BY DARCIE CASWELL CRRL YOUTH SERVICES COORDINATOR
The theme of this year’s summer reading program at Central Rappahannock Regional Library is “Off the Beaten Path”, encouraging readers to delve into a subject or genre new to them, to learn more about the people who have been creative thinkers or exploring the world by getting down to it or reading about it. Whether it’s venturing off the beaten path to explore nature, diving off the beaten path to explore ocean life, thinking outside the box like a scientist or an inventor, there are endless directions. to read in the summer. Find more information about summer reading and sign up at librarypoint.org/summer.
“Beneath the Waves: Celebrating the Ocean Through Pictures, Poems and Stories” by Stephanie Warren Drimmer. Ocean life is largely hidden from humans, but kids can still get a sense of the amazing creatures and wonders within with vivid, close-up photos that show details of life above, in under and around the ocean. Accompanying descriptions help young readers learn about the unique characteristics of each animal, as well as the interconnectedness of ocean life.
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“Charlie and the Mouse Outside” by Laurel Snyder. Charlie, Mouse and their parents go camping. There’s a long drive full of storytelling, then pitching a tent, hiking, fishing, and sitting around the campfire. Although sometimes Charlie and Mouse are a little afraid of the imaginary creatures they perceive in the woods, any bad feelings are always put aside by the pleasure of sharing time together and the happy feelings that come with it.
“Dusk Explorers” by Lindsay Leslie and illustrated by Ellen Rooney. These kids don’t have to go far to find adventure. As dusk descends on their neighborhood, they explore the outside world around them. A child climbs a tree to feel the rough bark and hear the flapping of the leaves. Another child scans the grass under his feet for earthworms, while others listen for the croaking of frogs and chasing the flash of fireflies.
“Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica” by Rebecca Barone. In 1911, two teams of explorers embark on a race to be the first to reach the South Pole. Others had attempted this feat, but none had yet accomplished it. One hundred and seven years later, in 2018, two individual explorers set off in a race to be the first to reach the South Pole “alone, unassisted and unassisted”. Laurie follows the parallels of these gripping stories, the differences and similarities they faced, and the tests on their physical and mental health.
“Space Explorers: 25 Extraordinary Stories of Space Exploration and Adventure” by Libby Jackson and Léonard Dupond. Jackson chronicles key moments and individuals in the history of space exploration, spanning them chronologically from Sputnik in 1957 to humans traveling to Mars (with date TBD). Each story is told in an engaging way, making connections to experiences young readers today might have. The history, facts and anecdotes are interesting for space enthusiasts as well as general readers; some stories are suspenseful, some are humorous, and all are compelling.
“Who did it first?” 50 Scientists, Artists and Mathematicians Who Changed the World” by Julie Leung and illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald. Being a scientist, artist or mathematician is hard work. But being the first to do something in one of these areas not only takes revolutionary thinking, it also takes determination. All the people from “Who Did It First?” in the face of adversity. In some cases, people doubted their abilities because of their gender, ethnicity or family background. In other cases, people doubted their ideas because they were ahead of their time. In all cases, these people achieved “firsts” in science, mathematics or the arts.
Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.