Summer Reading 2021

Summer Reading Program 2021

Homegrown Stories | 2021 Summer Reading Program | June 1 - August 15

The Kansas City Public Library’s 2021 Summer Reading Program features a bounty of Homegrown Stories, commemorating Missouri’s Bicentennial through the legacies and works of writers, artists, musicians, performers, activists, and other changemakers with regional roots.

Our crop of book picks highlight Show-Me State storytelling in many forms, for readers of all ages. We’ve got works of fiction that blossomed from the fertile minds of heartland authors. We’ll talk up true tales of noble – and notorious – people who were made in Missouri. We'll also branch out and explore how to collectively cultivate the budding talent of our youth through reading and learning. And adults will have opportunities to further feed their lifelong knowledge journey.

The Summer Reading perennial playbook: Read any five books between June 1 and August 15. Enjoy titles in your favorite format, log them online, and earn a reward. While our librarians have put together locally sourced suggested reading titles, the books don’t stop here: whether you’re digging the latest bestseller or doing a seasonal reread of a classic novel, ANY five books count towards your reading goal.

And thanks to the generous support of the Hall Family Foundation, we'll be cultivating summer learning for youth, with a lineup of creative activities and educational resources that sow the seeds of knowledge in science, art, writing, and other topics.

Two centuries is a solid start, but Missourians aren’t done growing. We have more to show. More to learn. And of course...much more to read! Here’s to making more Homegrown Stories.

Suggested Reading


Shelf Help

Want more book ideas for your Summer Reading?

Our librarian story squad can offer some reading suggestions just for you. Try the Library’s Shelf Help service and get a customized list of recommendations tailored to your tastes.


Use your catalog account to create and share reading lists; follow friends (or Library staff) for their bookish updates; keep track of books you want to read; rate and review titles, and more.


In a field in central Missouri grows a burr oak tree that’s been around for hundreds of years. By the time Missouri became the 24th state on August 10,1821, the tree was already old, tall, and strong, with deep-dug roots. It’s survived floods, droughts, and lightning strikes, and has managed to dodge human happenings such as the Civil War. Today it's a beloved part of the local landscape, in large part because of its history and story.

As the centuries-old tree has been fed by soil, water, and sunlight, so our minds are continually nourished by reading. Books and stories sow ideas, empathy, and knowledge, giving us fuel to learn and grow. And reading to (and along with) children helps create an enriching environment, setting them up with essential life skills. The love of reading and learning sprouts by bringing books into our homes.

Through our vital programs and services, the Library creates conditions and connections that give anyone a chance to thrive, which strengthens the fibers of our Kansas City community. We want your homegrown story to reach its greatest potential, and the seeds of your success can be found at the Library.

Share and Discuss Online

bird flying with tablet

Share your Summer Reading experiences!

Snap photos of the books you’re reading or post social media updates, plus track the latest Library happenings on our blog. Be sure to tag the Library in all your posts and use the hashtag #kcSummerReads.