This year's Summer Reading Program theme is Imagine Your Story, so it's a great time to explore fairy tales and folktales from around the world - even a few fractured ones. There's something for all ages, from picture books for the family to children, teens, and adults. Check out some that you might not have tried before!
If you haven't gotten a chance to sign up yet, now's the time (and stop by your local library branch to get your summer reading bag for this year!).
Picture Books for the Whole Family
The Princess and the Warrior: a Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh
Princess Izta had many wealthy suitors but dismissed them all. When a mere warrior, Popoca, promised to be true to her and stay always by her side, Izta fell in love. The emperor promised Popoca if he could defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw, then Popoca and Izta could wed. When Popoca was near to defeating Jaguar Claw, his opponent sent a messenger to Izta saying Popoca was dead. Izta fell into a deep sleep and, upon his return, even Popoca could not wake her. As promised Popoca stayed by her side.
The Talking Eggs by Robert San Souci
A Southern folktale in which kind Blanche, following the instructions of an old witch, gains riches, while her greedy sister makes fun of the old woman and is duly rewarded.
Rapunzel by Robert Zelinksy
A retelling of a folktale in which a beautiful girl with long golden hair is kept imprisoned in a lonely tower by a sorceress. Includes a note on the origins of the story. The timeless tale of Rapunzel is vividly and magnificently brought to life through Zelinsky's powerful sense of narrative and stunning oil paintings.
The Kingdom of Fantasy by Geronimo Stilton
Join Geronimo Stilton on an incredible adventure to save the Queen of the Fairies, in the Kingdom of Fantasy.
Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik
Meet the princess who'd rather wear a suit of armor than a crown! Princess Serena (or as she prefers, Princess Pulverizer) doesn't want to be a princess-- she wants to be knight! But her father, King Alexander of Empiria, thinks she still has a lot to learn when it comes to exhibiting valiant behavior. So he presents a challenge: the princess must first go on a Quest of Kindness and perform good deeds to prove that she truly deserves to go to knight school.
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
New York high school student Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the "New-York Circulating Material Repository," and when she gains coveted access to its Grimm Collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend's life. But when a sticky creature shows up and steals his last memento, Tristan accidentally rips open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. In order to get back home, Tristan will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli
Fish Girl, a young mermaid living in a boardwalk aquarium, has never interacted with anyone beyond the walls of her tank until a chance encounter with an ordinary girl, Livia. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl's longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank.
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
A young witch-to-be named Tiffany teams up with the Wee Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue men, to rescue her baby brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland.
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Seventeen-year-old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and the Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War.
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A slave in 19th-century Virginia is saved from drowning by a mysterious power which he'll have to learn to harness in order to bring freedom to himself and others. A tale of family, love, and bravery by Ta-Nahesi Coates, renowned nonfiction writer who weaves a meaningful and important story about disenfranchised voices.
The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
Geralt de Riv, a Witcher, uses his vast sorcerous powers to hunt down the monsters that threaten the world, but he soon discovers that not every monstrous-looking creature is evil, and not everything beautiful is good.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for 10 years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. Or so it would seem.