Summertime -- and the reading is easy.
At least what to read is easy for those looking for a little literary advice from the Fairfield and Westport public libraries.
Both libraries prepare extensive lists of recommended reading for the summer, arranged by age groups and interests.
Fairfield, for instance, suggests proven crowd-pleasers to hold young readers' interests, such as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Hatchet."
For the same age group, the Westport list features more recently published books, such as "With a Name like Love" and "The Floating Islands."
Fairfield also caters to the younger set by organizing groups with genre selections, such as fantasy works like "The Titans Curse" and "Secret of the Sirens."
And though the libraries have different themes to promote reading among the young this summer -- Fairfield's is "2012 Library Olympics" and Westport's is "Reach for the Stars ... Read!" -- they both emphasize that reading is important in any season.
"We're not doing the same type of reading list that we usually do," said Mary Sorhus, the Fairfield Library's head of children's services. "Instead, we're trying to find the right book for each child. For example, we have a list dedicated to our sports-themed books for kids" entering fourth and fifth grades. Instead of a general list, we're narrowing it down to the perfect book for each child," she said.
The library has recommended summer reading lists -- one is Notable Children's Books -- with books for younger, middle and older.
Some books recommended for younger readers include "Little White Rabbit," by Kevin Henkes; "See Me Run," by Paul Meisel; and "Where's Walrus," by Stephen Savage. Middle books include "Wonderstruck," by Brian Selznick; and "The Lily Pond," by Annika Thor, while some book selections for older readers include "The Elephant Scientist," by Caitlin O'Connell and Donna M. Jackson; and "Hidden," by Ellen Frost.
The Westport Public Library compiled its summer reading list for children by age categories. The listings are on display in the Children's Library all summer, and are organized by grade levels.
"They are a bunch of books that we love," said Lynne Perrigo, the Westport children's librarian. "Many of these books have become very popular, so if you can't get your hands on a copy right away, stop in and chat with the Children's Librarians. We have lots of other great books we can recommend."
A suggestion for readers in kindergarten and first grade is "Listen to My Trumpet," by Mo Willems. For older children in grades six and seven, books such as "Cinder," by Marissa Meyer, and "The False Prince" are suggested.
"We offer monthly prizes to all summer readers just because we love them," Perrigo said. "Summer readers also help us decorate the Children's Library with stars and moons. If they read five books they get to decorate a star, if they read 20 books they get to decorate a moon."
"The summer reading list makes me read more," said Holden Converse, a Westport student. "I wouldn't read as much if I wasn't getting prizes for it. It makes me a better reader, and it's fun too."
"Summer is a time to have adventures and to try new things," Perrigo said. "In the summer, there is no such thing as a book that is too hard or too easy. Summer readers who join our club must promise to only read books that they like. Kids can read any time, any place, any books from anywhere. We give kids a reading journal and fun prizes."
"With any summer reading program, we're encouraging summer reading," Sorhus said. "Also, how much fun you can have in a library, not just with books, but activities going on in the community."
A full list of the Fairfield Public Library's reading program and events are at http://www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org. Westport Public Library's summer reading lists and programs are at www.westportlibrary.org.