With the sun shining brighter and the days growing longer, there’s no better time to dive into a collection of thrilling books that will take you to far-away destinations and extraordinary experiences. To enhance your summer reading experience, we have a special surprise in store for you! We’ve created a checklist of topics to guide your reading adventures.
Simply check off each topic as you delve into a book that aligns with it, and let the checklist inspire you to delve into new titles. So, grab your summer gear, find a cozy spot, and get ready to explore with our handpicked selection of adventurous summer reads!
Explore a New Country
After oil was discovered in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, which was home to nearly all the country’s Nubian giraffes, conservationists knew they had to do something. So in 2015, they hatched a plan to move some of these animals, which are critically endangered, across a river to safer territory. But there was no bridge and giraffes can’t swim. The solution involved transporting the world’s tallest land animal by truck and by barge. Follow along as Sandra Markle tells the story of this unusual—and successful—rescue effort!
In a small village in Paraguay, Diego dreams of giving music lessons to the children he sees each day. The only problem: there aren’t enough instruments to go around.
But when he and Nicolas, a carpenter, look to a nearby landfill, they see instruments in the making. Soon, a paint can, a wooden plank, and a faucet knob become the start of a violin—and their recycled instruments give the kids in town new ways to express themselves.
Inspired by the true story of La Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura, Hua Lin Xie’s first graphic novel is a big-hearted ode to the power of music.
Discover Hidden History
This powerful story is told from the collective perspective of the children who were rescued from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, as Hitler’s campaign of hatred toward Jews and political dissidents took hold. The narrative starts in 1938 and follows the children as they journey to foster families in England for the duration of the war, return to Prague afterward in an unsuccessful search for their parents, and eventually connect with Nicholas Winton, a British former stockbroker who was instrumental in bringing them to safety. Winton and the Czech Kindertransport ultimately rescued 669 children from Nazi persecution.
Millions of Africans were enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade, but few recorded their personal experiences. Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is perhaps the most well known of the autobiographies that exist. Using this narrative as a primary source text, authors Monica Edinger and Lesley Younge share Equiano’s life story in “found verse,” supplemented with annotations to give readers historical context. This poetic approach provides interesting analysis and synthesis, helping readers to better understand the original text. Follow Equiano from his life in Africa as a child to his enslavement at a young age, his travels across the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, his liberation, and his life as a free man.
Cheer on a Sport
Bo’s life is always buzzing. And not just because he lives upstairs from The Buzz, a barbershop. Young readers will love following Bo’s daily life and adventures in these early chapter books.
This time, Bo wants to be the star of his basketball team. But his friend plays better than him during practice. Follow Bo as he learns about being a team player and having fun playing the sport.
Read Woke™ Books are created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian, to reflect the diversity of our world.
Dive into the Ocean
Fin is extremely forgetful—he wears slippers to school and comes home without his pants. So it’s no surprise when he leaves the tap running . . . until it floods the world! Who will be outraged, and who will be overjoyed?
Winner of the Sibert Medal, Secrets of a Civil War Submarine is a fascinating look at the world’s first combat sub.
On February 17, 1864, the H. L. Hunley made history as the first submarine to sink a ship in battle. Follow author Sally M. Walker on a fascinating journey through the workings of the famous submarine, its voyages, and the difficult obstacles that were overcome to recover, excavate and conserve the ship.
Blast off into Space
On a sleepless night, while gazing up at the skies, a child realizes that the world would be a better place if we acted with empathy and understanding. Around the world, we all look up at the same moon and it shines down on each person equally.
The moon isn’t afraid to share its sky with the stars; the moon knows the stars don’t take away its ability to shine. This heartfelt, rhyming story is a great conversation starter on kindness and equality for children with illustrations capturing all walks of life.
Thousands of years ago, humans believed that Earth was the center of the universe, that the world they lived on was all there was. Truthfully, the solar system extends almost halfway to the nearest star. And it is composed of not only planets, asteroids, and comets, but also powerful forces and vast fields of energy. This is our solar system’s big backyard.
Read on to learn what sorts of objects orbit at such extreme distances, what happens at the boundary between the sun’s influence and interstellar space, whether there is such a thing as the mysterious Planet X, and how life on Earth could not exist without the happenings at the edge of the solar system.
Meet New People
As an adult, Kati Karikó channeled her curiosity into her work as a scientist. An mRNA vaccine had never been made before, and she faced frequent criticism and was told by other scientists she would never succeed. After many years of hard work and dedication, she figured out how to use mRNA to make a vaccine—and when a deadly virus called COVID-19 started infecting millions of people, Kati’s invention turned out to be exactly what the world needed.
Never Give Up is the inspiring true story of a determined scientist who proved that a little bit of curiosity and a lot of hard work can save lives.
Examine—and appreciate—the many ways in which people can create a family. This informative compendium goes beyond the basics of sexual reproduction to examine the diversity of medical and societal methods people use, including in-vitro fertilization, surrogacy, adoption, and more.
Through scientific research, diagrams, and interviews with families, author Rachel Ginocchio provides a thoughtful and thorough examination of the possibilities available.
Take a Leap into a Graphic Novel
Timothy Dinoman is on the trail of a stolen satellite! To learn what these suspected supervillains want with outer-space tech, the world’s nicest iguanodon will visit a mountain fortress, a giant blimp, and a diner with excellent pancakes. On the way, he’ll even meet a really cute cat. Grab your rocket boots and your fake mustache—it’s time to crack the case with Timothy!
Xinyue, a treasure hunter turned guardian of a baby deity, has escaped death—and awakened in a strange new land.
Qiliu, the boy he once called brother, has been captured by enemies—and must tamp down his rage long enough to make his next move. Faced with wolf raiders, frog royalty, and killer plants, both young men will have to choose allies carefully as powerful forces emerge.
Solve a Mystery
Illustrated in full color and packed with character and humor, this is a new whodunnit mystery in the award-winning Detective Gordon series, fun to read alone or aloud.
A Case with a Bang is the final book in the series of funny detective stories for early readers set in a friendly forest in which two determinedly fair police—retired-toad Gordon and the indefatigable mouse Buffy—solve the mystery and stop regularly to eat cake.
The book leaves readers with a memorable Gordon message: Everyone thinks differently, strangers are welcome, cakes for everybody!
Follow an Animal’s Trail
Eating poop is gross! So why do some animals do it? For lots of good reasons!
Male butterflies slurp up poop to give as a gift to females, which makes their eggs stronger. Robins scarf down the poop of young chicks because it’s full of undigested nutrients. And baby elephants gobble up the poop from adults to get essential bacteria into their digestive systems. This disgustingly informative book is bursting with lots of surprising information about animals—and digestion!
Mary Anning made some of the most notable fossil discoveries of the nineteenth century. Her uncovering of ichthyosaur remains, plesiosaurus remains, and more expanded people’s knowledge of prehistoric life. This graphic biography follows Anning from her early life in a family of fossil hunters in a coastal British town to her years as a collector who impacted scientific research and understandings of the past.
Get Lost in a Book
We hope that our recommendations and the accompanying checklist can enrich your summer and leave you with a sense of fulfillment. Remember that the adventure doesn’t end here, try to get lost in a book and set a goal to read for 20 minutes a day! Let books like these continue to guide you on new discoveries throughout the year. From thrilling tales to thought-provoking narratives, there’s always a literary adventure waiting. So keep turning those pages and keep embracing the limitless possibilities of reading.