What’s better in the summer than immersing yourself in an adventure while relaxing in a hammock on the beach or sprawling out on a pile of pillows in your backyard fort? Practically nothing. And our amazing King’s Schools librarians have some great suggestions for every age on books to put at the top of your summer reading lists!

High School to Adult:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain – recommended by Siri Shapiro

Join Huck and Jim as they journey down the Mississippi River; laugh until you cry at Huck’s profound revelations on human nature and friendship. A book I re-read every few years!

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – recommended by Siri Shapiro

My all-time favorite literary character is orphan turned governess, Jane Eyre, who discovers love and friendship in the barren landscape of the English moors. Another book I revisit often!

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – recommended by Jackie Pearson

This well written and intense biography shows the perseverance of the human spirit.

Night by Elie Wiesel – recommended by Jackie Pearson

The brutality and horror placed upon the Jews in Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps is vividly described in this memoir.  A book that should be read by all lest it be forgotten.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – recommended by Jackie Pearson

This novel provides great insight into life in the Deep South during the 1960’s.

Maus by Art Spiegelman – recommended by Jackie Pearson

Excellent depiction, using comics, of survival during the Holocaust.

Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson – recommended by Siri Shapiro

Not just a boy’s adventure classic, recalls the heroic life of Alan Breck Stewart as he and kidnapped, 16 year old David Balfour scramble across the Scottish Highlands. Discover a love for swashbuckling, sword -fighting of men in kilts!

Junior High & Above:

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd (13-adult) – recommended by Siri Shapiro

Experience the life of motherless Lily Owens as she discovers acceptance from “mothers” of a different race during the golden honey-filled South Carolina summer of 1960. Nurture triumphs over raw racism and heartache.

Under the Blood Red Sun – Graham Salisbury – recommended by Siri Shapiro

Billy Davis and TomiKazu Nakaji are good friends in Hawaii whose lives change in a moment when Japanese bombers devastate Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 194l.  Poignant, descriptive writing that young adults will relate to.

Yellow Star – Jennifer Roy – recommended by Siri Shapiro

Cleverly written in first person free verse, Yellow Star reveals the pain and perseverance in Poland’s WWII Warsaw Ghetto necessary for Syvia Perlmutter to become one of 12 children survivors. So powerful you don’t want to miss it!

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli – recommended by Jackie Pearson

Life in the Warsaw Ghetto is extremely difficult for anyone, especially a young Jewish boy.  Resourcefulness and fortitude are the keys to survival.

Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury – recommended by Jackie Pearson

Based on actual events, this book offers a glimpse of growing up in Hawai’i.

Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham – recommended by Jackie Pearson

Well written in free verse.  Explores the challenges of being physically disabled and the determination needed to overcome life’s obstacles.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine – recommended by Jackie Pearson

Growing up under the oppression of segregation is the way of life in the Deep South.  Finding friendship and standing up for what you believe in is the way to overcome!

Elementary & Above:

Wonder – RJ Palacio (Age: 11+) – recommended by Denise Boone

Wonder is about young boy, August Pullman, who has a congenital facial abnormality. After being homeschooled, he enters school for the first time in fifth grade and has to cope with a range of reactions to his unusual appearance, as well as a lot of typical middle school drama.

Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham (10+) – recommended by Siri Shapiro

A favorite childhood story about another river – the Thames, with equally witty and insightful characters Ratty, Mole, and Toad, who discover how to be faithful friends and what they are truly capable of.  Classic literature that begs to be read aloud!

Circus Mirandus – Cassie Beasley (Age: 9+) – recommended by Denise Boone

Circus Mirandus is a fantastical novel in which children delight in a magical circus that exists solely to enchant them. The novel alternates between the present-day story of a fifth-grader named Micah Tuttle, who’s grappling with the impending death of his beloved grandfather (and sole guardian), Ephraim Tuttle, and Ephraim’s experiences as a boy at the Circus Mirandus. Micah, with the help of his no-nonsense friend Jenny, embark on a quest to save his grandfather with the help of the circus.

Crenshaw – Katherine Applegate (Age: 8+) – recommended by Denise Boone

Crenshaw is a masterful story about a family down on its luck, and though it tackles homelessness, it’s never hopeless.

The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate (Age: 8+) – recommended by Denise Boone

This book was inspired by the true story of a gorilla who, after more than a quarter century of captivity in a tourist trap, now lives happily in a fine habitat at Zoo Atlanta and is renowned for his art. In Applegate’s tale, he’s acquired a few fictional friends, and the story has picked up some plot embellishments driven by the arrival of an innocent baby elephant.

