“This summer we celebrate you and your willingness to continue your learning over these next few months, as well as the amazing, diverse authors and illustrators making books today.”— Mayor London N. Breed
Reading can take you to new places, help foster new friendships and offer you the tools to succeed later in life. When we spend our summer exercising our minds and engaged in high-quality summer learning experiences, we make great gains in preventing summer slide. This summer, we provide you with an abundance of reading resources—booklists, creative tools and fantastic free virtual programs—to support learning this summer–and beyond.
Everybody Reads Summer Guide
Get a head start on your reading goals with a literacy guide created by Dr. Sheryl Evans Davis, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission in partnership with SFPL. The curriculum, with its fun, engaging activities, supports readers to expand on the diverse books featured in the guide—helping them to learn in a fun new way. Whether you are a young person, camp counselor, parent/caregiver or educator, let this guide introduce you to culturally relevant stories by celebrated diverse authors and illustrators and the amazing books they have created.
That’s not all! Watch the BIPOC KidLit Series on SFPL YouTube for a live weekly virtual visit with the authors and illustrators featured in the guide. Missed the live stream? Recordings will be available to watch and share through the end of summer 2021. See our full schedule of author and illustrator visits.
|Title||Author/Illustrator||About the Book||Downloadable Activity sheet||Watch the program|
|Ambitious Girl||Written by Meena Harris and Illustrated by Marissa Valdez. Read by Honey Mahogany||When a young girl sees a strong woman on TV labeled as “too assertive” and “too ambitious,” it sends her on a journey of discovery through past, present and future about the challenges faced by women and girls—and the ways in which they can reframe, redefine and reclaim words meant to knock them down.||Sweet Stories: Honey Mahogany|
|Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao||Written by Kat Zhang and Illustrated by Charlene Chua||Amy loves to make bao with her family and it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. Her bao keeps coming out all wrong until she has an idea that may give her a second chance.||Author: Kat Zhang|
|Astro Girl||Written and Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max||Astrid “Astro Girl” has loved the stars and space for as long as she can remember. While her mama is away, Astrid and her papa have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission, while also baking cookies and conducting fun experiments. The best part of the day, though, is when Astrid and Papa go pick up Mama from work.||Author: Ken Wilson-Max|
|Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock||Written by Dallas Hunt and Illustrated by Amanda Strong||Awâsis is excited to deliver yummy treats to a relative, and devastated when they are dropped and ruined. Luckily, Kôhkum’s bannock recipe is so famous, all the other-than-human friends in the forest know its ingredients and are willing to help—in English and in Cree. Awâsis learns not only the recipe for a traditional treat, but how to solve problems with the help of friends and good humor.||Author: Dallas Hunt|
|Fatima’s Great Outdoors||Written by Ambreen Tariq and Illustrated by Stevie Lewis||An immigrant family embarks on their first camping trip in the Midwest in this lively picture book by Ambreen Tariq, outdoors activist and founder of @BrownPeopleCamping.||Author: Ambreen Tariq|
|Paletero Man||Written by Lucky Diaz and Illustrated by Micah Player||Run alongside a little boy on a quest to find the Paletero Man throughout his busy neighborhood. But when he finally catches up with him, his pockets are empty. It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat. A sweet story about generosity, kindness and community.||Author: Lucky Diaz|
|Ta-Da!||Written by Kathy Ellen Davis and Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita||What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it’s a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!— overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it’s—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution— ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling and the joys of collaboration.||
|Author: Kaylani Juanita|
|A Place Inside of Me||Written by Zetta Elliott and Illustrated by Noa Denmon||Feeling your feelings is not always easy. This is a powerful poem about a young kid just like you, living in a place just like this and feeling happy and sad just like you. A Place Inside of Me can help you reach that place inside where love and light live in us all.||Author: Zetta Elliott|
|The Day You Begin||Written by Jacqueline Woodson and Illustrated by Rafael López||We’ve all felt a little scared in a new place with new people. Come along with a little girl as she navigates her first day of school and discovers all sorts of familiar, and sometimes not-so-familiar things about her new classmates. Even feeling scared and alone, the little girl finds the courage to make connections through sharing and listening to personal stories.||Author: Jacqueline Woodson|
|Front Desk||Written by Kelly Yang||Inside Out and Back Again meets Millicent Min, Girl Genius in Front Desk, a timely, hopeful middle-grade novel with a contemporary Chinese twist. This heart-opening novel takes inspiration from the author’s life story, as her family immigrated to the United States from China when she was a young girl and managed a motel in California.||Author: Kelly Yang|
|The Boys in the Back Row||Written by Mike Jung||Best friends Matt and Eric hatch a plan for one big final adventure together before Eric moves away: during the marching band competition at a giant amusement park, they will sneak away to a nearby comics convention and meet their idol—a famous comic creator. Without cell phones. Or transportation. Or permission. This novel is an honest and witty celebration of band geeks, comic nerds and male friendship.||Author: Mike Jung|
|Dragon Hoops||Written by Gene Luen Yang||Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’ lives, but his own life as well.||Author: Gene Luen Yang|
SFUSD Recommended Reading
Each year, the Library teams up with SFUSD to create fresh, diverse booklists to set you up for a summer of great reading. Whether you are a caregiver/parent reading to a young one, an emerging reader or someone reading for your next big brick of a book to read, we have got your covered. Every list includes informational books as well as fiction and a recommended title in Chinese and Spanish. Want more recommendations? Contact us at (415) 557-4400 and our librarians would be happy to advise you on your next great summer read.