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Kids' Summer Reading
by Hilary Williamson, June 2006

Small StepsIjust looked over my son's summer reading list. Though he's finishing high school next year, it brought back memories of how hard it was to find chapter books that interested him when he was younger. There seems to be so much more choice now than there was then. Need books to occupy youngsters on lazy summer days or family vacation trips? Here are some great choices for kids from early readers to tweens - split into adventures starring boys, girls, and both ...

Young Heroes:

Fergus Crane: Far-Flung Adventures by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell
Fergus Crane rides a Flying Horse, to rescue friends from pirate teachers.

Freddy and the French Fries: Fries Alive! by David & Rudy Baldacci
Nerdy Freddy Funkhouser's plan to save the family business goes hilariously awry.

Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer
Brilliant young PI Fletcher Moon investigates theft and arson.

Half-Moon InvestigationsThe Hardy Boys, Undercover Brothers: Extreme Danger by Franklin W. Dixon
American Teens Against Crime investigate an extreme sports event.

How to Speak Dragonese by Cressida Cowell
Hiccup foils the Roman Empire's 'Fiendishly Clever Plan'.

Strange Visitor: Superman Returns by Louise Simonson
Superman takes on Metallo, while a Supermenace tries to do his job.

Two Hot Dogs with Everything by Paul Haven
A mouth-watering tale of hot dogs, miracles, and mystery.

The Postman Always Brings Mice by Holm, Hamel & Brad Weinman
Features international cat of mystery, James Edward Bristlefur.

Young Heroines:

Beck and the Great Berry Battle by Laura Driscoll & Judith H. Clarke
Harriet BeanCan Beck use her animal-talent to halt a war?

Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer by J. T. Petty & Will Davis
Clemency must work hard to undo the consequences of careless words.

Cloning Around: Princess Natasha #1 by KOL
Princess Natasha of Zoravia (aka high school student, aka trained spy).

Franny K. Stein - Mad Scientist by Jim Benton
Fran gets frustrated by her friends' unscientific hobbies.

Harriet Bean and the League of Cheats by Alexander McCall Smith & Laura Rankin
Harriet's twin detective aunts need her help in a case involving 'wicked cheats'.

Whales on Stilts! by M. T. Anderson & Kurt Cyrus
Lily foils a mad scientist from taking over the world.

Starring Boys & Girls:

Carnival at Candlelight: Magic Tree House #33 by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie head to Venice, Italy 260 years ago at Carnival time.
Gideon the Cutpurse
Fall of the House of Mandible by Dan Greenburg & Scott M. Fischer
The Shluffmuffin twins foil the Mandible Sisters once more.

Flyte: Septimus Heap Book Two by Angie Sage
Septimus and Jenna must foil DomDaniel's nefarious plans.

Gideon the Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer
Antigravity device sends Kate and Peter back to 1763 England.

The House of Arden by E. Nesbit
Mouldiwarps sends Edred and Elfrida on forays in the past.

In the Garbage: Andrew Lost #13 by J. C. Greenburg & Jan Gerardi
Andrew's invented Goa Constrictor consumes everything in sight!

My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville
Susan and Peter see their teacher peel off his face; what will they do?

The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer
Genius pixie villainess Opal Koboi engineers a jailbreak.
Space Dogs
Small Steps by Louis Sachar
Armpit and Kaira take small steps to get their lives together.

Space Dogs by Justin Ball & Evan Croker
A clever plot involving canine space travel, heroes and villains.

Starlight: Warriors, The New Prophecy #4 by Erin Hunter
There are seeds of conflict as the Clans settle their new territories.

Interested in exploring science with kids? Get some ideas at the Exploratopia and Exploratorium sites, and watch out for a bookful of intriguing activities - developed by a team from the San Francisco Exploratorium Museum - in the Fall. Have a wonderful, active summer, and when you have a chance to relax, pick up a book.
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