Summer is here! This is the season for outdoor activities such as beaches, splash pads, swimming, and camping. While it’s important for kids to get outside and safely enjoy the summer weather, especially after months of quarantine, it’s also important for children to read over the summer. Studies have shown that reading can help children avoid what is known as the “summer slide,” a loss of academic skills or knowledge over the summer months. So, what can you do to keep kids reading this summer?
Although Vaughan Public Libraries remains closed to the public, you can still get books for your children (and yourself!). VPL is now offering curbside pickup at all ten locations. Just fill out the form on our website to request an appointment at the location of your choice. You can arrange to pick up holds or have staff prepare a selection of materials for your family based on your interests. Please note that for now, we are unable to transfer items between branches and are limited to what is on the shelf at the pickup location. If you want to request specific items at your location, you can search the catalogue, then, on the search results page, click Available Now on the left side of the screen and check off the box for your pickup location.
Our digital collections are also here for you. VPL offers access to several online platforms with books for kids. OverDrive and Hoopla Digital have downloadable ebooks and e-audiobooks for all ages. Another great online resource is TumbleBook Library, which has books for kids of all ages that are available instantly, no downloading required. Many of the books have a read-along feature with an audio recording and highlighted text, which can help struggling readers. TumbleBookCloud Junior and Teen Book Cloud are similar. Cantook Station has ebooks and e-audiobooks in French.
For many kids, participating in Summer Reading Club programs at the library is a summer highlight. This year, TD Summer Reading Club has gone virtual. This free program is for children ages 0-12. To sign up, parents or caregivers can create a free account online. You can then add your children to your account. Each week, sign in and let us know how many days your child read for 15 minutes or more. Every week that kids report reading, they will be entered in a draw for a weekly prize, and if they read in French, they will be entered in a draw for a French prize at the end of the summer.
If you need help finding books your child will enjoy, library staff are here for you. You can reach out to us by phone, email, or social media through our Ask Us service.
Here are a few reading recommendations to get you started, based on popular children’s titles.
For fans of fantasy, such as Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, and Percy Jackson:
The Lamp of Bharata, an artifact in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, is said to be cursed. When Aru Shah lights it on a dare to impress her schoolmates, she unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them. This is the first book in the Pandava series.
Sal Vidón is an amateur magician who can open holes in the space-time continuum. He can transport objects and people – including his deceased mother – between universes. Sal is having a hard time adjusting to his new school, until he becomes friends with Gabi Reál, student body president and aspiring journalist, whose own family is on the eccentric side. When Gabi’s baby brother, who is in the hospital, takes a turn for the worse, Sal’s magic could be the solution they need – unless he breaks the universe. This heartwarming and humorous novel is the winner of the 2020 Pura Belpré Award. A second book, Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe, is available as an ebook from Hoopla Digital.
Since he was little, Callum Hunt’s father has warned him that practicing magic is dangerous and could lead to his death. In fact, Callum’s mother was killed by mages. When Call is called on to complete the entrance exams for The Magisterium, a school where mages are trained, he promises he will fail on purpose. But despite his best efforts, magic is in his blood and he is chosen to apprentice under Master Rufus, a highly powerful mage. This is the first book in the Magisterium series.
Kiran’s parents raised her on stories about creatures of Indian legend, telling her she is secretly a princess. It turns out the stories are true! When a spell protecting her expires on the morning of her 12th birthday, Kiran is attacked by a demon and her parents disappear. Now, Kiran must travel to the magical realm of her birth to rescue them. This is the first book in the series Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond.
Chantel often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. She’d rather work on her magic than practice curtsying. When the headmaster disappears, along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel and her friends must work together to save the kingdom.
For fans of funny books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, Dork Diaries, and Big Nate:
Alvin Ho, Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look (available in print and as an ebook on OverDrive)
Second-grader Alvin is afraid of everything – especially school. He’s so afraid, he never says a word. Nevertheless, he is determined to make friends, and finds himself getting into all sorts of misadventures in his quest. This is the first book in the Alvin Ho series.
When Astrid’s mother takes her and her best friend, Nicole, to a roller derby event, Astrid develops an interest in the sport. She signs up for roller derby camp, while Nicole heads off to ballet camp. As Astrid begins to make friends and learn the ropes of roller derby, she worries her friendship with Nicole might not last. Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier.
When his town is destroyed by a monster apocalypse, thirteen-year-old Jack takes refuge in a tree house, arming himself with snacks, video games, and a series of catapults. When he finds two of his classmates, they team up to fight off the monsters and set out to rescue a student who is trapped at their school. This hilarious graphic novel is the first in the Last Kids on Earth series.
After cheating his way into the elite Music and Art Academy, Jake, who is neither a musician nor an artist, must fake it till he makes it. In order to keep from being found out, he creates bizarre projects such as trash sculpting. When the school announces a talent show that is mandatory in order for students to continue attending the school, Jake must find a hidden talent to keep his place at the academy. Full of illustrations and humour, this book is perfect for fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. A second book, Jake the Fakes Goes for Laughs, is also available.
Abbie Wu is freaking out. She feels anxious about starting middle school, especially because all her friends seem to have found something they’re passionate about, while Abbie is feeling lost. This humorous graphic novel about a girl trying to find herself is perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This is the first book in the Frazzled series.