Build a Better World

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Time to get ready for summer reading! Many adults think back fondly on the time they spent at the library in their younger days, filling out book logs and winning small prizes. Many public libraries organize summer reading clubs with easy-to-reach goals for preschool and school-age children. In recent years, libraries have expanded these programs to target a wider audience, including more activities for teens and adults.

Some studies suggest that reading as few as five books in the summer can prevent “summer slide,” or the loss of reading skills while school is out for the summer. The whole family can benefit by participating in these programs, and libraries benefit by attracting new readers, raising their profiles in the community, and building book circulation.

The theme of this year’s CSLP* Summer Reading program is Build a Better World. Kids and teens can create their own Rube Goldberg machines using everyday items. Adults can have fun by starting a community garden or building a wine bottle bird feeder.

Books only add to the wonder, helping children, teens, and adults make the most of their summer. Brodart has compiled several Summer Reading lists to inspire library patrons. Book topics include inventing, entrepreneurship, people who changed the world, feminism, citizenship, and environmental issues. Our lists feature fiction and nonfiction titles, picture books,a special list for Spanish speaking patrons and more.

Several of these books challenge readers to open their minds and hearts in new ways. In Selection Day, an adult coming of age novel, a young boy in a Mumbai slum longs to escape his violent father. For the younger set, Whose Hands Are These? lets kids guess the community helper with a picture book featuring the hands of a farmer, a pizza cook, a potter, and more. A teenage Congolese refugee goes after her mother’s killer in City of Saints & Thieves.

With so many books to choose from, patrons will love learning how to build a better world. Now’s the time to put on your flip-flops and get summer started!

*The Collaborative Summer Library Program, established in 1987, is a consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children, teens, and adults at public libraries across the country. The goals of this program are to help young children build reading and language skills, to motivate teens to read and discuss literature, and to encourage adults to rediscover the joy of reading.

You can find more information about the program here:

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