Oldies but goodies

These favorite titles let kids...

... Make a new friend

Rascal
by Sterling North
Puffin Books
Ages 9-12

What boy isn't ready for a bit of mischief during the summer? And what better pet to make mischief with than an irresistible raccoon named – what else? – Rascal. This Newbery honor winner combines the joys of friendship and discovery with a meditation on what it means to love – and be loved by – something wild.

... Keep a journal

Arthur, for the Very First Time
by Patricia MacLachlan
HarperTrophy
Ages 9-12

Ten-year-old Arthur Rasby is having the worst summer of his life – that is, until he goes to stay with his great-aunt and uncle. Things are different – really different – on the farm. Among other things, his relatives sing to a pig and speak French to a chicken. But as Arthur's journal entries reveal, different can be good. In fact, it's just the kind of summer he needs to make sense of the world – and himself.

... Go berrying

Blueberries for Sal
by Robert McCloskey
Puffin Books
Preschool

You can almost taste the wild blueberries on Blueberry Hill where Little Sal and her mother go to pick. As it turns out, they're not the only ones enjoying summer's bounty. But in a story that's all sweetness, even an encounter with a mother bear and her cub is as delicious as the blueberries that fill their pails.

... Pack a picnic

Picnic
by Emily Arnold McCully
HarperCollins
Ages 4-8

Who wants to eat inside when the weather's perfect for a picnic? With its energetic text and bright ink-and-watercolor illustrations, this heartwarming tale, featuring a merry family of mice, captures the best of summer: sun, fun, and one long-awaited, joyful reunion.

... Pull out a paddle

Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe
by Vera B. Williams
Mulberry Books
Ages 4-8

If you can't get out on the river yourself, this story – about two kids, two mothers, and one fabulous red canoe – is almost as good as a paddling adventure of your own. There are crayfish to be found, a waterfall for a shower, encounters with wildlife, and a man overboard – not to mention a very satisfying journey from start to finish.

... Have an adventure

Gone-away Lake
by Elizabeth Enright
Harcourt
Ages 9-12

Siblings Portia and Foster always look forward to summers with their cousin Julian, but this summer promises to be the best yet when they discover a secret, enchanted place where time seems to have come to a standstill. The old-fashioned feel to this charming story is as refreshing as a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.

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