California for All Kids

First Partner’s
Summer Book Club

Launched in partnership with the California State Library, the First Partner’s Summer Book Club is an initiative to reduce summer learning loss and encourage children to read all summer long.

When we read with our children early and often or encourage young readers to dive in and explore a new book on their own, we instill in them a life-long love of reading.

First Partner's summer book club logo


The First Partner’s Summer Book Club features books hand-picked by the First Partner and librarians across the state for kids from preschool through high school. Each book exposes young readers to important social and emotional concepts and highlights values such as diversity, equity, and inclusion.

First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom smiling as she rests her head on her hand smiling. She is sitting in front of 3 books from her book list.

2024 booklist

These books are from the 2024 booklist.


Nana the Great Goes Camping

By Lisa Tawn Bergren Illustrated by David Hohn
Summer vacations are great—and they’re even better when they include camping with Nana!

In Our Garden

By Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrated by Melissa Crowton
Millie has recently moved to a new city, from a place more than an ocean away. More than anything she misses the garden where her family used to grow food.

Amara’s Farm

By JaNay Brown-Wood
Illustrated by Samara Hardy
Amara is hosting a potluck for friends on her farm, and she needs help finding her pumpkins to serve a tasty dish.

All Are Neighbors

By Alexandra Penfold
Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
When a new family moves in, the whole neighborhood comes together to celebrate their diverse community.

The Tree in Me

By Corinna Luyken
Through poetic text and exquisite illustrations of children reveling in nature, this picture book explores various ways we as human beings are strong, creative, & connected.

Grades K – 2

Just Like Me

By Vanessa Brantley-Newton
A collection of poetry filled with engaging mini-stories about girls of all kinds: girls who feel happy, sad, scared, powerful; girls who love their bodies and girls who don’t.

Water Day

By Margarita Engle
A joyful picture book about a young girl and her community celebrating the arrival of the water man who visits weekly to distribute water to the village.

I am Enough

By Grace Byers
Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
A gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another.

She Persisted in Sports

By Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
In this third She Persisted book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women who have excelled in their sports because of their persistence.

Finding My Dance

By Ria Thundercloud
Illustrated by Kalila J. Fuller
Follow along as Ria Thundercloud shares her dance journey–from dreaming of her future to performing as a professional

Grades 3 – 5

Plant, Cook, Eat!

By Joe Archer and Caroline Craig
Discover how to plant seeds in patio containers, window boxes, or on an allotment; harvest fruits and vegetables; and determine which plant parts are edible.

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

By Sonia Sotomayor
Illustrated by Rafael López
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor shares an important message about recognizing the unique differences and abilities of all – and celebrating that diversity.

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

By Rita Lorraine Hubbard
Illustrated by Oge Mora
Born into slavery, Mary Walker lived to be 121 years old. She witnessed major historical moments while working and raising a family and learning to read at the age of 116.


By Pedro Martín
The trip of a lifetime, one filled with laughs and heartache. Along the way, Pedro finally connects with his abuelito and learns what it means to grow up and find his grito.

Areli Is a Dreamer A True Story by Areli Morales, a DACA Recipient

By Areli Morales
Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
In the first picture book written by a DACA Dreamer, Areli Morales tells her own powerful and vibrant immigration story.

Grades 6 – 8

Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express

By Holly Robinson Peete, RJ Peete, and Ryan Elizabeth Peete
Teenagers Ryan Elizabeth Peete and her twin brother, Rodney, who has autism, share their up-close-and-personal experiences on what it means to be a teen living with autism.

Barely Floating

By Lilliam Rivera
Natalia De La Cruz Rivera y Santiago, also known as Nat, was swimming neighborhood kids out of their money at the local Inglewood pool when her life changed.

The Blackbird Girls

By Anne Blankman
On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan & Oksana Savchenko wake up to a red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work–Chernobyl–has exploded.

Brown Girl Dreaming

By Jacqueline Woodson
Raised in South Carolina & New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s & 1970s.

Rebel Girls Celebrate Pride: 25 Tales of Self-Love and Community

By Rebel Girls and Elena Favilli
Foreword by Elena Favilli
This collection features 25 inspiring tales of proud members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Women in Art

By Rachel Ignotofsky
Women make masterpieces! Through fifty fascinating profiles, Women in Art highlights the
achievements and stories of fifty notable women in the arts.

Grades 9 – 12

Don’t Call Me a Hurricane

By Ellen Hagan
Protecting the island helps Eliza deal with her lingering trauma from the storm, but she still can’t shake the fear that something will come along and wash out her life once again

Warrior Girl Unearthed

By Angeline Boulley
Perry Firekeeper-Birch has always known who she is – the laidback twin, the troublemaker, the best fisher on Sugar Island.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

By Erika L. Sánchez
Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican
daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Libraries for All Families

Local libraries are a great place to find a new book as well as a vibrant hub of community activity with programs and services designed to meet the needs of their surrounding communities. Through programs like bilingual storytime, Lunch at the Library, and the California State Library Parks Pass, libraries are essential to building healthy, connected communities.

First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom smiling while reading a book to elementary school kids.
  • Lunch at the Library

    Through the Lunch at the Library program, children and teens can access meals over the summer at their local library.

  • California State Library Parks Pass

    Check out a California State Library Parks Pass at your local library to receive free vehicle day-use entry to over 200 participating California state parks.

  • Summer reading programs near you

    Summer reading programs at local libraries are free for everyone and a great way for children to stay engaged and have fun all summer long.