Check It Out: Fun summer reading available for all ages

Editor's note: This is a special edition of Check It Out.

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Summer is here. That means there's time to relax and enjoy a good book. The staff of the Newport Beach Public Library has been busy, preparing to help you take advantage of summer reading opportunities with the 2011 Summer Reading Program.

Beginning Saturday and running through Aug. 12 will be programs for adults, teens, and kids with prizes and activities geared for each age group.

Special children's events take place at all four Newport Beach Public Library locations, beginning Tuesday, with a magic show featuring magician Allen Oshiro. Check the Events Calendar at http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org for a complete schedule of Summer Reading Program activities.

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Summer Reads

Need some good reading suggestions? Whether you're looking for a new, engrossing, or just plain escapist page-turner, the Newport Beach Public Library has plenty to choose from!

For adults, new mysteries and non-fiction are a great way to start summer.

"Smokin' Seventeen" by Janet Evanovich: New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum returns, and where she goes murder and mayhem are sure to follow. Will she finally choose between Morelli and Ranger? Probably not, but this book is sure to be a fun, fast-paced summer read.

"The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party" by Alexander McCall Smith: Precious Ramotswe, lady detective, sees visions of her old white van, investigates a cattle poisoning, and helps Grace prepare for her wedding in the new book in the charming "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series.

"In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larson: A compelling non-fiction book set in 1933 Berlin, following William E. Dodd as he becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

For teens, try biography, science fiction, and short stories.

"Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board" by Bethany Hamilton: The teen surfer who lost her arm in a great white shark attack in 2003 describes how she has coped with this life-altering event with the help of her faith, the changes in her life, and her return to the sport she loves.

"I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore: In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a 15-year-old alien who has hidden on Earth for 10 years waiting to develop the powers he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet.

"Zombies vs. Unicorns" edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier: Which is better? Twelve short stories by a variety of Young Adult authors seek to answer the question of whether zombies are better than unicorns. Complete with snarky dialogue between the coeditors.

Kids will enjoy new fantasy and humor books this summer.

"The Throne of Fire" by Rick Riordan: In this sequel to "The Red Pyramid," Carter Kane and his sister Sadie must prevent the chaos snake Apophis from breaking free in a few days' time or the world will come to an end. They embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.

"Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)" by Jim Benton: In the latest entry in the "Dear Dumb Diary" series, middle-schooler Jamie Kelly is back with an all-new, all-funny diary involving Angeline, her perfect friend.

"How to Ride a Dragon's Storm" by Cressida Cowell: Book seven in the "How to Train Your Dragon" series. Hiccup, the reluctant Viking hero, has three months, five days, and six hours to discover America, return to Berk, save his father, battle Polar serpents, and win the annual Inter-Tribal Friendly Swimming Race.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org. For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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