Why not keep learning through the summer? This is the best time to pick up information and even enjoy learning when there’s no pressure from school. The following books are an assortment that include historical value, job ideas and outstanding heroes that have changed history. The majority of these books are picture books unless otherwise indicated and mostly for kids ages eight and older. However, all these books could be enjoyed by families of all ages if read out loud.

I Like Making Things…What jobs are there? (That’s a Job?), by Robin Pridy and brightly illustrated by Tom Woolley, is an oversize-book filled with a variety of job ideas that all have to do with making or building things for an occupation. Some of these include a drafter, a maintenance technician,  a florist and a bio engineer. The author’s latest book with the same theme is I Like Machines…what jobs are there? This is part of a popular series.

Saving H’Non: Chang and the Elephant, by Trang Hguyen and Jeet Zdung and amazingly illustrated by Zdung, is the most interesting graphic novel illustrated with colorful detail of a young person trying to save an elephant and return it to its habitat. This breathtaking true story will have you turning every page all the way to the end!

Beulah has a Hunch! Inside the Colorful Mind of Master Inventor Beulah Louise Henry, by Katie Mazeika, it’s about a genius who grew up in the 1890s and people began to nickname her Lady Edison. Because her brain works differently and she could see things in great detail, this enabled her to invent all kinds of things to help daily life at that time such as: improvement on the umbrella, ice cream makers and even factory machinery. The lucent illustrations were done digitally.

Swimming Toward a Dream: Yusra Mardini’s Incredible Journey From Refugee to Olympic Swimmer, by Reem Faruqi and beautifully illustrated using watercolor and gouache by Asma Enayeh, likens to the human motivation of survival and helping others. Yusra was a great swimmer as a child in Damascus, Syria. But then she and her sister had to leave their country to survive and boarded a boat that was built for six. However, on this boat there were 20 people. After the motor stopped, she and her sister got out of the boat and helped navigate the boat, while in the water, for miles to safety. Here’s a young woman who was able to finally achieve her dreams of competing in the Olympics. The age for this book is four and up.

Planting Hope: A Portrait of Photographer Sebastian Salgado, by Brazilian Philip Hoelzel and gorgeously illustrated using watercolor and pencil on recycled paper by Renato Alarcao, is a photo-journal look at the Brazilian forest and the acceleration of their decay. The hope for their future is awakening awareness through the camera from this famous photographer. This book is good for all ages.

Comet Chaser: The True Cinderella Story of Caroline Herschel, the First Professional Woman Astronomer, by Pamela S. Turner and beautifully rendered in paint by Vivien Mildenberger, is about a highly intelligent young woman, born in 1750, who almost became a family servant but rose above it all to become a distinguished astronomer. Along with her brother, she built telescopes that still stand today. Through her investigations of science, what she discovered in the sky at the time was astounding! Be sure to check out the wonderful end-pages and more information found at the back.

A Grand Idea: How William J. Wilgus Created Grand Central Terminal, by Negan Hoyt and digitally illustrated intricately by Dave Szalay, celebrates this brilliant architect that created Grand Central terminal and much more. The book shows how he came up with the idea of building the train stations underground by illuminating all the tracks from above and what they did with the train smoke. He also had a tennis club, movie theater, art gallery, a library, and even a ski slope within this giant structure. The information learned about this tremendous landmark is most interesting on how it was created and built.

I am Helen Keller (Ordinary People Change the World),by Brad Meltzer and illustrated digitally with comic-book-style pictures by Christopher Eliopoulos, easily show kids ages four and up the life of this remarkable woman. When Keller was young, she couldn’t see or hear, but overcame these disabilities with the help of an outstanding teacher. This book will demonstrate how obstacles can create heroes. This is part of a series.

My Antarctica: True Adventures in the Land of Mummified Seals, Space Robots, and So Much More, by G. Neri and perfectly illustrated digitally by Corbin Wilkin, reads, and looks like a travelogue. You’ll immediately become aware of the extremes of this land at the bottom of the Earth, the coldest, windiest, highest and most interesting place anywhere on earth. The animals you encounter and the scientific research to learn may well cause you to go explore this amazing land!