Guest Blogger: Carrie Nurnberger Lane


Studies have shown that children that read during the summer are more likely to succeed when starting school in the fall.

With that being said, as a parent, why not recommend or encourage your child to read books that provide opportunities for engagement, entertainment and education?

The following list of book titles includes classics, graphic novels, award-winners and picture books for the young readers. Hopefully, one of these titles will become a new favorite for your child and they will find themselves lost in the pages of a book.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (Chapter Book)

Anne of Green Gables is the classic story of a young orphan girl who is adopted by an elderly brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The couple never marries but lives together in the beautiful countryside of Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Anne has a wild imagination and is always creating tales and assigning clever names to the island’s landmarks. The delightful story chronicles Anne’s life on PEI and the adventures she and her friends embark on.

Note: This book is part of the Chautauqua Young Reader’s Program and may be purchased at The Fine Print bookstore in Lakeside.


Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (Chapter Book)

This book, by beloved author, Kate DiCamillo, is a wonderful graphic novel, especially for a reader who might be reluctant.

The story follows Flora on an exciting adventure after finding a squirrel that turns out to be a superhero – he can lift vacuums, attack cats, fly and write poetry.

What makes the novel interesting is that it has a combination of pictures, comics and text – a great combination for all readers.

Note: This book is part of the Chautauqua Young Reader’s Program and may be purchased at The Fine Print bookstore in Lakeside.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Chapter Book)

Auggie, the main character in Wonder, has severe facial deformities due to an extra chromosome.

He had so many surgeries that he was homeschooled until fifth grade, when his parents decided it was the right time to start school.

Auggie attends a private school, in New York City, where he is met daily with fearful glances. The teachers and some of the other school kids have learned to accept his differences. However, kids, and even parents of the other students, can be cruel.

Auggie handles these challenges with courage. Middle school isn’t easy for most, but he takes each day one step at a time. He has a small group of friends, but it isn’t until he attends an overnight camping trip with his classmates that he realizes friends and supporters may come from the least likely classmates.

Wonder is an absolutely fabulous book. Not only does the author present Auggie’s perspective, but she shows us the views of his sister, her boyfriend and Auggie’s classmates. These perspectives show us how everyone has to deal with Auggie’s needs.

We all need to be a little more accepting. A little nicer. A little more caring. This world, and especially our schools, would be a better place.

Although this book is geared towards tweens (grades 3-8), I would recommend everyone read it. Even adults. It might teach you a lesson that you hadn’t thought about since grade school days.

Fans of Wonder will also want to read Palacio’s other Wonder books: The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story and 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Brown’s Book of Precepts to be released in August 2014.


Doll Bones by Holly Black (Chapter Book)

Doll Bones is a ghost adventure and friendship story all rolled into one.

Alice, Poppy and Zach are always in the midst of a game with their action figures. One day the “Queen” suddenly comes to life and the three must return her to her rightful place.

They set out on their last quest together, but this one is anything but make believe. They set out to solve the mystery – camping alongside the Ohio River, breaking into the East Liverpool Carnegie Library and stealing a sailboat.


When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Chapter Book)

Miranda is an average middle school student until her life becomes a puzzle, starting the day her best friend, Sal, is punched.

Life gets kind of strange after that. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom hides for her goes missing. And then mysterious notes start arriving at home.

With each note, Miranda realizes that she is the only one that can prevent a tragic death? But whose death? And who is sending the notes? Miranda struggles to answer these questions and solve the mystery before something terrible happens.


Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee (Picture Book)

Boot & Shoe is the delightful tale of two dogs.

Boot lives on the back porch because he’s a back porch kind of dog. And Shoe lives on the front porch because he’s a front porch kind of dog.

Other than their porches, they share everything else. They eat from the same bowl. They sleep in the same bed. Then, one day a squirrel messes everything up.

Read Boot & Shoe this summer to find out what happens between these two dogs and a squirrel.


One Cool Friend by Tony Buzzeo (Picture Book)

Elliot takes a visit to the aquarium one day with his father.

Upon visiting the penguins, he asks his father if he can have a penguin. His father approves and Elliot should have realized his father meant a stuffed animal from the gift shop and not the real one that he names Magellan and proudly takes home.

One Cool Friend is entertaining tale of friendship with a surprise ending.


This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (Picture Book)

A small fish steals a hat from a much larger fish in this entertaining picture book and hopes he can get away with his crime before the big fish wakes up.

Readers will see though that the big fish has woken up and he knows his hat is missing.

Young readers, particularly preschool ages and kindergarten, will love the humor and suspense in This is Not My Hat.


Press Here by Herve Tullet (Picture Book)

Press the yellow dot on the cover, follow the instructions and take an interactive journey while reading the book.

Imagination abounds as readers await the instructions to press, shake and tilt the book to make the colored dots move, multiply and decrease.

Press Here is a simple story but one that engages young minds and helps fuel creative thinking.


Ninja! by Aree Chung (Picture Book)

Ninjas need to be courageous, strong and silent to overcome any obstacles even a baby sister. Ninja! is a sweet tale of a young boy dressed as a ninja and taking challenges throughout his house.


Kids, you’re invited to join The Front Porch conversation. What books are on your summer reading list? What’s your favorite book to read at home or at the beach? Tell us in the comments below.

Carrie Nurnberger Lane is a former Teen Librarian and Library Director. She is now the Youth Services Coordinator at the Allegheny County Library Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been a Lakesider for 25 years.