Phoenix Public Library launched its promotion of the Summer Reading Program May 1, and residents can sign up to participate in advance of the June 1 launch. The program encourages residents of all ages to read at least 20 minutes a day, and this year’s theme is “Adventure Begins at Your Library.”

Need suggestions for a great summertime read? For our May 2024 cover story, we got to know four local librarians. In addition to telling us about themselves and their library branch, they offered their top picks for summertime reading adventure. Here is what they had to say.

“I’m still a children’s librarian by heart so I’m constantly reviewing picture books,” said Eric Rueda, branch manager at Yucca Library. “For young children and families, I highly recommend The Boy and the Mountain by Mario Bellini and Marianna Coppo. The book is about a little boy who is fascinated with the mountain near his home. One day, he embarks with his dog on a hike up the mountain, drawing what he sees along the way.

The book is an ode to hiking and exploring art through the shapes and sights we encounter along the way, informing our perspective on nature and friendship.”

For adult adventures, Matthew Dieckman, assistant branch manager at Acacia Library, recommends The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. “[The series] is some of the most fun sci-fi I’ve ever read. It starts with All Systems Red. Most of the books in the series are short and funny and the audiobooks are great. They would make excellent road trip reads.”

“I listen to a whole lot of audiobooks on my commute,” said Heather Kendall, librarian at Yucca Library. “Although I like many genres, I’m currently stuck on thrillers.  I just finished up The Couples Trip, a debut novel by Swedish author, Ulf Kvensler.”

Matthew Rummele, librarian at Acacia Library said, “Right now, I’m really enjoying Get the Picture by Bianca Bosker. It’s a very funny and true account of a journalist who sought to understand the art world by immersing herself in it in various roles as an intern, an assistant, a security guard, and more. She shares stories of her adventures and how they inform her understanding of art and I can’t seem to put it down.”

The summer reading program runs June 1 to Aug. 1. Ask your local librarian for details, check out or sign up to participate in the program now on the Maricopa County Reads landing page.



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