Summer Read and Learn banner featuring two dragons

Summer Read & Learn 2020

June means it’s time for Montgomery County Public Libraries’ annual Summer Read & Learn program. We’re excited to announce that this year the entire program can be done online, which means you can join in even if you can’t visit an MCPL branch in person. And it’s all free!


This summer’s theme is Imagine Your Story. Kids and teens can fill their summer with fun books and creative activities. It’s easy to participate, just sign up on our Summer Read & Learn site. Keep track of your books and activities online to earn badges and prizes. Attend free virtual programs for even more fun!

Visit our Calendar of Events to explore the variety of live shows, storytimes, and interactive programs that will inspire your imagination, generously sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County and local Friends of the Library chapters.

There are three options for Summer Read & Learn: teens (ages 13-17), elementary school (ages 6-12), and preschool (ages 0-5). Summer Read & Learn sign-up begins June 15. The program runs through August 31. Prizes and raffles will be available in September. To learn more, you can watch this video.

You can read anything you like: books about fantasy, sports, friendship, history, animals, mythology, science, magic and more. If you want suggestions, we’ve created reading lists for different ages and grades. These reading lists can be found at the bottom of the Summer Read & Learn program page. Most of the titles are also available in a digital format. There’s something for everyone! And they’re all free, with your Montgomery County Public Library Card.

Here are a recommended reads to get you started –

Imagine what you would do if you found a fallen star! Would you put in in a jar? Find out what one boy decides to do in this picture book, STAR IN THE JAR by Sam Hay, illustrated by Sarah Massini

Or, like Mira and her neighbors, imagine how art and a little splash of color can transform a whole neighborhood in MAYBE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL by F. Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell, with artwork by Rafael Lopez.

There are also books that are perfect if you are just beginning to read on your own, like everybody’s favorite, PETE THE CAT by James Dean. In SIR PETE THE BRAVE, Pete must save Lady Callie from a fearsome dragon—or… wait… is it Lady Callie who has to save Pete?

To learn some new vocabulary, check out Oleander and Sally Mander in SMELL THE DAISIES, a Big Words Small Stories book by Judith Henderson, with pictures by T.L. McBeth. When you spot a Sprinkle Fairy on any page in this book, you can be sure a big word is coming up soon!

If you’re reading chapter books, you might enjoy KING OF THE MOLE PEOPLE by Paul Gilligan or DRAGONS IN A BAG by Zetta Elliott. Maybe you enjoy reading books in a series, like the PUPPY PIRATES series by Erin Soderberg. They’re puppies! And they’re pirates!

If you prefer graphic novels, you could read about a captive mermaid in FISH GIRL by David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli. Find out how Zoe and her new friends form a squad to fight MONSTER MAYHEM in a series by Christopher Eliopoulos. Read your favorite fairy tales, illustrated by lots of great cartoonists in FAIRY TALE COMICS, edited by Chris Duffy.

Discover even more adventures in longer chapter books. In ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME by Roshani Chokshi, Aru is on a quest to save the world and correct her mistake. She didn’t really mean to release that demon from the magic lamp!

In Lynne Kelly’s book SONG FOR A WHALE, Iris, who is Deaf, is on a quest to help a whale whose song cannot be heard by other whales. She imagines she can end the whale’s loneliness by singing back to him. While this is not a true story, it was inspired by a real whale.

If you like books with true information in them, there are many non-fiction books for you to choose from, like ICE BREAKER: HOW MABEL FAIRBANKS CHANGED FIGURE SKATING by Rose Viña, illustrated by Claire Almon. It’s a biography of an ice skater who imagined she could achieve her dream despite the many barriers she encountered—and she did!

Imagine what you could make, do, and learn when you look through JUNIOR MAKER: EXPERIMENTS TO TRY, CRAFTS TO CREATE, AND LOTS TO LEARN! You’ll discover a lot of projects to keep you busy all summer long.

Perhaps you prefer poetry? You might be inspired by SEEING INTO TOMORROW, a book of haiku by Richard Wright, illustrated by Nina Crews. Maybe you’ll even write some poetry of your own.

And while we don’t know how much traveling we’ll be able to do this summer, you can take a virtual vacation when you read NATIONAL PARKS OF THE U.S.A., written by Kate Siber, with artwork by Chris Turnham. You’ll encounter alligators in the Everglades, cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, and molten lava in Volcanoes National Park.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about Summer Read & Learn 2020, and we know it will inspire you to Imagine Your Story!