First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear announces Top 10 Summer Reads

Press Release Date:  Monday, July 12, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

FRANKFORT, Ky.— In an effort to increase student reading during summer break, First Lady Jane Beshear today announced her Top 10 Summer Reads as part of the First Lady’s Reading Recommendations initiative.

“Educators have long known that reading over summer vacation leads to improved performance when school resumes, and fosters a lifelong love of reading,” said Mrs. Beshear.  “The books on my summer reading list have been chosen not only to entertain and educate students throughout the summer months but to increase their awareness of the outdoors, community service and compassion for others.”

  1. Summer Reading is Killing Me!, Jon Scieszka (Ages 9-12)—“In this latest adventure of the time warp trio, Fred, Sam and Joe find themselves traveling through time when Fred puts their summer reading list in The Book, which causes them to meet up with a number of familiar children’s book characters.”
  2. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt (Ages 9-12)—“This enchanting and timeless tale is a story of fantasy while also tenderly dealing with the real world issues of mortality and the cycle of life.” 
  3. The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton (Ages 13-18)—“This classic tale of the struggle of young boys trying to find their place in this world is as relevant a social commentary today as it was when it was published more than 40 years ago.”
  4. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell (Ages 9-12)—“This 50th Anniversary edition is the story of a young Indian girl separated from her tribe and stranded on an island for many years. It provides a strong female lead character in a story of human resourcefulness and a will to survive.”
  5. Slow Down for Manatees, Jim Arnosky (Ages 4-8)—“This beautifully written and illustrated story encourages young readers to be mindful of the world they share with other creatures and the threats that humans sometimes unknowingly pose to them.”
  6. Riddle of the Reef, Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz (Ages 4-8)—“This book features adventure and an important message of conservation as Riley and his family visit Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.”
  7. Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder, (Ages 14-18)—“A New York Times Best Seller and Pulitzer Prize winner, this book tells the remarkable and inspiring story of Dr. Paul Famer’s efforts to bring healthcare to the poor and sick of Haiti.”
  8. Gods of Manhattan, Scott Mebus (Ages 9-12)—“The first in a series of books about a spirit world that exists within Manhattan, the story of Rory and his kid sister Bridget provides a great deal of adventure and fantasy, as well as a little history of New York City.”
  9. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, Kimberly Willis Holt, (Ages 11-15)—“Set during a small-town, Texas summer, this book tells the story of 13-year-old Toby Wilson, his struggle to find how he fits into this world and the realization that, as difficult as his life may seem, others may have it worse than him.”
  10. Scat, Carl Hiaasen, (Ages 9-12)—“When their unpopular biology teacher inexplicably goes missing, Nick and Marta set out on an adventure to unravel the mystery of Mrs. Bunny Starch’s suspicious disappearance.”