Cincinnati Public Schools Librarians Share Their Picks for Summer Reading 

Summer's a great time for pleasure reading — that goes for kids and teens, too. There are no papers to write, no sigh-inducing reading logs. It’s the perfect time of year to help kids slow down and develop a love of pleasure reading. 

Thanks to a new partnership, opens a new window between the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library and Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), it's easier than ever for the district's students to check out library books. CPS students can access eBooks and eAudiobooks through the Sora app, opens a new window, no library card needed. Combine that with the fact that CPS students have been allowed to keep their pandemic-issued laptops and tablets over the summer, and it makes a trip to the Library as easy as turning on the device anywhere there's an internet connection. (Psst...there is free Wi-Fi, opens a new window at all library locations.) 

In the spirit of the new partnership, the Library asked CPS librarians for their summer reading picks. 

Paulette Simpson, librarian and media specialist at North Avondale Montessori:

Harbor Me

"It was a tough decision - I really love Jacqueline Woodson. I would recommend 'Harbor Me' This is an excellent book about a group of six students who have specials needs. They learn about each other and learn that we all have problems and circumstances in life. This book helps people to understand that we can all learn from each other and be there for one another when we take the time to listen, support, and reflect. This is a must-read book for grade four to adults."

Robyn Appino, librarian at Sands Montessori: 

City Spies

"An orphan finds herself in jail after hacking into the foster care database, but is given the opportunity to be released and recruited into an organization of spies that includes kids like herself. Will Sara have what it takes? Will she fit in with the other kids? If you like action, adventure, and mystery this will be a great summer read for you! And you don’t have to stop there because City Spies 2 will be waiting for you!"

Echo Mountain

"With her dad lying in a coma after being hit by a large falling tree, Ellie does all she can to bring him back while trying to keep peace with her mom and sister as they all try to survive without their father's help in their new wilderness home. Ellie loves living in the mountains and discovers the mysteries found there including someone leaving her secret gifts and the old hag who lives at the top of Echo Mountain. Animals, nature, mystery, and suspense are all found in this amazing summer read."

Melody Riggs, librarian at Rothenberg Elementary School: 

"I directed my students to the 'Sweet Reads' section of Sora, as those books are readily available. I specifically encouraged them to check out Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (my students love comic books and Lunella is the smartest hero in the Marvel universe as confirmed by Marvel at a ComicCon a few years ago), The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander (one of the most powerful picture books I've ever read), and Gloom Town (because Ronald L. Smith is so talented). Really, I just want them to read all summer long ... anything and everything they can get their hands on."

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015), Volume 1

The Undefeated 

Gloom Town

Margo Fisher-Bellman, librarian at Walnut Hills High School: 

Almost American Girl

"The summer is the perfect time to explore graphic novels and Almost American Girl needs to be at the top of your list. This Walter Honor and Harvey Award Nominee is the memoir of Robin Ha's adolescent years when she unexpectedly moves from Seoul, Korea, to Huntsville, Alabama, at age 14. Talk about culture shock! It will give you all the feels: laughter, tears, groans ... a great read!"

Clap When You Land

"Camino Rios loves when her father returns from work in the states to spend his summers in the Dominican Republic with her and her mother. But when she goes to the airport to pick him up, a tearful crowd has gathered where families should be reunited. In New York, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office where her mother tells her that her father has died in a plane crash. Camino and Yahaira do not know each other, but their lives have fundamentally changed—and they are about to be more connected than they could have ever imagined. This novel in verse will transport you to the Dominican Republic as it explores grief and complicated family dynamics."  

The Cousins

"This New York Times bestseller and 2021 Edgar Nominee is set in the summer on the fictional Gull Cove Island where three cousins have united, thinking their mysterious grandmother has invited them to visit the family estate and hotel. However, when they arrive, it's clear that she has NOT invited them and doesn't want them around—so what exactly is happening?? The Cousins is the perfect summer mystery to enjoy by the pool or on the beach—or even in the comfort of the nearest air conditioning!"

Kids can add to their bookshelves by visiting the Library this summer. Free Discover Summer To-Go packs include a free book to keep. Selections vary by age and include many award-winners.