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Time to Imagine at your local Library

“We read to know that we are not alone.” ~ William Nicholson

In public libraries, Summer Reading is a highly anticipated annual tradition. Here in the Sunshine State, an indoor reprieve from the heat for an hour or two is most welcome, especially one that is both educational and entertaining. Summer Reading has a unique theme each year, and the one for 2020 comes at a perfect time: Imagine Your Story. A form of escape is so often just what we need in challenging times, and escape is what books do best! Whether a plot is fantastical or just plain fantastic, reading and listening to stories carries us away in journeys across time, universes and realities. And while we often embark upon this journey individually,  connections are made between the author, the illustrator, other readers and even with the characters – and we know we are not alone. Imagine your own story this summer. 

The Summer Slide

According to the Northwest Evaluation Association, summer learning loss (aka “summer slide”) is no joke, especially for elementary and middle school students. School-year gains in reading and math may decrease as much as 20% to 50%. Hillsborough County public libraries and our partners are here to help. Kids and their parents have 24/7 access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital magazines and other avenues for online learning and research. Take an entire bookshelf of titles with you everywhere you go! Reads and reading recommendations via myON, hoopla, and OverDrive/Libby, just to name a few. for all ages with, Mango Languages,, and more.

Tip for families: For a truly immersive reading experience, mirror the eBook from your smart phone or tablet to your TV using a streaming device such as Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Google Chromecast or Roku.

The Summer Challenge

Readers of all ages can join the public library this summer to track reading and earn rewards. Get the credit you deserve for each and every page by tracking your reading on This website captures your personal reading progress, and the Beanstack app is available to download from app stores. Once enrolled in the summer challenge, you can track the time spent reading and be eligible for big prizes from our Summer Reading partners,  plus digital badges – and bragging rights!

The Summer Start

Hillsborough County public libraries look forward to another year of discovery, engagement and transformation together. Here are a few titles for inspiration as we all get ready to imagine our summer stories:

PreK La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya (2018)

Kids Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee (2014)

Tweens Reflection [Twisted tale, Book 4] by Elizabeth Lim (2019)

Teens The Storm Runner [Storm Runner, Book 1] by Jennifer Cervantes (2018)

Adults Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes [75th anniversary illustrated edition] by Edith Hamilton (2017)

Check out the public library’s collection of eBooks and audiobooks at for more stories to enjoy.

All photos provided by Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library.

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