Wow! I can’t believe Summer Reading is already over. We had a great time “Reading Beyond the Beaten Path.” Over 1000 kids, teens, and adults of all ages registered to read, attend a variety of programs, make crafts, and earn tickets for prizes. This year everyone who participated read a combined total of … (drum roll please) … 885,156 minutes! Below are some of the most popular books of the summer. 

Kids Summer Reading Challenge

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, the Wings of Fire series by Barry Deutsch, and the Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey were in some of the top spots for the kid’s summer reading, but here are some other books that you may not know as well. 

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

As a kindergarten teacher, the Llama Llama books were a staple in my classroom. For such a little guy, Llama has some BIG emotions. Young children will relate to Llama’s fear of the dark and parents will relate to the patience of mama (which starts to wear a bit after many calls from Llama). Anna Dewdney has several books in the series that help children connect with emotions like anger in Llama Llama Mad at Mama, loneliness in Llama Llama Misses Mama, and worry in Llama Llama Back to School.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Dragons love tacos and parties and taco parties, but one thing they don’t like is SPICY salsa. Bad things happen when dragons eat SPICY salsa. Really bad things. This best selling book by Adam Rubin hilariously explains dragon’s love for all things in taco form. After laughing your way through this book, check out the sequel, Dragons Love Tacos 2 and see what happens when dragons run out of tacos.

Teen Summer Reading Challenge

Several books by Stephen King were read by the teens this year as was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. Check out these other popular books. 

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

After reading some of the reviews of this book, I think it will be the next on my “YA Books to Read.” The premise sounds unique and interesting and many reviews say that there is a twist that you don’t see coming. The story is about Nami, a girl who is murdered on her way to a party just after graduating high school. When she wakes up she finds herself in a world called Infinity run by a virtual assistant (think Siri or Alexa) named Ophelia who has gained intelligence and now plans on eradicating all human life. If you enjoy this you may want to check out the next in the series The Genesis Wars.

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

If this book weren’t set over the holidays, it would be the perfect summer read. Light-hearted, funny, and endearing, 10 Blind Dates is a wonderful escape book. Sophie, hoping to spend a quiet holiday season with her boyfriend, ends up going to her grandparents where she is surrounded by boisterous and nosy family members who set her up on 10 blind dates. If you don’t have extra time to read right now with school starting, then put this on your holiday break reading list.

Adult Summer Reading Challenge

The Harry Potter series was popular with the adults too this year as were classics like Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and the Bible. Here are some other books to add to your list. 

“A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with.” Arthur Parnassus in The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune.

I listened to this book several months ago on hoopla and I went into it not knowing what to expect. I almost stopped listening after the first chapter. It was quirky and clunky and strange, but because it was so popular I kept listening and discovered that it was designed to be quirky and clunky and strange. The main character, Linus Baker, is living a rule-following, lack-luster, boring and bland life when he is sent to evaluate a home for dangerous magical children. Slowly his view of what the world is like and what the world should be, changed. It is a book full of beauty, love, kindness, and acceptance.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Everyone has a story and even though this is a work of fiction it reminds us that for every nameless person we see on the news, there is a story.

Lydia and her family live in Acapulco, but when her husband exposes the cartels, her life quickly changes. Lydia and her son Luca have to flee their home and make their way north to the United States and what they hope will be a safer life. On their journey they face unimaginable danger, experience the best of humanity, and struggle to differentiate between the two. Many reviewers have described American Dirt as a combination of terror, love, and above all, hope.

Thank you to everyone who made the Summer Reading program such a success this year. Keep an eye on our website for more great activities for all ages this fall.

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