The Prince Warriors – Priscilla Shirer (Age: 8+) – recommended by Denise Boone

Get your 8- to 12-year-olds thinking about the reality of spiritual warfare—and challenge them to put on “the full armor of God”! Like most young brothers, Xavier and Evan are used to battling each other. But when they’re whisked into the mysterious world of Ahoratos, they must stand together—against a far more frightening enemy!

Stuart Little – E. B. White (age 8+) – recommended by Jackie Pearson

A classic tale about an adventuresome mouse who leaves the big city in search of his missing friend.  A childhood favorite of mine!

Preschool & Above:

Creature Features – Steve Jenkins – recommended by Denise Boone

Packed with many cool facts and visuals on where certain animals live and what they eat, this book captures twenty-five humorous—and very true—explanations of why animals look the way they do in order to exist in this world.

Maddie’s Fridge – Lois Brandt – recommended by Denise Boone

With humor and warmth, this children’s picture book raises awareness about poverty and hunger.

Last Stop on Market Street – Matt de la Peña – recommended by Denise Boone

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty-and fun-in their routine and the world around them.

Larry Get’s Lost in Seattle – John Skewes – recommended by Denise Boone

Larry Gets Lost in Seattle is an interactive, highly visual children’s story about a young boy (Pete) who goes to Seattle with his family and is temporarily separated from his cute little dog, Larry, while sightseeing. In his search for Pete, Larry encounters many Seattle landmarks and cultural attractions before the two are reunited.

Mogie the Heart of the House – Kathi Appelt – recommended by Denise Boone

Mogie is a real-life Labradoodle with a special talent: he always knows just what a sick kid needs! Based on a true story, this heartwarming picture book is published in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House.

My Heart Christ’s Home, retold for children – Carolyn Nystrom – recommended by Denise Boone

Peter is thrilled when Jesus comes to stay. They eat lunch together, play outside, and go to school. But then Peter is faced with an important decision. Should he show Jesus the secret thing he’s hidden in his closet? Simple text and engaging illustrations teach children that God wants to enter every part of their lives.

Finding Winnie – Lindsay Mattick – recommended by Denise Boone

Here is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

Check out our mid-August summer camps for 1st – 3rd Reading & Writing and Kindergarten Readiness.

Librarian Siri Shapiro

High School Teacher & Librarian Siri Shapiro loves recommending books to students! One of her favorite parts of being a librarian is selecting new books to purchase, which involves reading reviews, following trends and checking content. She also has a passion for reading aloud to audiences of all ages. She spent time in Reader’s Theatre at the University of Washington and earned a major in English Literature and a minor in Oral Interpretation. In addition to working with students in the library, Mrs. Shapiro always attends the school concerts and plays. “Music and drama have been a part of my life since I was a little girl,” said Shapiro. “My mother was a violist and my father a history professor. I have sung soprano in several different choirs over the years. Now, I enjoy being part of chapel and worshipping with the KHS student body.” She has been our King’s High School librarian for 14 years and had three children who graduated from King’s, but did you know… Mrs. Shapiro has climbed Mt. Arthur and Mt. Wellington in British Columbia with Young Life’s Beyond Malibu!?

Librarian Jackie Pearson

Jackie Pearson is the Assistant Librarian for King’s secondary schools. Her passion is helping students, whether with technology or finding the resources they need to be successful. She also helps out with drama productions, chaperones high school dances, sells tickets during football and basketball games and has chaperoned robotics teams when they travel to world championships! This is Mrs. Pearson’s 12th year working for King’s. She is also a King’s alumnus and has 2 children who’ve gone through King’s, a son who graduated in 2013 and a daughter who will graduate next year! And did you know… Mrs. Pearson has a black belt in karate!? She also lives in Hawaii in the summers where she loves immersing herself in her Polynesian culture. Here in Seattle, she performs with a hula halau, where she plays the Tahitian drums!

Librarian Denise Boone

King’s Elementary School Librarian Denise Boone loves reading to children and highlighting books. She enjoys making a story come alive, captivating the students to read and discover for themselves. She also teaches advanced math for 4th – 6th grade, coaches Math Olympics and tutors students in math before and after school. As a math teacher, her passion is to tear down barriers and create confidence and joy as the students achieve success. Mrs. Boone loves learning and wants to help her students love learning, too, so she works hard to make it fun. In library, for instance, she put together a Jeopardy-style game that taught kids the Dewey Decimal system with a fun competition.  And did you know… Mrs. Boone studied Japanese in college and spent a summer living in Japan? She has also zip lined in Costa Rica!