Summer Reading

Summer Reading. Summer Writing.

June 22-August 22, 2020

Pequot Library, Fairfield Public Library, and Fairfield Woods Branch Library are working together with the Fairfield Public Schools to make all students stronger readers and writers by summer’s end. The theme this year is Imagine Your Story, and it is designed to get young minds percolating about anything and everything—and in the process transform them into lifelong readers and writers. Registration is now open for the Summer Reading Challenge which takes place June 22-August 22.

School’s out. Reading and writing are in!
Whether listening to a podcast, reading a new book by your favorite author, or putting yourself into a mythological story for our writing contest, these resources will help enrich your summer with ideas about the world around you.

Consider these suggestions and recommendations as your idea pool that you can dive into to get your creative juices flowing. Take, for instance, Brains On!, a podcast for kids that explores everything from the ink in your pens to the science of art and cuteness. Doesn’t that pique your interest? There is no end to the fun and fascinating subjects to get your “brains on.”

What if your child doesn’t like reading? The section below called Connecting Kids and Books will give you the resources you need to work through these challenges and to understand why we want all children to love reading.

If your travels are limited this summer, the possibilities of where you can go – with reading and writing – are far and wide. So stay in the game. Be curious. Ask questions and use this resource to help fuel the desire to get some thought-provoking answers.

Connecting Kids and Books
Every Picture Tells a Story
Fairy Tales
Imagine Their Stories (Biographies)
On Writing
Programs at Pequot
Summer Reading
Summer Writing

Sign Up for the Summer Reading Challenge


For ages 0-5
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Splash! by Flora McDonnell
A Treasury of Mother Goose by Tammie Lyon
Brown Bear & Friends by Bill Martin
What Pet Should I Get? & One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
by Dr. Seuss

For ages 6-9
A Birthday Present for Mama by Nicole Lorian 
Where are You Going, Baby Lincoln?
by Kate DiCamillo
Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion by Andrea Beaty
Flat Stanley Collection
by Jeff Brown
Arthur Chapter Books (Volume 2)
by Marc Brown
Thunderfeet: Alaska’s Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Critters
by Shelley Gill
Miss Daisy Is Crazy!
by Dan Gutman
The Princess in Black (Books 1-3)
by Shannon Hale
Frog and Toad All Year
by Arnold Lobel
A to Z Mysteries (Volume 1
) by Ron Roy

For ages 9-12
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
Shouting at the Rain
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
The Roald Dahl Audio Collection by Roald Dahl
Wrecking Ball
by Jeff Kinney
Level 13
by Gordon Korman
Inside Out & Back Again
by Thanhha Lai
Emperor of the Universe
by David Lubar
Emmy in the Key of Code
by Aimee Lucido

For ages 13+
That Summer by Sarah Dessen
I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
by Marie Lu
Invasion by Walter Dean Myers
Anya and the Dragon
by Sofiya Pasternack
by Courtney Summers
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Connecting Kids and Books

We want all children to fall in love with reading. Read aloud, let them choose their own books, discover audiobooks, and dip into these support sites that will give you plenty of ideas on how to connect your child to books.

Lexia Learning gives you five strategies to engage struggling readers.
Resilient Educator discusses how to motivate reluctant readers.
Reading Rockets suggests reading tips and books that will appeal to kids who don’t like to read.
Scholastic supports parents with reading guides and book lists.
This Reading Mama has a plan for reluctant readers and a dozen resources here.

Every Picture Tells a Story

You may need some facts to flesh out your story. Perhaps you’re writing a futuristic tale in which your main character wakes up on rocky terrain, and you want to find out about different types of rocks. If so, just search by subject on your library’s website to find a wealth of information in nonfiction books.


How does a flower grow?                                       Find out in this book.


What kind of rock is that?                                     Find out in this book.


How far away is the sun from the earth?         Find out in this book.


Search for any of your favorites on our library websites: Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Goldilocks, and on and on. You’ll find them all living happily ever after and waiting to be checked out of the library. Take a look at the list below to help you get started. The “retold” stories have kept the essence of the original tale, while the “fractured” versions use the original plot and spin it into something altogether different, distinct, and delightful.

