by Hollis Stoltz and Angela Scott, CPL Children’s Librarians
Originally published by the
To celebrate this season of sunshine and encourage everyone to keep reading as one of your summer activities, Daniel Boone Regional Library is offering our annual Summer Reading program . This year’s themes are Little Splashers for ages birth to 4, Make a Splash, Read! for ages 4 to 12, Make Waves  for teens, and, new this year, Water Your Mind  for adults. Here are some cool and refreshing titles for the whole family.
In the picture book “What If…? ” (Roaring Brook Press, 2010), Laura Seeger imagines what could happen when a boy throws a beach ball into the ocean. This title offers an endearing story of friendship and sharing.
What wonders will a young boy find while exploring beneath the bubbles? Your child’s imagination will become engaged in this wordless picture book “The Treasure Bath ” by Dan Andreasen (Henry Holt & Co., 2009). More bath-time fun can be found in the book "Does an Elephant Take a Bath? " by Fred Erhlich (Blue Apple Books, 2005), which uses stories about animals to teach children the importance of good hygiene.
“Bubble Homes and Fish Farts " by Fiona Bayrock (Charlesbridge, 2009) is a simple look at bubbles in nature. From the herring to a rattlebox moth, the watercolor illustrations and the unique information provided will keep you and your child engrossed.
On a lighter note, “Catfish Kate and the Sweet Swamp Band ” by Sarah Weeks (Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009) is a great book with a simple message of compromise. Catfish Kate and her friends want to play music, but Skink and his Skunktail Boys want quiet so they can read. How will they compromise? Raft into this book bayou and find out.
“Bathtub Science ” by Shar Levine (Sterling, 2006) is a fun nonfiction title offering a list of zany bathroom experiments. This title will appeal to the elementary-age children in the family.
Two newer works of fiction for the older elementary child are “The Water Seeker ” by Kimberly Willis Holt (Henry Holt, 2010) and “Reef Rescue: An Eco Adventure ” by India Evans (Ecopress, 2009). In “The Water Seeker,” you are transported back to the time of the Oregon Trail to follow the experiences of a young man as he discovers his inherited ability to find water. “Reef Rescue” will take you on an adventure to the Florida Keys with Julie Leeds to save coral reefs while encountering treasure hunters, shipwrecks and even a shark or two.
“Rivers of Fire ” (Little, Brown, 2009) is the second book in Patrick Carman’s Atherton series. This installment continues the environmental theme set in a fantasy world. The Planet Atherton is going through volatile changes; Edgar, Samuel and Isabel venture on a dangerous path confronting such obstacles as rivers of fire, rising floodwaters and even giant eels.
For the teens, we suggest the realistic fiction title “Flush ” by Carl Hiaasen (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). Plunge into mucky waters with Noah Underwood and his sister, Abby, on an ecological adventure involving exploding toilets and the misdeeds of a floating casino that may be damaging their cherished Florida Keys.
“Breathless ” by Jessica Warman (Walker & Co., 2009) captures the story of 15-year-old Katie, who is sent off to boarding school after her mentally ill brother becomes increasingly violent and her parents become more distant. There, she finds acceptance through her love of swimming, but with popularity comes more challenges for Katie.
How can we pass up a book involving the Titanic when there is a water theme? “Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic ” by Suzanne Weyn (Scholastic Press, 2009) takes place in the early 20th century when four sisters and their mother travel from New York to London. It is on their way home that they travel on the Titanic, and some of the sisters’ inventions could help save the ship or destroy it. Throw in some spirit-world contact and romance, and you have an interesting approach to the sinking of the Titanic.
“Three Rivers Rising ” by Jame Richards (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) is a novel in verse set against the historical backdrop of the 1889 Johnstown flood. The story introduces four fictional families while exploring the division of social classes through a cross-class romance.
For the adult who enjoys a good romp with villains, murder and even an ecological factor, Carl Hiaasen’s “Skinny Dip ” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004) will meet your needs. Take a cruise with Chaz and Joey as they celebrate their wedding anniversary. Fearing his wife is on to his scheme of doctoring water samples of the Everglades, Chaz pushes Joey overboard hoping she is gone for good. Surprise — Joey survives and plots revenge against Chaz, who is working for a greedy tycoon.
On a more serious note, the nonfiction title “Zeitoun ” by Dave Eggers (Mcsweeney’s Books, 2009) is a compelling narrative on the experiences of Syrian-American Abdulrahman Zeitoun before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. This title makes us think about how we react in the wake of disaster.
Here’s to a great summer full of reading. We'll see you at the library!