Summer Reading is here! This year’s theme is Oceans of Possibilities. To celebrate, I’ve picked awesome aquatic reads. All of these are available for check out from Magdalena Public Library.

Field Trip to the Ocean Deep by John Hare (picture book)

“Students dressed in deep-sea diving suits travel to the ocean deep in a yellow submarine school bus. While there, one of the students gets left behind!” This is a wordless picture book, so kids can follow along the pictures and create the story themselves. The pictures are gorgeous; dark backgrounds with bright highlights really capture the feeling of being underwater.

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (picture book)

“The most beautiful fish in the entire ocean discovers the real value of personal beauty and friendship.” This book is a classic; I had to include it. The soft watercolor illustrations are beautiful and fun foil highlights really pop. The story is a great lesson on bragging and sharing.

I Survived The Galveston Hurricane, 1900 by Lauren Tarshis (youth fiction)

“Charlie must survive the deadliest natural disaster in American history, the hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, on September 8, 1900.” The I Survived series is popular for a reason. Heart-pounding action, real stakes, probable choices and characters with real heart. At the end, there is always a nonfiction section about the real-life disaster, to give kids more context.

True Rescue: A Storm Too Soon by Michael J. Tougias (youth nonfiction)

“When a sailboat disappears in the Gulf Stream during a violent storm, three passengers struggle to survive aboard a life raft in titanic 80-foot waves.” A fascinating, exhilarating true story of a real-life rescue. This version is an illustrated chapter book adaptation that’s great for older elementary readers. Extra resources like the photo gallery and glossary give more context.

A Clash of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix by C.B. Lee (YA fiction)

“Xiang and Anh — ages 16 and 17 — hunt the South China Sea for the lost treasure of the fabled pirate queen Zheng Yi Sao.” A rollicking adventure story with a beautiful setting, full of rich history and lush world-building. Xiang’s journey of self-discovery, much like Jim Hawkins’, is relatable and a joy to read.

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge (YA fiction)

“Hark uses the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity to save his best friend’s life. But when the heart gradually and eerily transforms Jelt into a monster, how long will Hark stay loyal? And what is he willing to sacrifice to save him?” An atmospheric world full of danger and deception and a cosmic horror tone, with cinematic action and a thrilling plot. Great for fans of Patrick Ness or Brandon Sanderson.

Havana Storm by Clive Cussler (adult fiction)

“While investigating a toxic outbreak in the Caribbean Sea, Dirk Pitt and his children unwittingly become involved in a post-Castro power struggle for the control of Cuba.” Clive Cussler is a legendary author and his Dirk Pitt adventure novels are chock full of action, larger-than-life heroes, and epic underwater settings. The Associated Press calls Dirk Pitt “oceanography’s answer to Indiana Jones,” and with that description, you know you’re in for a roaring good time.

The Sea Hunters: True Adventures with Famous Shipwrecks by Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo (adult nonfiction)

“True accounts of 12 remarkable underwater discoveries made by Cussler and his nonprofit organization NUMA (National Underwater Marine Agency).” Clive Cussler isn’t just an author, he’s a real deep-sea explorer. If you’ve ever wondered how he wrote such realistic fiction set at sea, look no further than this book.

Ivy Stover, Librarian, Magdalena Public Library