By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd 

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! 

As Gershwin wrote, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy!” To me, July means full-on summer with more relaxed schedules, fun times with family and friends, and time to read LOTS of great books! Whether you enjoy lazy days by the pool or beach, go on eventful road trips, or relish relaxed time at home, embrace all the delights this time of year has to offer… and always make sure you have a great book (or two) in hand!

Preschool — The Goodnight Train by June Sobel and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith

Bedtime will be even more fun when story time includes this book. As bedtime approaches, children donned in pajamas climb onto the train and enjoy an enchanting ride to Dreamland that includes visions of mermaids, sheep and ice-cram shaped clouds. Playing on young people’s love of trains and with magical elements that have a similar feel to those in The Polar Express, this story will surely lull children into the real world of dreamland.

Pre-K to Early Elementary — Moon’s First Friends by  Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

The recent anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is beautifully commemorated in this picture book. Told from the perspective of the Moon who has anticipated the arrival of visitors since the days the dinosaurs roamed on earth, this unexpected story of friendship will not only educate, but entertain. Don’t be surprised if your children decide they may want to explore space exploration as a future career after reading this book!

Older Elementary/Early Middle School — Escape from Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

This is the 4th of four books in the popular Decedents series. In this story, Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos are now seniors and ready to graduate. They have left their bad ways behind, mostly. Many villain kids on the Isle of the Lost who covet the opportunity to come to Auradon Prep and take the place of the graduates. Uma, who remains trapped on the other side of the barrier, returns and is determined to get her revenge against Mal. Will the score be settled? Will they graduate? What will be the fate of Auradon and the Isle of the Lost? Read this book and find out! “Packed with plenty of humor and adventure, this sequel spinoff is destined to please. With a second movie in the works and a bevy of loyal readers, it certainly won’t stay on shelves for long.”    Booklist

Young Adult — The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author from North Carolina with a long list of wonderful books to her credit. In her most recent title, Dessen weaves a tale of family relationships and reconnecting with the past. Set during the summer months at North Lake, Emma Saylor reconnects with family members she hasn’t seen since she was very young. Her mom, who died when Emma was 12, grew up among the working class of North Lake while her dad spent his summers on the wealthier part of the lake, Lake North resort. This summer, Emma is sent to spend the summer with her mom’s side of the family who knows her as Saylor, the name her mom always called her. There she reconnects with Roo, a boy who was her childhood best friend and the one who holds the key to her family’s history. This novel will be definitely be a hit with YA fans.

Moms — Maine by Courtney Sullivan

The coast of Maine is the setting for this bestselling summer read by the author of two other successful books, Commencement and The Engagements. Three generations of Kelleher women have traveled to the family summer cottage in Maine for many summers. On top of all that each person brings to the cottage emotionally, the big questions this summer — What is the future of the cottage? What will be different about this summer?  The New York Times Book Review says this novel is “Rich and exhilarating… You don’t want [it] to end.”

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! 
Remember to share your thoughts and comments, and you could be selected to win a copy of one of the books, compliments of Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro. The staff of Triad Moms on Main will choose a random winner one week after the blog runs. (Please be sure to enter your email address when you fill out your comment so they have a way to contact you.)

Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.