Now that we’re getting into the normal routine of school, hopefully our students have settled into a rhythm with their reading. We asked our own school librarian to offer up another round of book recommendations to keep your to read lists fresh with new options. Let us know if any of your students read any of these!


Preschool/Picture Book

My Heart by Corinna Luyken

My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed…or opened up wide.

Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you.

With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.

Recommend Because: Simple phrasing with beautiful pictures. It will pull at your heart. 

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Nonfiction Reader:

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

Rivers wind through earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon.

Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past.

Weave in and out of time as perfectly placed die cuts show you that a fossil today was a creature much long ago, perhaps in a completely different environment. Complete with a spectacular double gatefold, an intricate map and extensive back matter.”

Recommend Because: This science-based, picture book from award-winning author-illustrator Jason Chin is informative and breath-takingly beautiful. It helps that the Grand Canyon is in our backyard and the author visited Summit. You won’t be disappointed. 

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 Middle Reader:

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

“Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.”

Recommend Because: The protagonist, Aven Green, is a strong, determined heroine, whose disability make her intent on living life on her own terms. She is funny, positive and independent. Because of her own disability, Aven has considerable empathy for others. Great read for all. 

** The author will be visiting Summit on September 17th with her follow-up book and I can’t wait to find out how Aven is doing.

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Middle School:

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.”

Recommend Because: This book is one of my favorite books. The main character becomes a reader, book lover and writer- a perfect journey. The book shows empathy and courage at a horrific historical time period. 

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