By CHELSIE HARRIS
Happy summer, La Mesa! This is the busiest season at the library because kids are out of school and parents are looking for ways to keep ‘em busy — and reading is a great, safe and fun way to do that. Our Summer Reading Challenge launched on June 1 and continues through Aug. 31. All ages can sign up online at sdcl.org/summer to complete activities in exchange for prizes.
This summer is extra special for La Mesa because we’re welcoming a new children’s librarian to our team. Her name is Ramona and she has already jumped right in providing storytimes and fixing up our children’s area to make it better than ever before. This month, we’re highlighting Ramona’s top-rated reads!
For children, she recommends “All the World” by Liz Garton Scanlon. This Caldecott Honor picture book is a calm and peaceful read for young ones and their caregivers. With a gentle rhythm and positive message about appreciating the world around us, it’s a great bedtime story to read again and again.
“Journey,” by Aaron Becker, is another Caldecott Honor book for children. This is a wordless picture book best for kids ages 4-8. A little girl is bored and draws herself a door that leads to adventure. Whether she’s exploring a castle, a city, or a forest, there is so much beauty and intricacy in the illustrations that words aren’t necessary.
Have a tween looking for something to read this summer? “Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space,” by Phillip Reeve, is a science fiction adventure of a house that hurtles through space. Join Art Mumsby and his sister Myrtle as they embark on an escapade to save the universe.
And, of course, Ramona loves the “Harry Potter” series by JK Rowling!
Ramona doesn’t only read children’s books though. She’s also an avid reader of adult fiction, and here are a few of her favorites.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s “The Great American Read,” “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline, brings readers into a dystopian world of 1980s pop culture and nostalgia.
“Blackout,” by Connie Willis, follows the adventures of time-traveling historians as they are thrust into World War II Britain during the Blitz and begin to think that they can change the past.
Author Donna Tartt won the 2014 Pulitzer Price for “The Goldfinch,” but Ramona favors her earlier work, “The Secret History.” A group of classics students fall under the cult-like spell of their charismatic professor, ultimately leading to disaster.
If you love fantasy, then check out “Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss. Also called “The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One,” this book takes place in the fictional world of Temerant and follows the life of Kvothe as he travels through childhood tragedy to happiness as a young man and ultimate exile from his hard-earned success.
Stop by the library to meet Ramona and check out the exciting programs we’re offering all summer long!
— Chelsie Harris is managing librarian of the La Mesa Branch of the San Diego County Library. Call the library at 619-469-2151, visit in person at 8074 Allison Ave., or visit online at sdcl.org.