Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Summertime Reading List

By Suzy Leopold

Take a break from the summer heat and discover seven books to add to your summertime reading list.

Someday Is Today 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life

Written by Matthew Dicks

New World Library, 2022

Stop dreaming. Stop procrastinating. Stop hoping for someday. 

Creative individuals will find this book thought-provoking. 

Simple, practical strategies are shared to help make your dreams come true. Inspiring and amusing, the author shares a plan of action. 

“Someday Is Today will give you every tool to get started and finish that _______ (fill in the blank). 

What are you waiting for? Start today to realize your creative dreams.

Born Hungry Julia Child Becomes “the French Chef”

Written by Alex Prud’homme

Illustrated by Saran Green

Calkins Creek, 2022

Julia Child’s grandnephew is the author of this biography picture book. One of America’s most celebrated chefs, Julia believed every meal should be special and encouraged everyone to enjoy their meal. 

She made cooking fun.  

The back matter includes an author’s note, books Julia wrote, TV shows she starred in, and a recipe for Oeufs Brouillés-Scrambled Eggs. 

Bon appétit”


The Gardener of Alcatraz: A True Story

Written by Emma Bland Smith

Illustrated by Jenn Ely

Charlesbridge, 2022

The opening lines are sure to make the reader want to turn the page: “The boat chugged out of San Francisco and into the bay. Sound nice? It wasn’t. This was no pleasure outing, let me tell you. Gulls squawked. A foghorn moaned. And Elliott Michener, prisoner #AZ-578, stared into the fierce wind. Ahead loomed an island topped with a concrete fortress, watchtowers, and barbed wire.

The back matter includes a timeline, additional facts and information, an author’s note, and a selected bibliography.


The Woman Who Split the Atom: A True Story

Written by Marissa Moss

Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2022

Lise Meitner was born in 1878 in Austria. In 1906 Meitner earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Vienna. 

This forty-chapter middle-grade book shares the many challenges Meitner encountered during her lifetime. She experienced discrimination and racism. She was stripped of her position as a professor and her citizenship--all rights under the Nuremberg Laws enacted against Jews. 

The award-winning book includes graphic drawings by the author, Marissa Moss. The well-researched novel shares a timeline, a glossary, profiles of scientists, and more.  

All from a Walnut

Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette

Illustrated by Felicita Sala

Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2022

The opening line is sure to entice the reader with curiosity: “One chilly morning when Emilia woke, there was a nut on her nightstand.” 

Turn the page to read a tender story that Grandpa shares with Emilia. The story behind the walnut includes Grandpa’s journey across the ocean with a walnut in his pocket.


Written by Deborah Kerbel

Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

Owlkids Books, 2022

Follow another journey. This time it is with a maple seed, also known as a whirligig, a helicopter, or even a maple key in this wordless picture book. 

This delightful wordless picture book shares the wonder of nature as readers are encouraged to observe, explore, and discover. Maple seed facts are included in the back matter to support the STEAM curriculum.

Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden

Written by Phyllis Root and Gary D. Schmidt

Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Candlewick Press, 2022

In 1835, Celia Laighton was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. At four years old, the Laighton family moved to White Island. Celia's father is the keeper of a lighthouse on the desolate island located off the coast of Maine.

Celia adored the sea, the rocks, the birds, and the many colors of the island. She became a gardener, a writer, and a painter. Celia’s flower gardens were as pretty as her poems.

Pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade and enjoy this short stack of seven books. 

Time to play Summertime Bingo in the summertime breeze. Can you cover a row of four books or five books? I challenge you to read nineteen books this summer. Cover every square of the Bingo card to win at "Blackout Bingo".

May you enjoy reading these seven summertime books as you dig deep to acquire new knowledge and information. 

Explore and discover the picture book elements in these books: unique themes, similes, strong voices, beautiful imagery, and fun onomatopoeia. Writers may find a mentor text or two to support a writing project.

Several of these titles are sure to delight readers of all ages. Help kids to avoid the Summer Slide by sharing as read-alouds during story time. 

Summertime is for reading. It's the kind of reading where you don't want to book down as you get swept away for hours. 


  1. I've got some more reading to do! Thank you for the curated list and the summer bingo board, Suzy.


    1. Thank you, Kathy. You are sure to enjoy these titles. Happy reading and writing.

  2. Great post, Suzy - I love the BINGO challenge!

    1. Hope your summertime reading equals a Bingo win, Sue.

  3. Fun post, Suzy! I like your Bingo card & list of books.

    1. Thank you, Tina. I'm quite certain your students would enjoy a similar bingo card to record the books they read during the 22-23sy.

  4. Fun challenge & super lists of books to read this summer!

    1. Thank you, Patricia.

      Hope you find some books to read from this suggested summertime list.


  5. Terrific post, Suzy! Thank you for the summertime reads and fun!

    1. Charlotte: May your summer be filled with reading, writing, and all that you love.

  6. A great number of new-to-me books to add to my library holds! Thank you for a great post :)

    1. My pleasure to share currently published titles with you, Laurie.

      Happy reading and writing.

  7. Replies
    1. Hope you win at Bingo as you enjoy reading and writing this summer.

      Thank you, Angie.