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SOR2024

 

 

Summer of
Reading 2024

 

Welcome to our 2024 Summer of Reading campaign!

We asked 250 children from across the country what middle-grade books they enjoy most to create The 50 Books Kids Love Most list. We hope the picks will keep you excited to read all summer.

Enter to win books! We’re also challenging kids to read three books this summer (any books they like!) and enter our sweepstakes. Five kids will win books, and one of them will also win a personal video call with one of our Author Ambassadors. Winners will be drawn at random. To apply, go to tinyurl.com/TWJUS-ReadingChallenge with an adult. The deadline to apply is August 9. Happy reading!


Author Ambassador Johnnie Christmas

Gamerville

By Johnnie Christmas (HarperAlley)

After spending nearly all his free time playing his favorite video game, Max levels up his skills and receives an invitation to compete in the prestigious Gamerville tournament. Two classmates volunteer to coach him to boost his chance of winning the competition, which takes place a week after school ends. But his parents have other summer plans: They’re sending him to a month-long sleepaway camp where no technology is allowed. Max is devastated that he’ll miss the tournament and has a hard time adjusting to camp life. When he gets lost in the woods, he realizes the tournament is on the other side of the lake from his camp. He tries to figure out a way to make it to the tournament without his counselors finding out. Max receives help from a few fellow campers, including Zanzi, who is upset that the camp plans to modernize its program next year. Will Max make it to the video game competition without anyone realizing? There’s never a dull moment in this graphic novel adventure. You may especially enjoy the comic
 pages that portray what’s happening in the video game.

Gamerville

Meet Johnnie Christmas

Listen to Johnnie Christmas talk about his new book Gamerville in a special video he made for fans of The Week Junior..

 

christmas

Talk about Gamerville

With a clever premise and fun characters, Gamerville may make you consider the pros and cons of technology, especially the way it can affect friendships. Here are questions to get a conversation going with friends and family who have also read it.

  1. Does Max spend too much time playing video games during the school year? Why or why not?

  2. What are some realizations Max makes about himself after going away to sleepaway camp?
  3. How does the art in the book help tell the story?

  4. Do you agree or disagree with the camp’s plan to change its program the following year? Explain your answer.
  5. Which character would you most want to be friends with and why?

  6. How do you think technology affects the friendships in the story?
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Author Ambassador Kekla Magoon

The Secret Library

By Kekla Magoon (Candlewick Press)

Since Dally’s fun-loving grandfather died, she’s been lonely. Her wealthy mom spends all her time working on the family business. When Dally learns of a mysterious envelope that her grandfather left for her, she opens it even though she was supposed to wait until her 21st birthday. The envelope contains a map to a magical library. It’s filled with books that allow Dally to travel back in time. As she checks out each book, she has surprising encounters with her mom, dad, and grandfather when they were younger, as well as ancestors, including pirates, from hundreds of years ago. Dally, who is biracial, learns more about her Black roots and even experiences the Underground Railroad, the network of secret routes that allowed people to escape slavery in the 1800s. As Dally grapples with understanding her family’s secretive past, she has to make a decision that will change her life forever. This fast-paced story is primarily a fantasy but also contains historical fiction elements. Ages 10 and up

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Meet Kekla Magoon

Listen to Kekla Magoon talk about the new book The Secret Library in a special video she made for fans of The Week Junior.

 

june author

Talk about The Secret Library

The Secret Library is an enchanting fantasy full of twists that gives readers plenty to think about with its themes of race, inequality, and deception. Here are questions to get a conversation going with friends and family who have also read the book.

  1. Should Dally have waited until she was older to explore the secret library? Why or why not?
  2. How do you think Dally’s life would be different if her family’s past hadn’t been kept secret?
  3. What are some ways that Dally shows courage?
  4. Why was it important for Dally to discover more about her father’s side of the family?
  5. Which of Dally’s adventures was the most thrilling?
  6. How does Dally become more connected to the Black community as the story unfolds?
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Author Ambassador Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Family

By Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Patricia Castelao (Harper)

When an angry customer storms into the laundromat owned by Magnolia’s parents, a bulletin board falls to the ground. Upset that the customer yelled at her Chinese American parents and told them they need to “understand English,” 10-year-old Magnolia discards the board, which had socks hanging from it that were missing their mates. The next day, she sees her new friend Iris. Iris cheers up Magnolia by telling her they should retrieve the socks and become “sock detectives” to figure out who the owners are. Day after day, they make matches and have fun doing it. Magnolia runs into a classmate and asks if she wants to help. Iris is jealous that Magnolia asked the classmate, and they have a fight. Later, a racist message is left at Iris’ family business, and she needs a friend more than ever. Will Magnolia and Iris be able to patch things up? At less than 150 pages, this friendship story is both short and heartfelt.

OneAndOnly

Meet Katherine Applegate

Listen to Katherine Applegate talk about her new book The One and Only Family in a special video she made for fans of The Week Junior.

 

applegate

Talk about The One and Only Family

While The One and Only Family has a hopeful message, it still raises concerns about animals being kept in captivity. Here are questions to get a conversation going with friends and family who have also read the book:

  1. What are the pros and cons of raising baby gorillas in the sanctuary rather than the wild?
  2. Should the sanctuary have allowed visitors to name the twins? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think Ivan is reluctant to talk about his past with the twins?
  4. How are Ivan and his mate Kinyani different from each other?
  5. In what ways did Bob and Ruby support their friend?
  6. Are you satisfied with the ending of this series? Why or why not?
  7. What was your favorite book in the series?
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Author Ambassador Chris Colfer 

Roswell Johnson Saves the World!

By Chris Colfer, illustrated by Godwin Akpan (Little, Brown and Company)

Roswell wants to prove that aliens exist. He thinks his science fair project on the topic will be convincing, but a racist judge doesn’t give him a chance to present his findings or explain how his father once encountered aliens. After school, Roswell is at home when he hears his grandfather’s prized chicken clucking. The chicken is being beamed onto a UFO, and Roswell jumps in. Nerp and Bleep, part of a friendly alien race called the Grays, are conducting experiments on life-forms. They don’t realize Roswell is on board until they’re practically to Pluto. Before Nerp and Bleep can return Roswell to Earth, they all get abducted by an evil alien species. Will they all be able to escape? Time is of the essence because the evildoers are planning to take over Earth. Your mind will be blown by the twist ending of the first book in a new sci-fi series.

roswell

Talk about Roswell Johnson Saves the World!

While Roswell Johnson Saves the World! is full of humor and pop-culture references, yet it also addresses important issues like racism. Here are questions to get a conversation going with friends and family who have also read the book.

  1. Roswell believes there’s no point in having a talent if no one recognizes it. What do you think?

  2. The aliens said they secretly prevented harmful events from taking place on Earth. What are the pros and cons of their interventions?
  3. Who do you think is the most resourceful character in the book and why??
  4. Do you agree or disagree with how Roswell explains prejudices on Earth to the aliens?
  5. If you met aliens, what would you most want to ask them?
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More Summer of Reading fun!

Girl reading on her tummy

From everyone at The Week Junior, happy summer!