Summer is here! July is a great time to start anew on those summer reading goals and make sure that you are spending a few minutes each and every day reading. Everyone can track the time spent reading and/or listening to someone read and earn free books. Summer reading brochures are available in the library. You can also register online and track your reading at internationalfallslibrary.readsquared.com.

Here are some great family read alouds. “Winnie the Pooh” by A.A. Milne is a wonderful read-aloud for kids of multiple ages. The chapters are short and almost stand-alone, which means kids who are just at the edge of being ready for chapter books can enjoy the stories without having to keep track of story details from day to day.

Families that enjoy animals will enjoy “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White. Fern saves the runt of the litter who becomes a special pig due to a special spelling spider. Additional books about special pigs can be found in Minnesota author Kate DiCamillo’s series about Mercy Watson. The first book is “Mercy Watson to the Rescue.” The classic “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” by Beverly Cleary is a favorite of many families.

A great book for reading side by side and enjoying story together is “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick. This book requires looking at the pictures, but is a marvelous tale of an orphan living and working repairing clocks in the walls of a Paris train station in the 1930s. This is also a great read alone for those independent readers who want to impress. It is a 533-page book, but over half are pictures so it won’t take long even for the newly independent reader to finish.

“The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy” by Jeanne Birdsall is another great read aloud for families with kids a variety of ages as the kids in the story all get their own time in the spotlight as they spend a summer in the Berkshire Mountains.

The lazy days of summer can also be a chance to connect with older kids and spend a bit of time each day reading together. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is a great series to share together. Enjoy classic authors such as Agatha Christie in “Murder on the Orient Express” or “And Then There Were None,” Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes or “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

And don’t forget to browse the new section and maybe try “Spark“ by Sarah Beth Durst for a great story of a quiet kid discovering you don’t have to be loud to accomplish great things. Or “Straw Into Gold” by Hilary McKay for wonderful re-tellings of folktales (and grab a handful of the traditional versions too).

Happy Independence Day! May we all appreciate the freedoms we have and celebrate our differences.

The library will be closed on Thursday, July 4. Regular hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, July 5.

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