Youth Summer Reading Program

Overview: Porter Memorial Library launches its summer reading program for youths on July 1st and the program will run through August. This year’s summer reading program centers around the theme of Maine’s Bicentennial. The reading program is a great way for youths of all ages to challenge themselves with summer reading goals and to be involved with Maine’s Bicentennial despite the pandemic’s disruption to celebrations. Families can read Maine-themed books together as an educational pastime this summer while so many activities are still suspended and stay connected to our library community in the process. Check out the reading lists and make your curbside book reservations today! We will have an outside socially-distanced ice cream celebration at the library at the end of the program if pandemic safety recommendations allow it, or we will send home a reward for summer readers who meet their goals if a gathering is not possible.

Program Details: The summer reading program is divided into four age groups: preschool readers (infants to 4 years old); early readers (4-8 years old); middle grade readers (8-13 years old); and young adult readers (13-18 years old). Books are set in Maine and have Maine themes, and are written by authors who are from Maine or have a close connection to Maine. Readers may read from any list, but reading at an older age level may present more mature themes, so parents and caregivers should check the appropriateness of older selections for their children. Each reading list contains 20-25 book titles.  Families should set reading goals together that are appropriate for their individual children and choose the books that they would most enjoy. Porter Memorial Library sets these loose guidelines for summer reading goals: 8-12 books for preschool and early readers; and 5-8 books for middle grade and young adult readers. Families can print out the reading lists from the library’s webpage or call Porter Memorial Library (255-3933) to request a printed out reading list. Young readers can mark the books they have read on the reading chart with stickers or drawings to keep track of how many books they have read.

How to Stay Connected During the Program: Porter Memorial Library would love to hear from families who are participating in the program. Please email youth librarian Tessa Mellas ( or call the library during business hours (255-3933) and tell us the names and ages of the youths participating in the summer reading program so we can be in touch about the end of summer celebration. Also, please send emails to Tessa with short book reviews so we can highlight the books that youth readers loved the most. Give a 1-3 sentence review of why you loved a book from our list, and we will put your review on our library website to share with our whole library community. The book reviews are an optional part of the program. Youths will be able to visit our website and see their review posted. Please send the name and age of the youth reviewing the book as you would like it to appear on our website.

Summer Story Hour: For the months of July and August, youth librarian Tessa Mellas will do a Virtual Story Hour every Saturday, reading one of the picture books off of our book List. These videos can be found on Porter Memorial Library’s Facebook page. The first video launched July 1, and there will be a new video every Saturday through the end of the summer. Kids who watch these videos can count the story hour books in their total summer reading tally.

Bicentennial Middle Grade Book Club: Porter Memorial Library is also in the process of organizing a Bicentennial Middle Grade Book Club that has been made possible by a Maine Public Library Fund grant and matching donation from Robert Parsloe and his company Wireless Partners LLC. The Middle Grade Book Club is a different program than the summer reading program, but both are centered on the Maine Bicentennial theme. The Bicentennial Middle Grade Book Club will begin in August, and youths from ages 8-13 who participate will check out a set of six books that we will read together as a book club, one per month from August through January. The book club will have monthly online discussions. Please contact youth librarian Tessa Mellas if you would like to be involved in the Bicentennial Middle Grade Book Club. Youths can do both programs and there won’t be an overlap in books. Happy reading, Machias!

Summer Reading lists will be available here on the website starting Monday, July 1! You can print them at home or request one to pick up at the library! Please contact youth librarian Tessa Mellas ( with any questions about the program.

Book Lists:
Click on the link below to open the Book Lists for the Summer Reading Program.