Summer brings to mind travel, vacations, and lazy days swinging in a hammock or lying on a beach.Enjoy these pleasures either in real time or vicariously through books. Books can bring various summer experiences from fun to revelation.
Books marked with a J or YA are for younger readers, but I always suggest that any adult reader is encouraged to read juvenile and young adult books.
It Happened in the Catskills: an oral history in the words of busboys, bellhops, guests, proprietors, comedians, agents and others who lived it.
Beanland, Florence Adler Swims Forever. Set in Atlantic City, this novel tells the story of champion swimmer Florence, her family, her friends and her fate
Diamant, The Boston Girl: a novel. Read this to discover the significance of the cover illustration.
Fleishman, Too Hot in Potzburg. During one sweltering summer, the town’s residents look for a solution to beat the heat. (J)
Fleming, Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Splash! Nr. McGreevy goes to the beach to escape the pesky rabbits who have overrun his house and yard. (J)
Friedland, The Floating Feldmans. A cruise to celebrate matriarch’s Annette Feldman’s seventieth birthday doesn’t quite turn out as planned.
Gel, Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel. In this twist on the old fable, the animals race from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea.(J)
Goodman, Kaatterskill Falls: a novel. Set in a real summer destination, the novel follows a disparate group of people through change and challenges.
Kimmelman, Sam and Charlie (and Sam too) at Camp. While at camp, two friends learn about nature and friendship. (J)
Koffsky, Noah’s Swim-a-thon. Noah learns to love swimming while helping to raise money for tzedakah. (J)
Price, The Hotel Neversink. A fictional look at a famed hotel and the family that built it.
Rouss, Sammy Spider’s First Trip to Israel: a book about the five senses. (J)
Talshir, About the Night. Set in Jerusalem, this is the story of a love challenged by the different worlds the characters come from.
Wild, The Queen’s Holiday. The Queen takes charge of the royal outing to the beach.
Yasner, Essie Rose’s Revelation Summer. The protagonist, based on the author, discovers the realities of living in the Jim Crow South.(J)
Zohar, The Experience of Israel: Sites and Cities. A view of Israel and its travel treasures written for children. (J)
Of Note: Not actually set in summer or on the water, my favorite travel guide is Rachel Kolsky’s Guide to Jewish London. If you can’t actually go to London, this book and the video tours are the next best thing. Click here and scroll down to Jewish London.
Wecker, The Hidden Palace: a novel of the Golem and the Jinni. The long-awaited sequel to the Golem and the Jinni has arrived with its challenges on how to live in two worlds and simultaneously be true to one’s nature.
image: “Man reading book” by Alan Cleaver is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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