Gaston County Public Library

Summer Reading

The Gaston County Public Library’s Summer

Reading Program

June 1-August 27


Our 2022 summer reading theme is Oceans of Possibilities! Choose books, magazines, comic books, e-books, 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 ocean toy and be entered into the grand prize drawing for early literacy prizes.

Pre-K to Grade 5

For kids in pre-K to Grade 5, pick up your free reading record at the library. Read for 15 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 along the way. After you have completed your record, turn it in at any library branch for a prize and two entries into our Grand Prize drawing. Participants may complete multiple records for additional drawing entries.

Grades 6-12

For teens in grades 6-12, pick up a free teen reading card, read 6 books over the summer, and bring in your completed card to earn your choice of earbuds or a water bottle and be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. Participants may complete multiple records for additional drawing entries.


Adults, pick up a free adult reading card at your library, then read 4 books to win your choice of a bag or a cup and an entry into the Grand Prize drawing! Participants may pick up multiple cards throughout the summer.

In addition to printed reading records, there will also be an online summer reading option for those that prefer to go paperless.

Our online summer reading option for kids is Readsquared. Log your minutes read online at Readsquared between June 1 and August 27 by going to

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

FREE Library Events

Throughout the summer, GCPL will host a variety of fun, educational programs. Make sure to follow GCPL and your local branch on Facebook and check our website for programming announcements.GCPL Youth Services Facebook (for children’s and teen information and programming):

GCPL Facebook (for adult information and programming):

Virtual Learning and Library Portal (for children’s e-content created by GCPL librarians):

Online Reading Tools

Child reading on a tablet

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

A row of children reading

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


Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey

Bad Dog by Mike Bold

The Pigeon Has to Go to School! by Mo Willems

The Smart Cookie by Jory John

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch

Inside Cat by Brendan Wezel

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

Saturday by Oge Mora

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

My Toothbrush is Missing by Jan Thoma

First Grade:

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed

If I Built A School-Chris Van Dusen

It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton

Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor

Rules of the House by Mac Barnett

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander

Ten Beautiful Things-Molly Beth Griffin

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho

Soaked! By Abi Cushman

Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places by Katie Frawley

Second Grade:

Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea Beaty

Norman: One Amazing Goldfish! by Kelly Bennett

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                                           

Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots by Michael Rex

Cat Problems by Jory John

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein

The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clark

Dory Fantasmagory (series) by Abby Hanlon

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

The Bad Guys (graphic novel series) by Aaron Blabey

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Stella Diaz Never Gives Up by Angela Dominguez

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

Wonderland by Barbara O’Connor

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

Crown An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora

Wedgie & Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors

Dragon Masters (series) by Tracey West

Save Me a Seat by Gita Varadarajan and Sarah Weeks

Geronimo Stilton (series) by Geronimo Stilton

Fourth Grade:

The Beast Within (Villains Series) by Serena Valentino

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

Rump (series) by Liesl Shurtliff

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

The Borrowers (series) by Mary Norton

The Last Kids on Earth (series) by Max Brallier

The Friendship War by Andrew Clements

Not if I Can Help It by Carolyn Mackler

The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff

Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

I Survived (series) by Lauren Tarshis

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth

Fifth Grade:

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Holes by Louis Sacher

A Journey to Jo’burg by Beverley Naidoo

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Smile (graphic) by Raina Telgemeier

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan

Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

Diverse Book Titles:

Diverse Board Books @ Gaston County Public Library

Diverse Picture Books @ Gaston County Public Library

Diverse Chapter Books @ Gaston County Public Library

NC Battle of the Books

Elementary School Battle of the Books for 2022-2023:

Middle School Battle of the Books for 2022-2023:

High School Battle of the Books for 2022-2023:

ALSC 2022 Summer Reading List

National Summer Learning Week 

National Summer Learning Week is July 11-15, 2022. 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