Where do YOU want to go this summer? Whether the answer is beyond the stars, to the bottom of the ocean, or to a fantastical world, a book can take you there! Here are just a few suggestions to take you someplace new — without ever having to leave your home!
- Journey to Tibet with 12-year-old Tash in “Running on the Roof of the World” by Jess Butterworth. To avoid trouble with the Chinese soldiers occupying her country, Tash has to keep her Buddhist religion secret and never mention its leader, the Dalai Lama. But when her parents are captured, she travels with her best friend Sam across the mountains. They face blizzards, hunger, a dangerous landscape and more as they attempt to reach India and get help from the Dalai Lama himself.
- For another mountain adventure, join 12-year-old Lily in “Lily’s Mountain” by Hannah Moderow. Lily refuses to believe that her dad died while climbing Mt. Denali, the highest mountain in North America. She has grown up hiking with him, and she’s sure she can find him. So she sets off with her sister to climb Mt. Denali herself, crossing rivers, glaciers, and wild animals in her quest to find what really happened to her dad.
- Whether you plan a real-life trip to the United Kingdom or are just looking to “armchair travel,” pick up a copy of “Women’s London: A Tour to Great Lives” by Rachel Kolsky. While most tour guides focus on history surrounding men’s achievements, this one is ALL about London’s great women. Learn about Great Britain’s female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, known as the “Iron Lady,” or the pink-haired designer Zandra Rhodes, founder of London’s Fashion and Textile Museums. If a great woman ever lived or worked in London, this book will tell you where to go to chase down her legacy!
- You don’t have to stay in your own house, state, or country when you read — or even your same time era! Explore a new country AND another time in “Cleopatra and Ancient Egypt for Kids: Her Life and World, with 21 Activities” by Simonetta Carr. Learn about Cleopatra’s 22 years leading Egypt, her love of literature and science, and her romances and relationship with her family — PLUS explore how the ancient Egyptians lived by making your own Egyptian breath mints, writing an Egyptian love poem, or creating Egyptian-style artwork.
- Even though the ocean covers 70 percent of the earth, we have explored only 5 percent of it! That leaves a lot to discover. Get started on your own deep-sea adventure with “Squidtoons: Exploring Ocean Science with Comics.” In this book, you’ll find out whether sharks are REALLY dangerous to humans (or is it the other way around?), how aquariums create sea-like environments for the creatures on display, and the anatomy of squids, salmon, and more — all told in fun pictures and cartoons.
Who says you have to stay on earth when you read? Check out “To Pluto & Beyond: the Amazing Voyage of New Horizons” by Elaine Scott to journey with the New Horizons space craft, which launched in 2006 to explore Pluto closeup for the first time. Even though Pluto was considered a planet when the piano-sized spaceship left earth and had been designated a “dwarf planet” by the time it arrived, that doesn’t change the amazing nature of what was discovered here. For example, did you know that Pluto, like the earth, has a blue sky? New Horizons spent just three minutes snapping photos as it passed Pluto, and you can see many of those amazing photos in this book that comes out this month!
- No one said we had to limit the places we want to go to the ones that really exist, right? If you’re in the mood for something a bit more fantastical, join Marabel on her adventure through Magikos with her best friend and an ornery unicorn to track down her kidnapped twin brother. You’ll encounter trolls, swordplay, and a few surprises in “Marabel and the Book of Fate” by Tracy Barrett.
- In Lauren DeStefano’s “Dreaming Dangerous,” you won’t just travel to Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary, a school for orphans with wonderful gifts, but you’ll also journey deep inside 12-year-old Plum’s dreams to battle monsters and go on quests with her three best friends. When one of them goes missing, the others must search both the dreaming and waking worlds to find her … and along the way, they uncover secrets about Brassmere Academy.
The Runaway Carnival
- Tess is visiting her aunt in England when something strange happens to her in a psychic’s wagon at a carnival in “Carnival Magic” by Amy Ephron. The wagon seems to move, and suddenly Tess and her brother Max are off on a magical adventure. This book is a standalone companion to “Castle in the Mist,” a recommendation from a previous column. If you like one, make sure to pick up both!
- And what better way to end a list of recommendations about books taking you away than with … a book about books taking you away! In “The Bookshop Girl” by Sylvia Bishop, 11-year-old Property Jones’s family wins the greatest bookshop in Britian. But this isn’t an ordinary bookshop. The pull of one lever reveals the Room of Woodland Tales, where squirrels and mice frolic, while the Room of Ocean Tales has an aquarium ceiling. But the bookshop holds secrets, too, and it’s up to Property to uncover them and save her beloved bookshop from a nasty villain.
What about you? Where do YOU want to travel through books this summer? Leave a comment with your recommendations below!