- Donna Throckmorton | Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Library Services Consultant
The Summer’s heating up and the school break is the perfect time to dive into a good book. Arizona’s Summer Reading Program, Oceans of Possibilities, encourages families to head to their local library and select and read any material of their choice for just 20 minutes every day.
A great way to encourage reading this summer is to make it a family activity. The easiest way to participate is to find your local library, select a book to check out, and schedule consistent time to read as a family. By setting up family reading time at the end of the day you can help everyone wind down and make bedtime easier as well.
Children also read more when they can choose books based on their own interests. The ability to choose also gives children autonomy and encourages them to stay committed to their decisions.
Since children often replicate the behaviors of their parents, parents are encouraged to read, too. Plus, reading has benefits for adults. Reading reduces stress, slows the progress of age-related memory loss and boosts sleep quality.
Having a tough time choosing a book to read? Here are a few recommendations from fellow Arizona book enthusiasts:
- Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain
- Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West’s Most Notorious Woman Bandit by John Boessenecker
- The Forgotten Botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art by Wynne L. Brown
- Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver by Jill Heinerth
- How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F. Walter
- Joan: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Katherine J. Chen
- The Low Desert: Gangster Stories by Tod Goldberg
- Beach House: The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe
- Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
- This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
Young Adult non-fiction:
- In Waves by A. J. Dungo
- You Don’t Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves by Diana Whitney
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Young Adult fiction:
- Jinxed by Amy McCullouch
- Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen
- Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
- Love Somebody by Rachel Roasek
- Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi
1. Oceanarium by Loveday Trinick
2. The Tide Pool Waits by Candace Fleming
- The Heart of the Storm: A Biography of Sue Bird by Sharon Mentyka
- Big Ideas for Little Environmentalists by Maureen McQuerry
- My Journey to the Stars by Scott Kelly
- Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera
- ¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge by Raúl the Third
- Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts by Erika Lewis
Summer reading for all ages provides meaningful, enjoyable experiences. Visit your local library and dive into a good book today!