Out of the Best Books—Summer Reading Fun

    “Out of the Best Books—Summer Reading Fun,” Friend, May 1988, 40

    Out of the Best Books—
    Summer Reading Fun


    For me to read a book is still

    And always will be quite a thrill.

    For me to read a book is like

    A boy when he rides his new two-wheel bike.

    And when a bird comes north in spring,

    It’s natural for him to sing.

    I like to read books of science, fiction and mystery;

    And what is more, I’ll read until I’m grown,

    And then I’ll write books of my own.

    Written by Johanna Hurwitz when she was 10 years old, “Books” was first published in the New London Day in August 1950, and she was paid 50¢ for it. Today Johanna Hurwitz is the author of more than 20 books for young readers, including Yellow Blue Jay and Baseball Fever.

    Emma’s Pet and Emma’s Vacation When Emma searches for a “large, soft, cuddly pet,” she finally finds the perfect one—her father! And when she goes on vacation with her parents, she shows them how to have lots of fun without spending a lot of money.
    David McPhail
    2–5 years

    Hand Rhymes The rhymes (some old favorites, some new) are clever and the illustrations captivating. The drawings for the hand actions are carefully detailed and easy to follow.
    Marc Brown (compiler)
    2–6 years

    We Hide, You Seek East African animals use camouflage to hide from nearsighted Rhinoceros (and the reader), but he outwits them in the end.
    Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey
    3–5 years

    Grandma and Grandpa Love and happy memories are stored here to amuse and delight everyone from 3 to 103.
    Helen Oxenbury
    3–6 years

    Stories for a Prince Written by children for Prince William, these fables, fairy stories, adventure stories, and mysteries include dragons, a jumping jack, an old man with spaghetti hair, and much more.
    3–6 years

    Hansel and Gretel This old favorite is true to the classical tale, and the illustrations by Susan Jeffers are superb!
    The Brothers Grimm
    4–7 years

    Hush Up! When the “meanest horsefly you ever saw” bit the mule, he kicked the barn, which made the goat crash into the chicken house, which made the rooster land on the sow’s head, which …
    Jim Aylesworth
    4–7 years

    Wolf’s Favor A modern animal fable that illustrates on a very simple level the power of good.
    Fulvio Testa
    4–8 years

    Red Sun Girl This fantasy-told-as-a-folktale will stimulate thinking in every reader, regardless of age. An easy-to-read book.
    Jean and Claudio Marzollo
    4–8 years

    The Marathon Rabbit Rabbits don’t really run in marathons, of course, but in this just-for-fun book, one does—and wins! Now the race officials have a real dilemma to deal with. …
    Mike Eagle
    5–8 years

    My Favorite Place This place—perfect for a warm summer day—could be anybody’s favorite; it just happens to be the favorite place of a blind child.
    Susan Sargent and
    Donna Aaron Wirt
    5–8 years

    Where Is Freddy? A first mystery for beginning readers, who will have fun solving it along with Detective Tweedy.
    Laura Jean Allen
    6–7 years

    The Longest Float in the Parade Most parade floats travel on wheels, but the longest float in this parade traveled on eighteen sneakers—at least to start with! A beginning reader.
    Carol Carrick
    6–9 years

    Apt. 3 Among the squalls of his inner-city apartment, Sam hears harmonica music expressing many feelings. And when he finds the owner of the small instrument, Sam also finds a friend.
    Ezra Jack Keats
    6–10 years

    Meet Samantha: An American Girl A rich orphan, Sam acts with love and compassion as she learns of the problems of the poor and downtrodden.
    Susan S. Adler
    7–10 years

    I Don’t Live Here Nicki hated her new home, so she decided to go live in her best friend’s garage.
    Pam Conrad
    7–11 years

    Baseball Fever Eric’s father thinks that baseball is a waste of time.
    Johanna Hurwitz
    8–11 years

    Yellow Blue Jay Jay was a “blue” Jay mostly because he was afraid to do new things and meet new people. So he wasn’t at all surprised when Mickey called him “Yellow Blue Jay.” But soon Mickey told him, “I’m glad I’ve got you. It’s good to have another guy around.”
    Johanna Hurwitz
    8–11 years

    Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters This folk/fairy tale with its glorious illustrations shows once again that good eventually does triumph over evil and that there is an all-wise King who rules.
    John Steptoe
    8–11 years

    The Seventeenth Swap Eric was an entrepreneur. It took him sixteen swaps to reach his goal. The seventeenth swap? He hadn’t realized that he’d made it, but he was glad that it had happened. …
    Eloise McGraw
    9–12 years

    The Blind Colt and The Stolen Pony (sequel) Blind people have sighted people, specially trained guide dogs, canes, and other helps. What help does a colt born blind to a wild mare have? Eventually one help came in the form of a loyal, valiant, self-trained dog. The author says, “Just in case you might think that maybe a blind colt would not be able to do all the things that this one did … we had a blind range colt on the ranch in Montana. … And he was a smart little feller.”
    Glen Rounds
    9–12 years

    Somebody’s Horse Even though he appeared beyond saving, Jenny couldn’t let the old, abandoned horse become dog food. And when love and care showed him to be a young, trophy-winning jumper, Jenny knew that Farfalla was somebody’s—somebody else’s—horse.
    Dorothy Nafus Morrison
    10–14 years

    Chip Mitchell: Case of the Robot Warriors This book is for those who love mysteries, science fiction, and/or computers, whether you solve the cases yourself or read the solutions in the back of the book (just before the glossary of computer terms and chart of alphabet bytes).
    Fred D’Ignazio
    10–14 years


    Easy-to-Make Water Toys that Really Work Made mostly from Styrofoam plates and cups, sturdy balloons, bending straws, and plastic tape, these toys live up to their title.
    Mary and Dewey Blocksma
    7–11 years

    How to Repair Your Ten-Speed Bike If you’re serious about wanting to keep your bike in good repair yourself, this book will give you a thorough understanding of what to do and how to do it.
    Joe Souchery
    9–12 years

    Carpentry for Children Photos of children doing each step are accompanied by very detailed instructions and diagrams for one-day, weekend, and week-long projects: toolbox, doll cradle, 4′ x 6′ (1.2 m x 1.8 m) raft, coaster car, stilts, and more!
    Lester Walker
    10 years and up

    Illustrated by Doug Roy