Summer Reading List for Kids from the Ottawa Public Library

The Ottawa Public Library is back to share some of their favourite books for children with us. This month's post is by Kristina Roudiy, Children's Program Assistant at the Alta Vista Branch.

Non-fiction book : Hello Summer! / Shelley Rotner

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For the whole family. Shelley Rotner is a photographer who has travelled the world on photo missions for UNICEF, to document children, women, education and health. She has since become an author and has published no less than 24 children's books (which are all available in the Ottawa Public Library collection!). This title is the latest in a series of four seasonal picture books. One or two short sentences per page, accompanied by colorful photos, describe changes to plants, animals and weather, as well as sensory children's activities. Water sprinklers, frogs, beach fun, thunderstorms...you name it! A glossary of difficult words is included at the end.

Picture book : Take a ride by my side / Jonathan Ying

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For ages 3-5. This is a great read-aloud picture book! It tells the story of a dog and a cat who decide to take a trip together and end up having quite the adventure. After travelling by bike, plane, submarine, canoe and rocket ship, they conclude that : “even though it's fun to roam, there's nowhere quite as great as home!”. The dialogue between the two friends uses two different font types, so that children can tell which of the two is speaking on each page. The simple, rhyming text is accompanied by colorful illustrations with cartoon-like characters.

Picture book : Are we there yet? / Nina Laden

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For ages 4-8. This is the story of a boy and his mother who are on their way to Grandma's house. The trip starts pretty normal, with leaving the garage and driving through town...but it quickly changes to fantastical places. Quite the road trip! It brings a whole new perspective to the question kids typically ask while travelling : “are we there yet?”. This book also offers a fun I-spy-with-my-eye game, as the boy's stuffed animals & toys keep appearing through the book.


Non-fiction book : Lion of the sky : haiku for all seasons / Laura Purdie Salas

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For ages 8-12. This is a colorful collection of haiku poems about the seasons. “Lion of the sky”, for example, refers to fireworks. The book includes concrete poetry (words mixed within the illustrations) and riddles on nature, sports, fruit, etc. The young readers will have fun with the visuals, as well as with trying to guess who the narrator is in each poem! The answers are at the end of the book. The author has also included instructions on how to make your own riddle-ku.

Fiction : The Acadia Files : book one, Summer Science / Katie Coppens

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For ages 7-10. The Acadia Files introduce children to science through the easy-to-reproduce experiments of ten-year-old Acadia. Acadia is about to enter fifth grade and is curious about the world around her. Each chapter highlights a new Summer topic and includes Acadia's lab notes & sketches. Ever wondered how sand is formed? If blueberries taste the same to animals as they do to human beings? What makes hair curly? Or why the sun rises early in the Summer? Then hurry up and read this book! It also provides helpful website links for further exploration.

Graphic novel : Camp / Kayla Miller

For ages 8-12. This is the second volume in a series (the first is called Click). Fifth-grade student Olive is now off for the Summer, and is looking forward to attending Summer camp with her best friend Willow. The camp activities seem like a lot of fun, especially the music video project. But will their friendship survive camp drama? This will be appealing to fans of Smile and Roller Girl. Bonus : the instructions at the end of the book on how to make a friendship bracelet!

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For ages 10-13. This is the story of Billy, a middle-school student who has already lived in six different towns in Florida and who has a passion for snakes. One day, Billy decides to use his savings to fly to Montana to meet his father, whom he hasn't seen since he was three years old. The only thing Billy knows about his father is that his job is top secret and dangerous... And here he finds himself meeting his dad's new family, including his Indigenous step-sister Summer. Like Hiaasen's other titles, this is a fun book that will inspire youth to protect wildlife and animals.

***The Ottawa Public Library is once again doing TD Summer Reading Club from June to August 2019. Please visit one of the library branches to find out what it's all about, and to sign up for Summer Reading Club (it's free!). There will be weekly prizes and other reading incentives. ***