Book Corner: Conquer Summer Slide with Reading Program

Summer Reading is here!  Though Central Rappahannock Regional Library buildings are not open, Summer Reading for all ages is going strong online (  With weekly prize drawings and end-of-summer raffle prizes to look forward to, Summer Reading is a great way to set yourself some reading goals and have fun along the way. 

Summer Reading’s greatest benefit for kids, of course, is in reducing “summer slide,” when kids who don’t read or aren’t exposed to enriching activities in the summer months can see their reading levels decline.  Reading every day in the summer helps kids stay sharp and maintain their reading levels, and studies show that children who participate in Summer Reading have higher test scores in the fall, compared to classmates who did not participate in Summer Reading.

Popular series abound for kids, including Bad Kitty, The Brilliant World of Tom Gates, The Land of Stories, The Last Kids on Earth, Lunch Lady, Magic Tree House, and Myth-o-Mania.  We also have notable books by both new and bestselling authors.

Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Thanks to his grandmother’s stories, Charlie Hernandez has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and mythological creatures of his Latin American heritage.  Charlie loves the stories, but when he begins to experience physical manifestations of the stories and finds himself part of the mythical world, he realizes they’re not just stories.  Suddenly on a quest to rescue his parents, he also has to figure out a way to save the world from a battle between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead.

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
Hoping to get the attention of her father so he’ll return home, 10-year-old Raymie decides to enter the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition.  At a baton twirling lesson to prepare for the contest, Raymie meets two other girls who are also dealing with life’s hardships.  The girls have some adventures and, along the way, help each other realize that even when life is hard, there are moments that can give you hope, especially when you have friends to share them with.

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
In this re-telling of the little-known fairy tale “Snow White and Rose Red,” two sisters have only themselves to rely on after their father disappears and their mother descends into grief.  Snow and Rose determine that they must set out into the enchanted forest to find their father and encounter engaging (and sometimes sinister) characters along the way.

The library has great books for teens as well:

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Jule may feel like she knows herself, but she makes sure that no one else really does.  After her best friend’s death, Jule escapes people’s questions about Imogen by running away, determined to hide her past and reinvent herself.  Part murder mystery, part psychological thriller, Genuine Fraud is a page-turner for teens and adults alike.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
When Will's older brother (and hero) is shot dead, he resolves to seek revenge.  He goes into his brother’s hiding spot and grabs the gun he was sure would be there.  As Will rides the apartment’s elevator down to go after his brother’s killer, he is shocked when the elevator stops and his brother's friend, Buck, gets on. This shouldn't be a problem, since Will has known Buck his whole life. But it is a problem since Buck is dead. As Will progresses down in the elevator, more ghosts from his past get on, all of them victims of gun violence, all of them dead before their time. These ghosts talk with Will about where he’s headed, causing him to question his plan for revenge.

Warcross by Marie Lu
Emika is barely scraping by as a bounty hunter.  When she gets desperate and needs money fast, she hacks into the international Warcross Championships.  Warcross isn’t just a video game; it is an obsession, a part of life.  When she gets caught, she figures the authorities will be after her, but instead the creator of Warcross hires her to be a spy in the game to catch a hacker who is trying to sabotage the whole international Warcross gaming network.

Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.