Literary Links: Summer Reading

This summer we challenge readers of all ages to “Build a Better World.” Our Summer Reading theme motivates us to build, tinker and engineer, and it encourages us to help our community and our environment. To celebrate this theme, I’ve compiled a list of books to inspire you and your family to construct better reading skills and demolish the summer brain drain!

Registration for Summer Reading begins on June 1.

For Ages 0-5
Good Night book coverConstruction is hard work! After a long day of building and play, it’s time for the vehicles in Sherri Duskey Rinker’sGoodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site” to tuck in for the night. Have fun rhyming while helping Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Bulldozer and the other construction companions finish their work and settle into sleep.

Have you ever messed up when creating a work of art? Don’t despair! Beautiful Oops book coverBeautiful Oops!” by Barney Saltzberg will teach your how to turn your “oops!” into a “whoopee!” Did you rip your paper? Turn the tear into alligator chompers! Did you spill your paint? Make the blot a silly animal! Every mistake, if looked at positively, can create a beautiful new work of art.

Old MacDonald book coverIf you like the traditional story of Old MacDonald, then you’ll love the reconstructed version, “Old MacDonald Had a Truck,” by Steve Goetz. Have a blast digging, scooping, spinning and whirling with machines as you build a track for Old MacDonald’s massive monster truck.

Rosie creates contraptions that can solve almosRosie Revere book covert any problem in Andrea Beaty’sRosie Revere, Engineer.” In this story, Rosie not only learns how to make a colossal cheese-copter, but she also discovers that mistakes are simply the stepping stones to success.

For Ages 5-12
I am Malala book coverFor an engrossing memoir about a daring young woman who strives to change her community for the better, read Malala Yousafzai’sI Am Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World.” This Young Reader’s Edition of her memoir shows how Malala champions schooling for girls in Pakistan despite the dangers of doing so, and how she has become an international spokesperson for girls’ education.

In Brad Montague’s “Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome,”Kid President book cover YouTube sensation Kid President offers 100 tips on making the world more awesome. Famous quotes, inspiring interviews and Kid President’s famous corn dogs and dance parties all blend together to make this a hilarious and uplifting read.

Want to construct an awesome world of your own? Read “LEGO Awesome Ideas” by Daniel Lipkowitz Lego book coverfor hundreds of LEGO construction designs and building advice. Then, see if your constructions can beat the records set in “Guinness World Records: Man-Made Marvels!” by Donald B. Lemke.

For Ages 12-18
In “Lies We Tell Ourselves” by Talley Robin, we Lies we Tell Ourselves book coverfollow the story of Linda, a white student whose father opposes integration, and Sarah, a black student who is one of the first to attend Linda’s newly integrated school. When forced to work on a project together, they deconstruct long-held prejudices and build trust, love and understanding for each other.

Carl Hiassen’sHoot book cover quirky book “Hoot” follows Roy, the new kid in a small Florida community, as he teams up with another boy to save burrowing owls who are threatened by a planned construction project.

Fletcher, a blacksmith’s apprentice, has to rebuild life as he knows it Novice book coverwhen he accidentally summons a salamander demon in Taran Matharu’sThe Novice.” As his powers grow, Fletcher must learn how to use his magic for good so he can save his warring world.

Positive book coverFor a true tale of a teen overcoming bullying, check out “Positive: Surviving My Bullies, Finding Hope, and Living to Change the World: A Memoir” by Paige Rawl. Paige writes a raw and candid memoir about what it’s like to be HIV positive. She squashes the negativity in her life and calls her readers to do the same to make the world a better, more compassionate place.

For Adults
The adult Summer Reading program is an easy way to discover new books and connect with other readers. Sign up for the program and share book reviews to get entered into weekly prize drawings. We’re also offering related programs, including “Silent Book Club,” which combines solo reading time with time to discuss books with others, and a “Book Buzz” where you’ll hear about upcoming book releases followed by fun book-discovery activities.

We’ll continue to recommend books all summer long. Check our displays at the libraries or visit our blogs at, and