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Summer Reading Selections Have Stood the Test of Time

Judith Dubin, West Bloomfield youth services librarian, shares her the list of children's books that still fly off the shelves.

With school-age children home for the summer, youth services librarian Judith Dubin gives her top summer reading hits that have passed the test of time. 

Fiction

  • Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers: The adventures of the magic English nanny and the Banks children is a classic and is seemingly always on loan. "Not only has this been around forever, it's actually part of our 'Pizza and Pages' program," Dubin said. "Pizza and pages is when we have book discussion and provide pizza and a drink to the children."
  • Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White: This classic tale of friendship between the pig Wilbur and his savior, a barn spider named Charlotte, has historically flown off of the shelves. "This is a perennial favorite, (its popularity) never goes away," Dubin said.
  • Little House on the Prairie (series), by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Wilder's memories of growing up in the Midwest continue to entertain children each summer. 
  • Freckle Juice, by Judy Blume: Ever since it came out in 1971, the story about Andrew Marcus' desire to grow freckles continues to draw laughs at the library. 
  • Sounder, by William H. Armstrong: The novel came out in 1969, followed by a major motion picture from 1972. It may only mention the name of the dog, Sounder, but it isn't short on educational lessons, according to librarians. 
  • Ramona (series), by Beverly Cleary: Originally a side character in Cleary's novel Henry Huggins, Ramona grew into her own series and continues to flies off of the shelves at the library. 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis: The book series has always been popular, but it received a shot in the arm with the recent movies based on the novels. 
  • Nancy Drew (series), by Carolyn Keene — While the name Carolyn Keene is a ghostwriter name for multiple authors, the young detective has been solving mysteries since the 1930s, and the series includes close to 100 novels. "It is a book that I read when I was younger, and they're still continuously checked out today," Dubin said.

Picture books

"For this, I've chosen several of our books that are on our '100 books to read in kindergarten' list," Dubin said. "They are some oldies but goodies."

  • Harry the Dirty Dog, by Gene Zion: A classic that was originally published in 1956, young readers are introduced and fall in love with Harry, a dog who loathes the bathtub. 
  • Curious George, Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey: The tales and travels of the monkey George and his beloved owner, the Man in the Yellow Hat, continue to spark children's curiosity. 
  • Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey: This book is so popular that a statue has been constructed in Boston Public Gardens, where the story takes place. Make Way for Ducklings often makes its way off of the bookshelves. 
  • Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell Hoban: The marquee attraction of Hoban's stories about Frances, Bread and Jam leaves young readers hungry for more. 
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst: While everything may go wrong for Alexander, that doesn't seem to deter young readers from picking up his story. 
  • Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans: Madeline gets her appendix removed and launches a series of beloved stories. The first in the series remains the most popular at the library, according to Dubin. 

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