Our JCC Family Connectors are parents and community members in towns across Greater Boston. Get to know them, and check out their recommendations for summer reads. We asked their kids what they are reading too! Whether you are heading to the beach or pool, picnicking, or cozying up at home, our Family Connectors have something funny, emotional or enlightening for you this summer.

Summer Reading for Grown Ups

Abby Klein, Newton Family Connector, is reading…

Abby Klein, Newton Family Connector, is reading…

Recommended by Abby Klein, Newton Family Connector
I'm obsessed with Reese Witherspoon's Book Club and she recommended One Day in December by Josie Silver. The reviews said it had a happy ending so that's all I needed to know! I needed a good pick me up, plus a love story for a vacation, and this was perfect. I had a very hard time putting it down and finished it within a few days! 

When I read. It's usually at night while the hubs does bedtime or at the playground since my son is 5 and just wants to play with his friends and ignore me anyway!

What I'm reading with my kids. We just started Ramona the Pest since my son is starting kindergarten in the fall and I thought he would find it hilarious which he does! Beverly Cleary has this perfect way of understanding the trials and tribulations of childhood better than most other authors so I can't wait to read the whole series with him.  

Rachel Kradin, Metrowest Family Connector, is reading...

Rachel Kradin, Metrowest Family Connector, is reading...

Recommended by Rachel Kradin, Metrowest Family Connector & Welcome Baby! Visitor
I got Spies of No Country after hearing an interview with the author on one of my favorite Jewish podcasts, "Unorthodox," thinking that my husband would enjoy it, but it turns out that I haven't been able to put it down! This nonfiction book reads like a mix of spy novel while giving history and insight into the origins of the Israeli spy system in the late 1940s and reveals a whole new side of Israel's founding than the traditional Zionist Kibbutz story most of us remember and gives a face to the Jewish Arab-speaking world of the time.

When I read. It's in five minute intervals before I'm interrupted by my kids or fall asleep!

What I'm reading with my kids. With my three-year-old, who's currently asking me about every little sound she hears, the PJ Library book "Fast Asleep in a Little Village in Israel" by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod couldn't have arrived in our mailbox at a better time. She loves hearing how another culture makes a rooster or rain sound, and I love the art work, making reading it multiple times per sitting a bit more bearable!
 

Jamie Darsa, PJ Library Manager, is reading...

Jamie Darsa, PJ Library Manager, is reading...

Recommended by Jamie Darsa, PJ Library Manager
It's Always the Husband is a fun, quick read about friends from college, their mistakes, and their new lives 15 years later. It’s a murder mystery with a healthy mix of romantic and Gossip Girl-type drama. 

When I read. It’s rare. I work a lot and enjoy my kids. By the time I am sitting down, I am tired. But an easy and fun book can force me to carve out a little more “me” time than I usually take. 

What I'm reading with my kids. My older child loves girly graphic novels and my son wants to read just like her. So, we have been reading the Fly Guy series together (his favorite is currently Fly Guy and the Alienzz).

 

Sarah Popper, Metro North Family Connector, is reading...

Sarah Popper, Metro North Family Connector, is reading...

Recommended by Sarah Popper, Metro North Family Connector
Sarah's Key is a novel by Tatiana de Rosnay, that takes Place in France. 10 year old Sarah, a Jewish girl born in Paris, is arrested with her parents during the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup. Before they go, she locks her four-year-old brother in a cupboard to hide him, thinking the family should be back in a few hours. Having a 10 year old daughter and a 5 year old son, it is heart-wrenching to imagine how they might react under the same circumstances. Also, this is a piece of history that I knew nothing about before reading this book.

When I read. I love summer because now that soccer, baseball, Hebrew school (and the other 100 activities we run around doing) are done, and we have more quiet time to just sit down with a book. 

What I'm reading with my kids. As an end-of-school gift, I got my 8 and 10 year olds a set of illustrated classics. So far, they have devoured Tom Sawyer, Robinhood, Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe and a few others... and school has been out less than a week!
 

Alison Berenson, South Area Family Connector, is reading...

Alison Berenson, South Area Family Connector, is reading...

Recommended by Alison Berenson, South Area Family Connector and Welcome Baby! Visitor
I couldn't put down Inheritance, a powerful and beautifully written memoir, and cannot recommend it highly enough. A Jewish woman in her 50's takes a home DNA test and finds out the person she thought was her father isn't. The book is a real-time exploration of meaning and identity, and I loved how I felt like I was going through this journey alongside the author.

When I read. Every night after the kids go to bed, I feel like I can pick ONE: watch TV or read. I usually get in an hour for either activity...before I pass out on the couch with the lights still on.

