Out of the Best Books: Summer Reading Fun


All books listed here have been reviewed by the Friend editorial staff and are generally available in libraries/bookstores.
It is mind-easing and mind-inspiring to sit down privately with a congenial book.—President Thomas S. Monson

It’s a Good Thing, Too … Giggly fun is in store as you see goldfish blowing bubblegum bubbles, a peacock playing hide-and-seek, and much more. Steve Zukmann 3–6 years

Play with Me A child goes to the meadow to play with the animals, but they run from her. Then, when she sits quietly, they all come back. Marie Hall Ets 3–7 years

Trouble Does it seem like you’re always in trouble, like you never do anything right? Emma had the same problem. Then Grandma came. Helen Cresswell 3–7 years

The Day the Teacher Went Bananas When the joy of silly absurdities is wanted, this is just the book! James Howe 4–6 years

Play Ball, Zachary! Zachary is good at counting, reading, painting, and doing jigsaw puzzles. His dad wants him to play baseball, football, and basketball, so Zachary tries—and fails. This easy-to-read book has cartoonish art, a few speech balloons, and a happy ending. Muriel Blaustein 4–7 years

The Elephant’s Child In this classic Just So story, Elephant’s Child was always getting in trouble with his relatives for asking questions. Then, with help from Bi-Colored-Python-Rock-Snake, Elephant’s Child gets an answer to one question, and that changes everything! Rudyard Kipling 4–8 years

Listen to the Rain This is a “cosy and cuddly” poem-story. When you listen to the words, they will sing to you. An easy-to-read book. Bill Martin, Jr., and John Archambault 5–7 years

A Birthday for Blue Blue walked along by his family’s covered wagon the day he turned seven. All the things he did that day, and the unusual present his father gave him that night, are told about in this quiet, beautiful, easy-to-read book. Kerry Raines Lydon 5–8 years

Amos: The Story of an Old Dog and His Couch Amos is a fourteen-year-old Irish setter. That’s pretty old for that kind of dog. Whenever his owners went anywhere, they left Amos at home. Then one day Amos swatted at a fly—and his couch started zooming about! Eventually his owners got in on the fun too. Susan and Schneider Seligson 5–10 years

Doodle Flute Kevin Spoon has just about everything a kid could want. But he doesn’t have a doodle flute, and Mason Mintz does. Mason won’t sell his doodle flute or trade it, even for everything Kevin has. And nobody makes them anymore, so what is Kevin to do? A beginning reader. Daniel Pinkwater 6–10 years

Mr. Chang and the Yellow Robe Only Mandarins were allowed to wear yellow robes. Mr. Chang was just an ordinary citizen. But he wanted to be special, so he bought a yellow robe secretly and wore it secretly. He was found out, of course, and was in deep trouble. … An easy-to-read book. Dorothee Böhlke 6–10 years

I’m the Best! Dudley had been adopted many times, and each owner had given him a new name. Would this wonderful new family, who kept calling him Fritz, want to keep him forever? Even if he ate their plants? He hoped so. Oh, he hoped so! Easy to read. Marjorie Weinman Sharmat 6–11 years

White Bird Found floating down a river in his cradle, John Thomas grows up in a remote area with a stern guardian who tells him that the world outside is a hateful place full of bad people. Lonely, John Thomas makes a pet of a rare white crow he finds. When it is stolen, he sets out to recover it. An easy-to-read book. Clyde Robert Bulla 7–9 years

Horrible Harry’s Secret Horrible Harry always fought with Sidney, but when Song Lee brought her frog to school and fed it liver, Harry fell in love with her—and she didn’t want him to fight. Then he changed again—he had a secret. … Suzy Kline 7–9 years

Tania’s Trolls Tania faces two kinds of trolls—musical ones and her fears. She used to turn to Grandma Inga for comfort. But when Grandma Inga came, Tania discovered that her grandmother had trolls of her own to face. Lisa Westberg Peters 7–11 years

Keep Ms. Sugarman in the Fourth Grade Jackie was “every teacher’s nightmare”—until Ms. Sugarman. Then Ms. Sugarman announced that she would no longer be the fourth grade teacher. So Jackie protested by handcuffing herself to her teacher’s desk. Elizabeth Levy 8–11 years

Lucky Fights Back He didn’t really—at least not like everyone said that he did. Now the huge bully’s even huger big brother, Crunch, vowed to give him two concussions and a broken arm. Michael’s pointedly ignoring him at church hurt too. Dean Hughes 8–12 years

The Amazing Adventures of Albert and His Flying Machine When Albert receives an inheritance of a thousand dollars, he sends away for a Zephyrcar. But when he finally gets it put together and starts delivering papers in it, the townspeople think that it’s a UFO and that he’s an alien. Then the chase begins! Thomas Sant 9–12 years

The Blue Between the Clouds Tom Sawyer had nothing on this boy in Thistle, Utah. Matt and Two Moons, his blood brother and best friend, get into all sorts of scrapes, including repairing—and flying!—a broken-down World War I fighter plane. Stephen Wunderli 9–13 years

I, Juan de Pareja A slave to the famous painter Velázquez, Juan wanted to paint, too—but it was against the law in sixteenth-century Spain. This award-winning book is fiction, but Juan and Velázquez were real people, and Juan’s story is gripping. Elizabeth Borton de Treviño 10–13 years

The Trumpeter of Krakow In the thirteenth century, through ignorance and superstition, people believed that—somehow—metals such as brass could be turned into gold. A “philosopher stone,” known as the Great Tarnov Crystal, was supposed to hold the secret, but its hiding place was undiscovered for some two hundred years. … Eric P. Kelly 11–14 years

Nonfiction

Party Rhymes Each rhyme is an old-favorite musical game with actions shown, simple music, and lively illustrations. Whether used for party ideas or family home evening activities or just one-on-one reading, this book will be enjoyed again and again. Marc Brown (compiler) 3–7 years

Nina’s Treasures This Ukrainian folktale is about how the colorful Pisanka-decorated Easter eggs came to be. An easy-to-read book. Stefan Czernecki and Timothy Rhodes 6–9 years

Baptized and Confirmed: Your Lifeline to Heaven This small book explains all about baptism and confirmation in the Church. It will answer just about any question you may have, and it has several real-life stories to help you understand everything. Specialized Church terms are defined at the end. Elaine Cannon 7 years and up

To Space and Back What’s it really like to go on a space-shuttle mission? The close-up photographs and almost minute-by-minute account of one such mission will answer questions that you may never have even thought of. Sally Ride and Susan Okie 8–13 years

Jump! The New Jump Rope Book Simple, detailed instructions and illustrations include the cancan, the pretzel, the slalom, and much more, beginning with warm-ups and beginning skips, then advancing through more difficult jumps, tricks, combinations, and partner routines. Susan Kalbfleisch 8 years and up

Lou Gehrig, Pride of the Yankees Though he was left-handed and not a catcher, the best present Lou ever received was a right-handed catcher’s mitt from his parents. He never missed a day of school, and he played in 2,130 consecutive games and set many other records as a Yankee. Easy to read. Keith Brandt 9–12 years

Where’s My Other Sock? The subtitle—How to Get Organized and Drive Your Parents and Teachers Crazy—only tells the half of it! With great good humor, this book also discusses how to have enough money, how to give really neat parties, and more. Claudine G. Wirths and Mary Bowman-Kruhm 10 years and up

[illustration] Illustrated by Dick Brown