Collections (All Ages)
Fairly Fairy Tales
by Esme Raji Codell
The Fairy Tale Treasury by Virginia Haviland
A Treasure of the World’s Greatest Fairy Tales by Helen Hyman
Tales from the Brothers Grimm illustrated by Herbert Leupin
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
by Jerry Pinkney (ages 4-7)
Little Red Riding Hood by Andrea Wisnewski (ages 4-7)
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall (ages 5-8)
The Snow Queen by Amy Ehrlich (ages 5+)

Cinderella Penguin or, The Glass Flipper by Janet Perlman (ages 2-5)
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz (ages 4-6)
Pretty Salma by Niki Daly (ages 4-7)
Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox (ages 4-8)
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems (ages 4-8)
The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka (ages 4+)
Brave Red, Smart Frog by Emily Jenkins (ages 8-12)
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (ages 8-12)
Rumpelstilskin: The Graphic Novel by Martin Powell (ages 8-12)
Rump by Liesl Shurtliff (ages 8-12)
A Wolf at the Door by Ellen Datlow (ages 9-13)
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (ages 10+)

YA (ages 13+)
The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother by Danielle Teller
How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen

Imagine Their Stories

*Biographies also available in eBook format

Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words by Karen Leggett Abouraya (ages 4-8)
The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown by Mac Barnett (ages 4-8)
Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows (ages 4-8)
*You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! by Jonah Winter (ages 4-8)
*Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson (ages 5-7)
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre by Anika Denise (ages 5-8)
*The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (ages 6-8)
*Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama (ages 6-12)
*Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne (ages 7-10)
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges (ages 8-12)
*I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen (ages 8-12)
*Boy by Roald Dahl (ages 8-12)
*Who Was George Washington? by Roberta Edwards (ages 8-12)
No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer’s Road to Page One by Paul Fleischman (ages 8-12)
*Who is J.K. Rowling? by Pam Pollack (ages 8-12)
Biddy Mason Speaks Up by Arisa White (ages 9-12)
*Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (ages 10+)
Charlotte Bronte before Jane Eyre by Glynnis Fawkes (ages 12+)

YA (ages 13+)
The Voice that Challenged the Nation
by Russell Freedman (sound recording)
*Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
*Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka
Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-li Liang
*It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Che: A Graphic Biography by Spain Rodriguez
Jane Austen: Her Heart Did Whisper by Manuela Santoni
I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields


*Available in eBook format

Heroes in Training (Series) by Joan Holub (ages 6-9)
McElderry Book of Greek Myths by Eric Kimmel (ages 6-9)
Beasts of Olympus (Series) by Lucy Coats (ages 7-9)
What a Beast! A Look-It-Up Guide to the Monsters by Sophia Kelly (ages 8-10)
D’Aulaire Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire (ages 8-12)
Goddess Girls (Series) by Joan Holub (ages 8-12)
Treasury of Greek Mythology by Donna Jo Napoli (ages 8-12)
Favorite Greek Myths by Mary Pope Osborne (ages 8-12)
Myth-O-Mania (Series) by Kate McMullan (ages 9-12)
*Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Series) by Rick Riordan (ages 9-12) This series also available in graphic novel format.
Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan (ages 9-12)
The Olympians (Series) by George O’Connor (ages 9-14)
Greek Myths by Ann Turnbull (ages 11+)

YA (ages 13+)
by Josephine Angelini
Everneath (Series) by Brodi Ashton
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Underworld by Meg Cabot
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
Solstice by P.J. Hoover

On Writing

Below you will find an assortment of books offering advice and inspiration on the craft of writing. 

A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen (ages 4-6)
The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane Auch (ages 4-8)
Max’s Words by Kate Banks (ages 4-8)
Arthur Writes a Story by Marc Brown (ages 4-8)
Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon (ages 6-9)
Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills (also: How Rocket Learned to Read and Rocket’s Mighty Words) (ages 4-8)
Little Red Writing by Joan Holub (ages 4-8)
Look at My Book by Loreen Leedy (ages 4-8)
Idea Jar by Adam Lehrhaupt (ages 4-8)
Look! I Wrote a Book! (And You Can Too!) by Sally Lloyd-Jones (ages 4-8)
Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter (ages 4-8)
From Pictures to Words: A Book About Making a Book by Janet Stevens (ages 6-9)
What Do Authors Do? By Eileen Christelow (ages 8-12)
My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman (ages 8-12)
Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine (also:  Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink) (ages 8-12) 

YA (ages 13+)
Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book? by Ally Carter – Writing advice from Carter and many other YA authors.
The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by The Freedom Writers – Title says it all.
On Writing by Stephen King – A memoir of the craft of writing.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – Some instructions on writing and life.
Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter – Offers inspiration and practical advice.
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White – This classic manual that conveys just about everything you need to know about writing.
Mark My Words: Mark Twain on Writing by Mark Twain – Twain’s take on fellow writers, editors, and children’s books.
Hope in the Mail by Wendelin Van Draanen – Part writing guide, part memoir from the author of the Sammy Keyes series.
On Writing Well by William Zinsser – Classic guide to writing nonfiction.


Listen up! These excellent podcasts can give you plenty to think about and maybe even write about.

For Little Kids
Ear Snacks: Children’s musicians Andrew & Polly talk about — to paraphrase one of their hit songs — a little bitta this and a little bitta that with guests both you and your kids will enjoy.
Little Stories for Tiny People is a children’s podcast featuring original audio stories for the tiny people in your life.
Chompers: This podcast is designed to entertain your kids as they brush their teeth — two shows a day, every day. Each episode is filled with fun facts, lively debates, and memorization games, while still managing to remind listeners when to switch to brushing the bottom row of chompers.