What I'm reading with my kids. My almost 9-year-old and I have been working our way together through the Harry Potter series every night before bed. My 6 year old is excited about her own reading skills and has been reading Elephant and Piggie books out loud to me - an exciting milestone!

Amy Kirsch, PJ Library Outreach Specialist, is reading...

Amy Kirsch, PJ Library Outreach Specialist, is reading...

Recommended by Amy Kirsch, PJ Library Outreach Specialist
I am currently reading Michelle Obama's inspiring book Becoming. Learning about her life experiences from a fresh perspective and through her beautiful, insightful writing is a pleasure. Plus, reading about strong women and working mothers is always uplifting.

When I read. I like to cuddle up in blankets and get cozy with pillows. Reading is so meditative and relaxing.

What I'm reading with my kids. I like to read out loud expressively. My daughter's current favorite series, when she's not reading anything by Dav Pilkey, is Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon, and we tend to read them together.

 

Bev Feldman, Cambridge/Somerville Family Connector, is reading...

Bev Feldman, Cambridge/Somerville Family Connector, is reading...

Recommended by Bev Feldman, Cambridge/Somerville Family Connector
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. I'm really into non-fiction, and this one about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranous, is fascinating and reads like a novel.

When I read. I'm an early bird, and I love starting my day with a book and cup of coffee on my porch before the rest of my family is up for the day. 

What I’m reading with my kids. My five-year-old loves the Fancy Nancy books. I enjoy them because they teach her new "fancy" words - in other words, she is exposed to words you don't normally see in a story geared toward preschoolers!

 

Regina Paltis, Russian Family Connector, is reading...

Regina Paltis, Russian Family Connector, is reading...

Recommended by Regina Paltis, Russian Family Connector
Two Turns From Zero by Stacey Griffith is an autobiography by this Soul Cycle icon and motivating fitness expert. It makes me believe that anything is possible, and that it's possible to change your circumstances regardless of the cards that life has dealt you. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy to read a not-so-happy story that has a happy ending. 

When I read. I generally read in bed and that's only if my husband isn't already sleeping and has already turned out the lights!

What I'm reading with my kids. I'm reading the Llama Llama series with my son, who is getting a bit old for these books. I think he knows all of them by heart and finishes my sentences, but still insists that we read them (probably because he gets to snuggle on my lap while we read, which I still love too).
 

What Our Kids Are Reading

Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Abby Klein, Newton Family Connector
We just started Ramona the Pest since my son is starting kindergarten in the fall and I thought he would find it hilarious which he does! Beverly Cleary has this perfect way of understanding the trials and tribulations of childhood better than most other authors so I can't wait to read the whole series with him.
 

Fast Asleep in a Little Village in Israel by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod

Fast Asleep in a Little Village in Israel by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod

Rachel Kradin, Metrowest Family Connector & Welcome Baby! Visitor
What I'm reading with my kids. With my three-year-old, who's currently asking me about every little sound she hears, the PJ Library book "Fast Asleep in a Little Village in Israel" by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod couldn't have arrived in our mailbox at a better time. She loves hearing how another culture makes a rooster or rain sound, and I love the art work, making reading it multiple times per sitting a bit more bearable!
 

Fly Guy and the Alienzz by Tedd Arnold

Fly Guy and the Alienzz by Tedd Arnold

Jamie Darsa, PJ Library Manager
My older child loves girly graphic novels and my son wants to read just like her. So, we have been reading the Fly Guy series together (his favorite is currently Fly Guy and the Alienzz).

Great Illustrated Classics

Great Illustrated Classics

Sarah Popper, Metro North Family Connector
As an end-of-school gift, I got my 8 and 10 year olds a set of illustrated classics. So far, they have devoured Tom Sawyer, Robinhood, Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe and a few others... and school has been out less than a week!
 

Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems

Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems

Alison Berenson, South Area Family Connector & Welcome Baby! Visitor
My almost 9-year-old and I have been working our way together through the Harry Potter series every night before bed. My 6 year old is excited about her own reading skills and has been reading Elephant and Piggie books out loud to me - an exciting milestone!

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Amy Kirsch, PJ Library Outreach Specialist
I like to read out loud expressively. My daughter's current favorite series, when she's not reading anything by Dav Pilkey, is Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon, and we tend to read them together.

Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor

Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor

Bev Feldman, Cambridge/Somerville Family Connector
My five-year-old loves the Fancy Nancy books. I enjoy them because they teach her new "fancy" words - in other words, she is exposed to words you don't normally see in a story geared toward preschoolers!

Llama Llama by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama by Anna Dewdney

Regina Paltis, Russian Speaking Jewish Family Connector
I'm reading the Llama Llama series with my son, who is getting a bit old for these books. I think he knows all of them by heart and finishes my sentences, but still insists that we read them (probably because he gets to snuggle on my lap while we read, which I still love too).

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