It’s likely that most public libraries are well into their summer reading programs.  Most of these programs are developed around a theme chosen locally or part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program.  Those participating in the collaborative program are using the theme of Every Hero has a Story. Here are suggestions for Random House:

  • Ask children to name their favorite superhero:  Batman, Batgirl, Superman, Superwoman, Ironman, etc. Ask them what makes a hero a superhero. Talk about the different type of heroes. Then ask them to read a book about various types of heroes. Suggestions from Random House include:

Real Life Heroes

A Boy Named FDR (picture book) by Kathleen Krull & illus. by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher

As Good as Anybody (picture book) by Richard Michelson & illus. by Raul Colon

The Bravest Woman in America (picture book) by Marissa Moss & illus. by Andrea U’Ren

The Daring Nellie Bly (picture book) by Bonnie Christensen

Dear Malala, We Stand with You (picture book) by Rosemary McCarney

Only Passing Through (picture book) by Anne Rockwell & illus. by Gregory Christie

They Called Her Molly Pitcher (picture book) by Anne Rockwell & illus. by Cynthia Von Buhler

FDR and the American Crisis (middle grade) by Albert Marrin

Flags of Our Fathers (middle grade) by James Bradley & Ron Powers & Adapted by Michael French

In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer (young adult) by Irene Gut Opdyke with Jennifer Armstrong

Unbroken (young adult) by Laura Hillenbrand

Fictional Heroes

Powerless (picture book) by Matthew Cody

Traction Man is Here! (picture book) by Mini Grey

Sammy Keyes & the Power of Justice Jack (middle grade) by Wendelin Draanen

Daughter of Xanadu (young adult) by Dori Jones Yang

Historical Fiction – Heroes

The Great Trouble (middle grade) by Deborah Hopkinson

Jump into the Sky (middle grade) by Shelley Pearsall

Navigating Early (middle grade) by Clare Vanderpool

Daughter of Venice (young adult) Donna Jo Napoli

Eyes of the Emperor (young adult) by Graham Salisbury

  • Have students read a favorite book and write a letter that one character might write to their hero.  For example: Ginny to Armpit in Small Steps (middle grade) by Louis Sachar Kenny to Byron in The Watson Go to Birmingham–1963 (middle grade) by Christopher Paul CurtisJames to Twig in Nightbird (middle grade) by Alice Hoffman
  • Finally, create a mural of favorite fictional heroes. Allow each reader time to share which character they added to the mural, and why the character is a hero.
Random House Teachers and Librarians