Looking for hot summer reading suggestions?
This list is full of great books for your summer getaway – or your weekend on the couch.
Don’t forget to tag and share your #LibraryBooksInTheWild.
While often in the shadow of the war that would follow, World War I saw conflict on a global scale: 17 million people were killed and large swaths of Europe’s landscape still bears visible scars.
The Great War saw the end of empires, and birthed the modern age, and at the end, it marked the entrance of the United States as a major player on the world stage. The crucible of World War I not only forged military leaders who would make their name in the next war, but also a generation of writers now firmly enshrined in the English-language canon.
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There can be no way to showcase all of this history in a single booklist, so we’ve started with a World War I Overview, mixing fiction and nonfiction, and covering broad topics, trends and regions in order to present the best introduction our collection can offer.
But these titles are just a small selection of the Library’s collection on World War I. You can find more of our lists in the catalog by searching “World War I Collection Spotlight.”
You can also explore World War I in pictures and letters through our featured exhibit in the Center for Local History’s online Community Archive.
We will add more booklist topics throughout the year as we continue to commemorate and remember the war’s 100th anniversary.
Homepage image from the Center for Local History, 230-6659 Car Hit by Shell, June 1918.
As librarians, we often receive emails from friends and family members, looking for specific book suggestions…
This email arrived over the holidays:
My dad’s been reading to a class of 3rd graders, and the assignment (instead of being a month) may last until the end of next academic year. I’d given him Neil Gaiman’s “Fortunately, the Milk” — which he and one of the groups liked — but he’s done with it.
I was thinking “Pippi Longstocking,” but it’s hard to know if that would be interesting to kids today. What do you suggest? Something to get them excited about reading.
We love a question like this!
Our Youth Services librarians came up with a short list of fun books to read out loud to 3rd graders, which the writer’s dad took to his school librarian. He wrote back, saying that he quickly found two books that looked perfect for his class.
So if you’re looking for ideas about what to read next, don’t forget to ask your librarian!
We always recommend that adult readers preview read-aloud suggestions, to find the best fit for their listeners.
A Rock Is Lively
by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long
From the award-winning creators of An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, and A Butterfly Is Patient comes a gorgeous and informative introduction to the fascinating world of rocks. From dazzling blue lapis lazuli to volcanic snowflake obsidian, an incredible variety of rocks are showcased in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this book introduces an array of facts, making it equally perfect for classroom sharing and family reading.
“A Rock is Lively” Text copyright © 2012 by Dianna Hutts Aston. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Sylvia Long.
Permission arranged with Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.
The Trail Tales’ squirrel logo was designed by Arlington student Annabella.
Explore Arlington’s Nauck in person. And if you can, help share the rich heritage digitally.
The community—bordered by Army-Navy County Club, Four Mile Run, South Walter Reed Drive and South 16th Road—features African American roots that predate the Civil War. Records from the 184os show that free blacks like Levi and Sarah Ann Jones bought land, built homes and sometimes found neighbors by selling excess portions of their lots.
A surge of growth came with the start of the 20th century, when an influx of former slaves arrived as the federal government shuttered its nearby Freedman’s Village.
Faced with encroaching segregation, Nauck/Green Valley residents became self-sustaining as entrepreneurs, educators, religious leaders, health workers and other professionals established an array of resilient neighborhood institutions.
Several survive to this day.
Through generous loans and donations by residents, descendants and their institutions, the official Nauck/Green Valley Heritage Project continues to grow as an online archive dedicated to capturing the community’s rich history and cultural legacy.
The archive is a partnership of Arlington Public Library’s Center for Local History, the Nauck Civic Association, Arlington County’s Neighborhood Services and Drew Model Elementary School.
The goal is to find and make available digitally those seemingly lost chapters—and images—that can add to one of Arlington’s most inspiring stories.
Spread the word about Nauck/Green Valley.
Talking to young children about the life and legacy of Dr. King is important, but can also be challenging. These books, films and websites can help.
And don’t miss Arlington’s official tribute program on Jan. 17.
Love Will See You Through
by Angela Farris Watkins, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Growing up as the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Farris Watkins witnessed firsthand the principles and values that “Uncle M.L.” practiced and lived by throughout his fight for equality. Including “have courage” and “love your enemies,” these six hallmarks of virtue and nonviolence reinforce the truth that “the universe honors love,” and will inspire readers of all ages.
Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song
by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Explores the intersecting lives of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson at the historic moment when their joined voices inspired landmark changes.
Martin’s Big Words
by Doreen Rappaport, illustrations by Brian Collier
Weaving in Dr. King’s own “big words,” this inspiring picture-book biography celebrates the great leader as preacher and politician. Rappaport’s spare narrative captures the essentials of the man, the movement he led, and his policy of nonviolence.
