The First Partner’s Summer Book Club




The First Partner’s Summer Book Club

The First Partner’s Summer Book Club is a 9-week initiative to promote children’s literacy and participation in summer reading programs hosted by local libraries throughout the state.

Launched in partnership with the California State Library, the First Partner’s Summer Book Club offers California families opportunities to keep children engaged all summer long.

Summer reading helps younger children build a solid foundation for literacy and ensures that older children retain what they learned in the previous academic year, preventing learning loss known as “summer slide.” Studies show that students who participate in summer reading programs have better reading skills at the end of third grade and score higher on standardized tests than students who don’t participate.



The First Partner’s Summer Book Club features 21 books hand-picked by the First Partner for children up to ninth grade. Each book teaches kids important social and emotional learning tools and highlights key values like diversity, self-love and acceptance. The full booklist can be found here.



Participate in the First Partner’s Summer Book Club at your local library. The California State Library’s interactive map helps families discover summer reading programs – and more!



Want to get connected this summer? Join our community on social media by tagging us using #CAKidsRead on any social media platform – and be sure to spread the word to your friends!

Join the First Partner for a Summer of Learning and Fun!

Storytime with the First Partner & Friends


Story time is such a fun way for families to connect. Check out the First Partner’s latest virtual story time with Vacaville Unified School District’s Head Chef Richie Wilim: Miguel’s Community Garden by JaNay Brown-Wood.



Summer Library Activities

Public library summer reading programs are a great way for children to stay engaged and have fun all summer long. Check with your local library to sign up for the summer reading program, borrow books, and take part in activities. Many libraries also serve free summer meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program. California public library summer programs are free for everyone. Visit the State Library’s interactive map to discover summer offerings at your local library.


California State Parks Summer Learning 


The California State Parks Summer Learning Program engages K-12 educational communities and community organizations that offer summer programming for underserved student populations. Students have the opportunity to visit a participating California state park for a day or for an overnight immersive program exploring the outdoors and cultural and natural resources of the park. The list of all summer learning programs is available online at


First 5 California At-Home Activities


Join First 5 California for read-along, sing-along, and other at-home activities that are fun for the whole family! Available in English and Spanish, this video series offers young children and their parents the opportunity to exercise their brains and bodies with safe, and easy-to-follow activities, including storybook readings, singing, yoga, making musical instruments, and much more. Visit the At-Home Activities Playlist from First 5 California to watch today!


Printable Bookmarks

The First Partner’s Summer Book Club includes a number of fun activities outside of virtual storytimes, including these limited edition bookmarks! They’ll help your little ones track what they’re reading and make sure they don’t lose their place. Download them in color here, or download them in black and white for a fun coloring activity!

Thank you to the working group of California librarians who provided book title recommendations for the First Partner’s Summer Book List:

  • Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library 
  • Nate Halsan, Sacramento Public Library 
  • Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer, County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries 
  • Ramona Price, San Diego County Library