School’s out, and vacation time is upon us. Whether the family is planning a vacation or staycation, kids can do some vicarious globetrotting this summer by reading books.
“Summer reading is important for kids so their skills stay sharp and they’re ready to hit the ground running again when school starts back up in the fall,” said Miranda Clark, director of the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. “Plus, reading is pure pleasure. It gives you the chance to imagine, explore, and think—even ‘vacation’ without leaving your couch.”
The center recommends these books for tots and teens who are interested in taking a vacation via books this summer:
“Dodsworth in Tokyo” by Tim Egan. Dodsworth’s duck companion is surprisingly well-behaved during a visit to Tokyo, although he does fall into the koi pond at the Imperial Palace and becomes the center of attention at a Sanja Festival.
“In Andal’s House” by Gloria Whelan. Kumar, a young boy living in present-day India, faces bigotry when he goes to visit a classmate from a higher caste family.
“A Long Way Away,” by Frank Viva. A picture book that can be read front to back or back to front.
For Intermediate Readers
“Racing the Moon” by Alan W. Armstrong. In 1947, 11-year-old Alex and her impulsive older brother Chuck befriend an army scientist who shares their interest in rockets and outer space travel.
“I’m Not a Plastic Bag: A Graphic Novel” by Rachel Hope Allison. A wordless graphic novel and accompanying information describe how human consumer waste is affecting the earth, specifically by traveling to garbage patches in the oceans such as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.
For Middle Grade Readers
“Fenway Fever” by John H Ritter. Twelve-year-old Alfredo “Stats” Pagano and Boston Red Sox pitcher Billee Orbitt work together to break a potential curse at Fenway Park.
“The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth” by Anita Silvey. This book introduces readers to explorers from the 18th and 19th centuries who traveled the world to discover, collect and transport new and unusual plants in the name of science.
“The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure” by Martin Sandler. In a true story, three men are sent by President McKinley in 1897 to drive two herds of reindeer across parts of Alaska.
For Young Adults
“Endangered” by Eliot Schrefer. A girl, having traveled with her mother to an animal sanctuary for bonobos in the Congo, struggles to survive with the animals after revolution breaks out and she and the chimpanzees are forced to flee into the jungle.
“Meant to Be” by Lauren Morrill. Julia, a clumsy but intelligent junior in high school, gets paired with her personal nemesis, Jason, on a school field trip in London. When Julie gets several romantic texts following a wild party, Jason agrees to help her track down the sender if she is willing to break a few rules.
“Summer of the Mariposas” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. In an adventure reminiscent of Homer’s “Odyssey,” 15-year-old Odilia and her four younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, aided by La Llorona but impeded by a witch, a warlock, chupacabras and more.