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Written by Flannery Fitch   

Summer might be coming to an end, but you still have time to participate in Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Summer Reading Program! Read six books (at least three from our list) by September 6th and you’ll earn great rewards from Bookshop, the Penny Ice Creamery, Pizza My Heart, and the Santa Cruz Warriors. (See bookshopsantacruz.com for details.) To get you started, here are a few of my favorite books from our selection lists:

 

GRADES K–2:

 

Bink & Gollie

by Kate DiCamillo

I adore Bink and Gollie. These two oddball friends are opposites who have all kinds of fun adventures. Their series of stories are great easy-to-read and are filled with fun, colorful drawings and irrepressible characters. Any young reader will enjoy following Bink and Gollie.

 

Grand Canyon

by Jason Chin

Not only are the illustrations in this book utterly gorgeous, but the book is filled with fascinating facts about the Grand Canyon—one of the most spectacular sights and geological oddities our country has to offer. Fold-out pages further enlighten this visual feast as the reader follows a young girl and her father hiking along the Canyon.

 

GRADES 3–4:

 

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees

by Franck Prévot

I only learned about Wangari Maathai last year and immediately found a new heroine, so I’m thrilled that there is a book to introduce her to children! Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan woman who led a resistance movement. One of her many acts was to organize the reforestation of Kenya. In 2004, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. She’s an incredible woman and an inspiration to the budding activist of any kind. This wonderful book introduces young readers to her in beautiful style.

 

George

by Alex Gino

This is a charming story of a young girl named George who desperately wants to play Charlotte in her class production of Charlotte’s Web. But only girls can play Charlotte, and according to everyone but George, George is a boy. This is a staff favorite and reading it will make it obvious why. George is a winning heroine who knows herself better than anyone, and that’s the kind of self-worth any kid can use as an example.

 

 

GRADES 7–8:

 

The Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman

This is one of my favorite books of all time. I adore Lyra and the world that Phillip Pullman created. The whole series is fantastic, and I’ve read it and reread it time and time again. Lyra is a troublemaking young girl raised by the dons of Oxford who finds herself on a quest to save her best friend, aided by a golden compass that isn’t a compass as we know it. My favorite part of this universe it that everyone has a daemon, a physical animal manifestation of their soul, who is linked to their human. I love it all so much I can’t even express it.

 

March: Book Three

by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell

This graphic novel series is a must read in this new era of political activism and civil rights infringement. Congressman John Lewis was a young black man during the Civil Rights movement, working alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists in the fight for civil rights. Lewis is an inspiration, and this graphic novel is a powerful work of art.

 

GRADES 9–12:

 

The United States Constitution

by the Founding Fathers

While this is on our list for 9th–12th graders, I recommend it for everyone. The Constitution is one of the most important documents in our nation’s history (if not the most important), and now more than ever we should have an understanding of what it says and what it means. Our country was built on the Constitution, and it grants us all the rights we know as citizens. Teens are heading towards being active, voting citizens—make sure they’ve got a good understanding of the structure our country operates on.

 

And I Darken

by Kiersten White

I loved And I Darken, and its recent sequel, Now I Rise. Kiersten White took the story of Vlad the Impaler, real life inspiration for Dracula, and swapped his gender. Vlad becomes Lada, a brilliant, vicious girl who wants nothing less than the throne of her country, on her own terms. When she and her younger brother, Radu, are sent to the Ottoman Empire, they are both surprised by their feelings for their new home and for the son of the sultan. This is a brilliant historical fiction with a twist, and I recommend it to boys, girls, and adults alike!

 

Flannery Fitch is a bookseller at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Her life has been about books since before she could read.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 August 2017 02:24
 
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