In the first part of our Summer Books series, we talked about books that better help you understand what it means to live in the Washington region. This time we do it for the kids. What are the best books you and your kids should be reading right now? Wendy Lukehart from D.C. Public Library gives us these recommendations.

Picture Books

  • A recipient of a 2017 Caldecott Honor Book award, Ellis’ story uses nonsensical words to tell the story of bugs investigating a plant beginning to grow. The book uses phrases like, “Unk ribble!” to express the bugs’ emotions.


  • Olivia the Spy

    By Ian Falconer

    Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books


  • Olivia the pig returns in this April release. It’s nearly Olivia’s birthday, but she overhears her mother talking about the young pig’s misbehavior. Are there presents or punishments waiting for Olivia on her birthday?


  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff

    By Jerry Pinkney

    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


  • Jerry Pinkney puts his own spin on the classic folk tale of three goats trying to cross a bridge guarded by a troll. The book’s ending includes themes of redemption.



  • Amina's Voice

    By Hena Khan

    Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


  • The book is the first on Simon and Schuster’s, “Salaam Reads” imprint. In it, a Pakistani-American Muslim girl learns about her family’s traditions, while trying to fit in at school. The book draws from experiences Khan had in her own life, although it’s not biographical.



  • The Carlisle Indian Industrial School was home to one of the best football teams in history. The book tells the story of how the men on the team challenged the racial and social barriers facing them.


    Graphic Novels

  • 5 Worlds Book 1: The Sand Warrior

    By Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel

    Random House Books for Young Readers


  • The first book from Kazu Kibuishi’s series tells the story of five worlds in peril. The series’ three protagonists include a clumsy student, a boy who grew up in slums and a star athlete.


    Current Events

  • This picture book was inspired by the stonework of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr. Ruurs used this inspiration as a way to tell the story of those in the Syrian refugee crisis. The book is available in both English and Arabic.

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