When children read during summer vacation they maintain or improve their reading skills. Keep children reading this summer with these new books at the Astoria Public Library.

"In life there is bueno and there is malo. If you do not find enough of the good, you must yourself create it. Remember this thing - any small goodness is of value." Arturo believed Papi's words but he had seen so much trouble in the their barrio of East Los Angeles. What good could he do? Find out in "Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio," by Tony Johnston.

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Chuckie is acting weird. Being the neighborhood bully, you always knew what to expect from him. But recently he's actually been nice. What's up? Did aliens fry his brain? Willie, Lucy and Kyle plan to find out. They have all that they need as detectives: headquarters, disguises and even a talking parrot. Follow the fun in "Alien Brain Fryout," by Barbara M. Joosse.

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King James is very ill. Dido knows that if she can find Lord Herodsfoot, his games will cheer him and make him well again. The search for the wondering nobleman takes Dido to the island of Aratu where she encounters mysterious men in black, deadly pearl snakes and sting monkeys and a plot by the Forest People to overthrow the king of the island. "Dangerous Games," by Joan Aiken is full of fast-paced action and adventure.

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Jane is bored on the farm. She wants adventure. That's why she flies to the city. "Stay away from humans!" warns her sister. But Jane doesn't listen. "Not all humans are bad," she thought. In the city Jane meets a man that makes her a TV star. She is billed as Miss Mystery, the flying cat. As a cat with wings, she is a big hit. But life as a star is not all she hoped it would be, and Jane longs to escape her comfortable cage to the freedom of the farm. Read "Jane on Her Own: A Catwings Tale," by Ursula K. Le Guin.

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Someone has tried to steal Scott's science project! It's just an odd looking nest he found in the woods. When Scott and his friends, Mike and Stacia, try to protect it, they find themselves involved in an intergalactic battle that could destroy the earth. Can they save life as we know it? Find out in "Eggs in One Basket" by Kathy Mackel.

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Clot Face is what the other children call her, just because of her birthmark. No one wants her hanging around. That's why Glory really needs a friend. Marvalene needs a friend, too. Life on the road with the carnival can be lonely. Will they become friends now that the carnival is in town? Marvalene is sure they will, if she can convince Glory she is psychic. Read what happens in "About Face" by June Rae Wood.

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Instead of taking his latest gadget to the Invention Convention, his parents make Sneeze go to summer school. Yuck! For his first class project he decides to put his frustration on paper in a list of ways to bug your parents. As the list grows, he develops a brilliant plan. It will make millions! He will be rich and famous! And he will be able to go to the convention. Read the offbeat story "101 Ways to Bug Your Parents" by Lee Wardlaw

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George needs to earn $66 doing chores for his Grandma to buy the motorcycle he wants. He spends his summer working and looking for buried treasure with his friends Esther and Bennett. They are an unusual trio in their small Alabama town. George is white and Esther and her brother Bennett are black. While treasure hunting one day, they learn a terrible secret that threatens their very lives and families. Learn what it is in "The $66 Summer" by John Armistead

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Loretta had adopted Mariel after taking care of her in the hospital. Mariel was there because of her polio and Loretta was her nurse. Brick lived with them for a time, too. His parents sent him to live with Loretta when fire destroyed some of their family orchard. Together, Brick and Mariel developed a friendship. Together they hope to find a way to save some of the orchard and learn what happened to Mariel's mother. Read all about it in "All the Way Home" by Patricia Reilly Giff.

- Patty Skinner, senior assistant librarian, Astoria Public Library