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Recommended Reading from our WA Librarians

We have truly missed our daily interaction with students, and the chance to send kids home with beloved titles for leisure-time reading, so we decided to offer up a list of recommended reading for all ages. Even better, each of these books is available for free on our library platforms. Everyone is sure to find something to transport you to another world. Happy reading!

(Note for parents: These titles are not the required Summer Reading, which can be found on our Back to School page, but are offered to give you a resource for pleasure reading over the summer.)

Recommended Reading from our WA Librarians

ELEMENTARY UPPER ELEMENTARY MIDDLE SCHOOL UPPER SCHOOL ADULTS


Elementary

If you are curious and like problem solving, try… Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

ADA Twist, ScientistAda Twist’s head is full of questions. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie—stars of their own New York Times bestselling picture books Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer—Ada has always been endlessly curious. Available on OverDrive

 

 

If you want a story about a friendship, try... Ivy and Bean #1 by Annie Barrows

Ivy Bean

The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn't be friends. But when Bean plays a joke on her sister, Nancy, and has to hide quickly, Ivy comes to the rescue proving that sometimes the best of friends are people never meant to like each other. Vibrant characters and lots of humor make this a charming and addictive introduction to Ivy and Bean.

Available on OverDrive

 

If you want a story about an unlikely superhero, try... Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

FLora & ulysses

Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in this novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. 

Available on OverDrive


 

 

If you want a good, old-fashioned family read-aloud, try... The Wind in the WIllows by Kenneth Grahame

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The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger. Classic, fabulous family read-aloud.

Available on TumbleBooks  

Visit TumbleBooks for a slew of other great choices for elementary readers!

 

 


Upper Elementary

If you believe in the power of magic, try... All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey

book coverWhenever Ruby "Red" Byrd is scared or angry, the wind picks up. And being placed in foster care, moving from family to family, tends to keep her skies stormy. Red knows she has to learn to control it, but can't figure out how. Hopefully, she will find the strength she needs with the help of her new foster family.

Available on: WA Elementary Axis 360 or OverDrive

 

If you are a fan of Stargirl , try... Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

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Thirteen-year-old Genesis struggles to get through family problems, discovering her unique talent, and moving beyond concerns about her skin color to finally love herself. 

Available on: WA Elementary Axis 360 or OverDrive

 

If you are longing to escape to (or revisit) Potter World, try… Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

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Experience the first title in this fantastical series. Harry Potter who has never even heard of Hogwarts starts receiving letters at number four Privet Drive addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal. The adventure begins!

Ebook and audiobook available in multiple languages on OverDrive


 

If Wonder captured your heart, try... Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by  Dusti Bowling

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Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. Moving across the country with her parents, Aven is about to discover that she can solve a mystery, help a new friend, and face her worst fears even without arms. 

Available on OverDrive
 

 

If history is more your thing, try... The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale

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The story of Araminta Ross, who was born a slave in Delaware but eventually escaped north to freedom, told in graphic novel format. Changing her name to Harriet Tubman, she became an "abductor" on the Underground Railroad, risking her life to help other slaves reach freedom.

Available on OverDrive

 


Middle School 

If you want the action and adventure of a space opera, try... Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff

aurora rising

Tyler Jones, top graduate of Aurora Academy, and a group of misfits and troublemakers embark on their first mission in the year 2380. When a stowaway named Auri, a girl Tyler rescued from 2 centuries of cryo-sleep, is discovered on their voyage, she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making.

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive

 

If soccer is your game, try… Booked by Kwame Alexander

soccer

Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams.

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive

 

If you long to experience different cultures, try... The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

the bridge home

Facing daunting prospects on the streets of Chennai, two runaway sisters find shelter and friendship on an abandoned bridge with two homeless boys before an illness forces them to choose between survival and freedom.

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive


 

If you are a fan of Jason Reynolds, try... Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

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Ten blocks. Ten stories. A whimsical exploration of the role detours play in life follows a group of students who become so engaged in everyday activities while taking 10 different routes home from school that they fail to notice a school bus that has dropped from the sky. 

