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.

The Littlest Duckling A quiet story of four ducklings’ day. On their way home from the pond, the littlest duckling follows the wrong “mother,” but ends up with his family. Lovely, simple art. Gail Herman 2–4 years

Putting the World to Sleep Lovely, engraving-style art illustrates this quiet, lullaby-ish, house-that-Jack-built telling of what goes on while “the moon climbs over the mountain each night, putting the world to sleep.” Shelley Moore Thomas 3–6 years

The Watcher While everyone else was playing soccer, trading desserts, and walking into flagpoles, George was watching. That’s why he was the one to see Sarah choking on her food. And because he had watched a safety show on TV, he knew whom to get to help her. Brenda Silsbe 4–7 years

D. W. the Picky Eater “I don’t eat anything with eyes, or pickles, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, pineapple, parsnips, and cauliflower,” D. W. said. “And more than anything else in the whole world, I hate spinach!” Marc Brown 4–8 years

Summer’s End Summer had been fun; school was just days away. At first, Jill didn’t want to go back to school, but when the day came, she was eager for it to start. Maribeth Boelts 5–7 years

Meet the Marching Smithereens This marching band is both typical and exceptional. Lions, warthogs, apes, bears, beavers play horns, drums, and other instruments, all explained as to what they are and the order they’re in. Truly wonderful art and text. Ann Hayes 5–8 years

The Way of the Circle The old man takes a rich merchant, an important scholar, and a sick prince across the river on his raft. He teaches each of them the Way of the Circle: “True riches are found in gifts you give from the heart. As you treat others with kindness and respect, you will gain riches few have ever known.” James R. Vollbracht 6–10 years

The Warmth in His Heart This story is about how the Holy Ghost helped a boy throughout his life—with warnings when danger was near, with making right choices, with understanding when things seemed to be all wrong, with comfort when a loved one died. What happened to him could happen to you, whether you are a boy or a girl. Author and artist are both Church members. Deborah J. Merrill 7–9 years

Zero’s Slider The harder Zero tried to get an unhittable pitch over, the more unhittable it was—because it was way out of the strike zone! Then he hurt his finger—and found that he could throw a slider! But what would happen when he took the bandage off his finger? Matt Christopher 7–10 years

Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase Professor Drake was missing. So was the valuable statue he had found. As Detective Donut works on the case, he keeps losing the socks sent to him by his mother for his birthday. The art is as hilarious as the story and lets you see who really solved the case. Bruce Whatley 8–10 years

The Remembering Box Joshua had been going to his grandma’s house on Friday afternoons since he was five years old. They helped each other celebrate the Jewish Sabbath, and she told him stories about things he found in the remembering box. This very beautiful story will have you thinking about your own grandparents, and your love for each other. Eth Clifford 9–12 years

Nell of Branford Hall It is 1664. Nell’s parents see how intelligent she is and allow her to learn from books and her father’s microscope, a new invention then. When the plague comes, though she understands (from looking through the microscope) how even dead fleas can transmit the deadly disease, she doesn’t want to understand why she can’t save her best friend from it. A story of courage by an entire village. William Wise 10 years and up

Nonfiction

Sara’s City Do you know anyone who was your age in the 1940s? Did that person live in a big city? You’ll like what the author of this book says about Chicago, Illinois, when she lived there many years ago. Sue Alexander 6–8 years

Hugger to the Rescue Hugger, a Newfoundland dog, is a member of Black Paws Search & Rescue Dogs. He can find people lost in the woods, under an avalanche, even underwater! He eats about 30 pounds (17 kilos) of dry dog food, meat, rawhide treats, dog bones, and table scraps each week. But food is not his reward for finding someone—it’s the joy of finding the person. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent 7–10 years

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Outer Space Easy-to-make, inexpensive crafts (and a few games and activities) with fun, realistic illustrations. A sample: Orbiting Sputnik, Moon Buggy, Straw Rocket, Weightless Box, Pop-Up Alien Puppets. Kathy Ross 8–11 years

Around the World in a Hundred Years From Prince Henry the Navigator, to Ferdinand Magellan, fascinating stories are told about the explorers’ ventures. For example, Prince Henry sent supplies to an uninhabited island. One of the men took a mother rabbit with him. By the end of two years, there were so many rabbits eating the crops that the explorers had to abandon the island! Jean Fritz 8–12 years

Pigs from 1 to 10 The pigs went to look for a hidden place that their mother told them about. The 10 pigs and the numbers 0 through 9 appear in every picture. You’ll have fun looking for them. If you have trouble, the number key is at the end. Arthur Geisert all ages