What was the March on Washington?
by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Tim Tomkinson
On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., to demand equal rights for all races. It was there that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and it was this peaceful protest that spurred the momentous civil rights laws of the mid-1960s. Includes a 16-page photo insert.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s sister recalls the day she heard him deliver his “I have a dream” speech. Also includes “Martin’s Big Words” and two other stories from African American history.
I’ve Seen the Promised Land
by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins
Pictures and easy-to-read text introduce the life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
by Trudi Strain Trueit
Introduces young readers to the traditions and festivities of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart
by Angela Farris Watkins, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
A young girl introduces readers to her uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., describing what he does and family moments they have shared.
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Martin Luther King III, illustrated by AG Ford
Provides insight into one of history’s most fascinating families and into a special bond between father and son.
Martin Luther King Jr.: Let Freedom Ring
by Michael Teitelbaum & Lewis Helfand
Armed with one the nonviolent teachings of Ghandi and a staunch belief that all men and women were created equal, Martin Luther King Jr. stepped to the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. Through a series of peaceful protests and marches, King captured the attention of the world and changed the lives of millions of Americans forever.
You know that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will hit movie theaters on December 17. But did you know that there’s a whole new universe of books and graphic novels related to the movie?
These fun new stories are now part of the official Star Wars canon. They fill in narrative gaps, and provide hints of all the exciting adventures to come:
Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
by Tom Angleberger
Tying up the loose ends of the original Star Wars trilogy was a big job for the filmmakers. In this original retelling of “Return of the Jedi, Angleberger’s approach is similarly to dive in belly first and go nuts. Like a breathless eight-year-old recounting the film to a younger sibling, the story bubbles with playground-friendly descriptions, swoops aside for motormouthed tangents, and never misses a chance to Use! Tons! Of! Exclamation! Points! See also: “So You Want to be a Jedi?” and “The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farm Boy.”
Heir to the Jedi
by Kevin Hearne
Luke Skywalker takes on a high-stakes espionage operation to rescue a brilliant alien cryptographer sympathetic to the rebel cause, a mission that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit – a a key moment of growth for Skywalker, set between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure
by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by Jason Fry
Part of the “Journey to Star Wars: the Force Awakens” series, each of which include clues to the new film. In this story, set between The empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia must lead a ragtag group of rebels on a treacherous decoy mission against the evil Galactic Empire.
Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company
by Alexander Freed
In an official tie-in to the hotly anticipated new Star Wars video game, Twilight Company (men, women, human and nonhuman) of the 61 Mobile Infantry gives the Rebel Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence as they strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.
Lego Star Wars: Into Battle!
by Adam Bray
Do you trust your friends and know your enemies? Learn all about the biggest and most important battles in LEGO® galactic history. Join the generals, soldiers, Jedi, and Rebels on their missions, and discover the traps, betrayals, and triumphs. Encounter the mysterious Sith, their droid armies, villainous bounty hunters, and pirates. See great powers clash in the most exciting lightsaber duels, the most daring space fights, and the mightiest land battles!
Star Wars Darth Vader. Vol. 1
by Kieron Gillen; Salvador Larroca, Edgar Delgado, Joe Caramagna
Visit the Empire’s war with the Rebel Alliance from the other side: When a Dark Lord needs help, who can he turn to? As Vader pursues a very personal vengeance against the Rebels and investigates the Emperor’s secret machinations, he clashes with weapons scavenger Aphra and deadly Battle Droids, and returns to Geonosis to build an army. But some very powerful people don’t want him to learn the truths he seeks! Related graphic series: Star Wars: Princess Leia – Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes – Star Wars: Shattered Empire.
Star Wars: Lost Stars
by Claudia Gray
Packed with original content as well as hints and clues about the upcoming film, Lost Stars follows the rise of the Rebellion and the fall of the Empire from the perspectives of two childhood friends turned star-crossed lovers, an Imperial officer and a Rebel pilot. Now on opposite sides of the war, will they reunite, or will duty tear them – and the galaxy – apart?
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope
by Ian Doescher, inspired by the work of George Lucas and William Shakespeare
A retelling of Star wars in the style of Shakespeare, in which a wise Jedi knight, an evil Sith lord, a beautiful captive princess, and a young hero coming of age reflect the valor and villainy of the Bard’s greatest plays. It won’t shed any light on the new movie, but it is really fun.
Star Wars, Aftermath
by Chuck Wendig
Volume 1 of the Aftermath trilogy. As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance – now a fledgling New Republic – presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But the battle for freedom is far from over…
See the vehicles of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in unparalleled detail with this newest addition to the Star Wars Incredible Cross Sections series. Twelve breathtaking artworks bring the new craft to life, showing all of the weapons, engines, and technology, while engaging text explains each vehicle’s backstory and key features.
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