For Big Kids
What If World: Each week, Mr. Eric takes a “What if?” question from a kid and spins it into a story for all of you!

For Big Kids & Tweens
Flyest Fables brings you anthology-style hopepunk fables for the 21st-century kid.
Brains On!: A science podcast for kids and curious adults from American Public Media.
Tumble is a science podcast for kids, to be enjoyed by the entire family. Tumble tells stories about science discoveries, with the help of scientists!

For Tweens
Eleanor Amplified is an adventure series for the whole family. Listen together as the hero, the world-famous radio reporter Eleanor Amplified, foils devious plots and outwits crafty villains, all in pursuit of the big story.

For Tweens & Teens
Book Club for Kids discusses middle grade novels with host Kitty Felde.

For Teens
Welcome to Night Vale is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale. We hear not only the local news and weather, but also reports on all the strange and mysterious happenings within the community.
Stuff You Should Know: If you’ve ever wanted to know about champagne, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, El Nino, true crime, and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

Programs at Pequot

Fairy Tale Hotline — Call Pequot Library 24/7 starting June 22 and listen to one of your favorite fairy tales. Stories change weekly, so be sure to call back! Codes will be given to participants of the Summer Reading Challenge at the end of each week’s story.

Baby Steps — Stories, rhymes, songs, and playtime for baby’s first year of life. Twenty minutes structured play, 20 minutes socializing. For ages 0-12 months. Registration required. Password will be sent to your email to join Zoom.

Thursdays at 11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: June 25; July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; August 6
Codes will be given to participants of the Summer Reading Challenge at the end of the class.

Adventures in Reading Book Club — Join us on Zoom for a lively discussion of some of the best in children’s literature. Book club welcomes families that homeschool their children, ages 5-12. Limit seven families. Registration required. Password will be sent to your email.

Thursdays at 4:00–5:00 p.m.: June 25 and July 23
Codes will be given to participants of the Summer Reading Challenge during the meeting.

Pop-Up Fables — Enjoy the cool wisdom a classic fable can instill. Registration required. Participants will receive weekly emails with the dates and times that the pop-up fables will appear on Facebook Live. Emails will also deliver the Summer Reading Challenge code.

Me in Mythology, Writing Contest — Rewrite your favorite myth by adding yourself to the storyline. How does your presence in the story change the narrative? What powers do you have? From what God or Goddess are you a descendant? On what adventures will you go? Your story should be no more than 2,000 words.

Stories are due by August 1. For ages 8+ Winner receives a copy of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and a gift card. Registration required. Codes will be given to participants of the Summer Reading Challenge.

Check out Fairfield Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge Programs here.

Summer Reading

Summertime stories
Summer Wonders by Bob Raczka (ages 3-5)
And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner (ages 4-8)
Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles (ages 4-8)
A Perfect Day by Remy Charlip (ages 5-6)
Pie is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard (ages 5-6)
Summer Supper by Rubin Pfeffer  (ages 5-6)
The Sandcastle that Lola Built by Megan Maynor (ages 5-7)
Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones (ages 5-8)
My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis by Paul Meisel (ages 5-8)
Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins (ages 6-9)
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia (ages 8-12)
Forget Me Not Summer by Leila Howland (ages 8-12)
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen (ages 8-12)
Summerlost by Ally Condie (ages 10+)
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds (ages 10+)

YA (ages 13+)
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta
That Summer by Sarah Dessen
Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway
Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix
We were Beautiful by Heather Hepler
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Summer Writing


Me in Mythology, Writing Contest
Rewrite your favorite myth by adding yourself to the storyline. How does your presence in the story change the narrative? What powers do you have? From what God or Goddess are you a descendant? On what adventures will you go? Your story should be no more than 2,000 words. Stories are due by August 1. For ages 8+ Winner receives a copy of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and a gift card. Registration required. Codes will be given to participants of the Summer Reading Challenge.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Me in Mythology Writing Contest! Please enjoy a selection of the stories that were submitted by our talented young patrons:
Asmarahea’s Journey by Asmara P.
Dragon Egg by Katie L.
Fred the Fish by Ethan A.
Goulielmo’s Escape by Liam M.
Hercules, the Strongest Man in the World by Grace I.
Jason and the Golden Fleece by Max I.
Leocles and Heracles by James M.
*WINNER* Stransatia by Luke F.
The Satyr That Saw Everything by Henry R.
The Secret of the Zonars by Victor Z.
Trila, the Tree Goddess by Isabella Z.
Zaliryn by Kate M.

Write about what you’re reading. Send your book review to and we’ll post it. For all ages.

Need writing worksheets for a summer challenge? For ages 5-7 Find them here.