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive

If animal stories and science sound appealing, try... The Line Tender by Kate Allen

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When a Great White shark appears in the water near her sleepy Rockport community, triggering a devastating tragedy, 12-year-old Lucy decides to  pick up the work of her late marine-biologist mother to lift the cloud of grief hanging over her community.

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive
 

If you have been waiting to conclude the Arc of the Scythe trilogy, try... The Toll by Neal Shusterman

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A whirlwind of narrators, sly humor, and action scenes never obscure the series' central question: If most death is impermanent, and age can be reset, what's the meaning of life? The sins of the founding scythes now reap terrible rewards in this trilogy conclusion.

Trilogy available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive

 

 


High School 

If you are starved for sports, try... After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay

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Told from alternating perspectives, Bunny takes a basketball scholarship to an elite private school to help his family, leaving behind Nasir, his best friend, in their tough Philadelphia neighborhood.

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive
 

 

 

If you feel the urge to hit the road, try... American Road Trip by Patrick Flores-Scott

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Life hits the skids for T’s family just before his senior year. When his older brother returns from Iraq suffering PTSD, T’s spunky sister decides the remedy is a road trip. The trio travels all along the West Coast, reconnecting with old friends and family in search of healing. 

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive

 

 

If you are in the mood for spine-chilling horror, try...  The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

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Enduring a meager existence as a gravedigger after the death of her parents, Ryn teams up with apprentice mapmaker Ellis to stop an undead plague linked to a decades-old curse. Equal parts classic horror novel and original fairytale, prepare to be spellbound from the very first page.

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360  or OverDrive

 

If historical fiction set in Atlanta sounds more like your cup of tea, try... The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

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Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the unkind daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for 'the genteel Southern lady.’ Transport yourself to Atlanta of the 1890.

Available on OverDrive

 

 

If you loved The Hate You Give, try… On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

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Sixteen-year-old Bri hopes to become a great rapper, and after her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, must decide whether to sell out or face eviction with her widowed mother.

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 or OverDrive
 

 

If you prefer straight-up nonfiction, try... The Splendid and the Vile : A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance during the Blitz by Erik Larson

book

Best-selling author Larson blends a gripping narrative and a well-researched examination of personal and news archives, bringing context for and understanding of Britain's defense against Hitler's Germany under Winston Churchill's leadership during World War II.

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360

 

 

If you are in need of a bit of fun and romance, try…. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

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Sentenced to a summer working on her father's food truck after taking a joke too far, prankster Korean-American Clara Shin unexpectedly bonds with a straitlaced co-worker and a cute boy on another food truck while reevaluating her relationship with her estranged mother.

Available on OverDrive

 

 


Adults

If you want a thriller that will keep you up all night, try... Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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Confined to a psychiatric hospital after shooting her husband to death, well-known artist, Alicia Berenson has gone totally silent. She has not spoken a word since the murder. As her psychotherapist, Theo Faber begins an all-consuming attempt at treatment to get her to talk. Prepare to be on the edge of your reading chair. 

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360

 

If you have not had a chance to meet the “Marsh Girl,” try... Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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This NYT bestseller that captivated readers with its haunting beauty. It is part ode to the natural world and part coming of age story, set on the North Carolina coast. 

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360 
 

 

If you’d rather ponder contemporary issues, try... Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

such a fun age

A security guard in a Philadelphia store confronts Emira, who is African American, accusing her of kidnapping the two year old white girl she is babysitting late on a Saturday night. Captured on video by a fellow shopper, an absorbing tale about race, society, and power unfolds.  

Available on Carlos Library’s Axis 360

 

 


To view other titles available, see these collections:

For more library resources, or to contact your librarian, visit the WA Libraries LibGuide.

From Amy Walker, Jennifer Inmon, Mary Brown, Ann Haber, and Kathleen Britto.

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Ivy and Bean #1 by Annie Barrows
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Ivy and Bean #1 by Annie Barrows

Authors

Amy Walker, Jennifer Inmon, Mary Brown, Ann Haber, and Kathleen Britto.

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