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updated: 6/20/2013 1:58 PM

Great Summer Reads for Kids from the West Chicago Public Library

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  • Dominique Roman is a Youth Services Librarian at the West Chicago Public Library District.

    Dominique Roman is a Youth Services Librarian at the West Chicago Public Library District.
    Shelley Campbell

Shelley Campbell, Public Relations Specialist

Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes

Florence, Italy, 1944: The city is under heavy Nazi occupation, but for thirteen-year-old Paolo, war is a long and boring wait. Too young to fight for the Resistance, yet desperate for action and adventure, he sneaks out each night to ride his bicycle along the darkened city streets. For Paolo, the risk is thrilling. But when he is accosted by Partisans--covert members of the anti-Nazi movement--thrilling quickly becomes dangerous as Paolo and his family are thrust into a terrifying and impossible situation. Finally at the center of the action, Paolo must figure out once and for all whether he has what it takes to truly be a hero.

Alex and the Amazing Time Machine by Rich Cohen

Fifth-grader Alex Trumble builds a "dingus"--a time machine--when his brother Stephen is kidnapped by dangerous, evil time-travelers, to get back to the past and into the future and save his family from disaster.

Island of Thieves by Josh Lacey

After tracking down a journal written in 1577 by John Drake, a young relative of Sir Frances Drake, Tom travels to Peru in search of lost treasure with his affable but not quite upstanding uncle Harvey. Thugs kidnap the two, unleashing a series of escapes, and car chases on their search for buried treasure. This action-packed adventure also includes some fascinating biographical information about both John and Frances Drake.

The Traveling Restaurant : Jasper's Voyage in Three Parts by Barbara Else

Twelve-year-old Jasper Ludlow considers himself to be pretty ordinary. But everything changes when he learns that his family, including his two-year-old sister, Sibilla, is in danger and Lady Gall is plotting to permanently take the crown. When escape goes awry, Jasper finds refuge aboard the Traveling Restaurant, a quirky ship staffed by a prickly cook and a cryptic captain, Dr. Rocket. Jasper's quest to find his family becomes a seafaring adventure where he'll confront pirates, whirlpools, and mysteries galore.

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans

As if being small and having S. Horten as his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends. But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart's swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony--a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth--and Tony's marvelous, long-lost workshop.

Need more ideas? Stop by and chat with our Youth Services staff for more great summer reads.