes “A Million Suns” and “Shades of Earth.”
While a majority of our summer readers are children and teens, DBRL offers a program for adults as well. Read three books, share three book reviews and do seven activities. Then, beginning July 1, you can pick up a finishing prize. You’ll also be entered into a drawing for other rewards like an Amazon Fire Tablet. You can register online, at your nearest DBRL branch or at a bookmobile stop beginning May 22. Learn more about the library’s Summer Reading programs for all ages at www.dbrl.org/summerreading.
Literary Links, compiled by library staff, appears monthly in the Ovation section of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Each article contains a short list of books on a timely topic.
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