Gaston County Public Library

Summer Reading

The Gaston County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program

May 29-August 21, 2021

Our 2021 summer reading theme is Tails and Tales! Choose books, magazines, comic books, ebooks and audiobooks at the library or at home that you love to read.  Research shows that reading at least fifteen to twenty minutes a day is optimum for slowing the summer slide, the loss of learning which happens over the summer. 


How does Summer Reading work at the Gaston County Public Library?


Babies to age 3

For babies to age 3, grab a free early literacy record at your library. Parents, complete the activities with your child to receive an animal bath toy and be entered into the grand prize drawing for early literacy toys.

Pre-K to Grade 5

For kids in pre-K to Grade 5, pick up your free reading record at the library. Read for 20 minutes a day (read anything you like!) and mark it on your record. Come back to the library later in the summer and a librarian will check your record and give you any prizes you've earned. By the end of summer, you will have a lanyard, 4 badges, wristband and two entries into the grand prize drawing.

Grades 6-12

For teens in grades 6-12, pick up a free teen reading card, read 6 books over summer and bring in your completed card to earn a bag and be entered into the grand prize drawing.


Adults, pick up a free adult reading card at your library, read 4 books over summer to win your choice of a bag or cup and a chance to win a grand prize.

In addition to printed reading records, you can also pick up a printable activity packet while supplies last. There will also be an online summer reading option for those that prefer to go paperless.

Online Summer Reading

Our online summer reading option for kids is Readsquared. Log your minutes read online at Readsquared between May 29 and August 21 by going to

For teens and adults, participate online in our Goodreads group at

FREE In-Person And Virtual Library Events

Please view available events via our online calender at

GCPL Youth Services Facebook (for children’s and teen information and programming):

GCPL Facebook (for adult information and programming):

Access videos made from our children’s programming staff on our Youtube page:

Online Reading Tools


Need help strengthening Reading Skills like comprehension, phonics and fluency?

Try Home Reading Helper

Concerned about your child’s readiness for Kindergarten?

Gaston County Early Literacy Collaborative provides fantastic resources for birth to age 5


Reading Suggestion List


Check out these fantastic books recommended and compiled by GCPL Youth Services staff:


A Piglet Called Mercy by Kate DiCamillo

The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

Saturday by Oge Mora

Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz

Windows by Julia Denos

The Pigeon Has to Go to School! by Mo Willems

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Swimmy by Leo Lionni

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton


First Grade:

Hello, Crabby by Jonathon Fenske

Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen       

Princess and the Pit Stop by Tom Angleberger

Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale by Josh Funk 

Maurice the Unbeastly by Amy Dixon

It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton

Penny and Penelope by Dan Richards

Rules of the House by Mac Barnett

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

The Good Egg by Jory John

How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander

Tomorrow Most Likely by Dave Eggers


Second Grade:

A Different Pond by Bao Phi

Ella and Owen (series) by Jaden Kent

Zoey & Sassafras (series) by Asia Citro

Princess in Black (series) – Shannon Hale

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre by Anika Aldamuy Denise                                           

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clark

Dory Fantasmagory (series) by Abby Hanlon

Alvin Ho (series) by Lenore Look

Mia Mayhem is a Superhero! by Kara West

Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o


Third Grade:

EllRay Jakes  (series) by Sally Warner

Gooney Bird Green and the Room Mother by Lois Lowry

The Miniature World of Marvin and James by Elise Broach

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

The Witches of Benevento by Sophie Blackall

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

Wedgie & Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors

Dragon Masters (series) by Tracey West

Clubhouse Mysteries (series) by Sharon Draper


Fourth Grade:

The Beast Within (Villains Series) by Serena Valentino

The Runaway Princess (graphic) by Troianowski

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (series) by Grace Lin

Rump (series) by Liesl Shurtliff

The  Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain series) by Lloyd Alexander

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Banks

The Borrowers (series) by Mary Norton

RA the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery by A.B. Greenfield

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff


Fifth Grade:

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

The Story that Cannot be Told by J. Kasper Kramer

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Lionel Messi: The Ultimate Fan Book by Mike Perez

A Journey to Jo’burg by Beverley Naidoo

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

More to the Story by Hena Khan

The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Code Word Courage by Kirby Larson

Real Friends by Shannon Hale

New Kid by Jerry Craft


ALSC 2021 Summer Reading List and Battle of the Books

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Summer Reading Lists for All Ages:


Middle School Battle of the Books for 2021-22:


High School Battle of the Books for 2021-22:


National Summer Learning Week

National Summer Learning Week is July 12-16, 2021. During National Summer Learning Week, we celebrate summertime efforts to keep children healthy, safe, and learning so that they are ready for school success. Learn more at