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Summer Reading Program

Welcome to the Museum of Florida History's 2020 Summer Reading Program

Pirates and mermaids! Castles and dragons! Florida has them all, both imaginary and real. This summer, let your imagination guide you through the myths and legends of Florida. Cultural stories will show you how different people saw the world and made sense of it through traditional stories. Tales from history introduce readers to ways of living that seem larger than life compared to today’s world. Fantastical icons of Florida’s past reveal the deep roots of imagination and exploration of our Sunshine State.

The books for this years summer reading list have been carefully selected by the Museum of Florida History staff. Read six or more books to receive a special certificate from Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee and the Museum of Florida History.  Visit your local library online to find these selected books and to begin your own reading journey.


Click here to download this year's summer reading list. 


Unleash your imagination all summer long online with hands-on activities from the Museum of Florida History.  Each week a new theme will be introduced on the Museum’s Summer Reading web page.  Read along with Museum staff as we explore each fantastic and fanciful theme. Plus, download each week’s activity instructions.

July 2 – Tall Tales and Florida Trails

This week’s Summer Reading Program theme is “Tall Tales and Florida Trails.” We will be reading Jan Day’s Kissimmee Pete, Cracker Cow Hunter. Please click here to download this week’s activity packet with instructions on how to have your very own Florida cattle drive at home with your little ones. Click here to print out the coloring pages and cut out the fantastical creatures you’ll meet during the activity.



July 9 – Castles in the Sunshine State

Artie the Alligator is back this summer on another adventure! Artie is in search of a moat… which means he needs to find a castle! Florida is home to many historical structures for Artie to visit. Which one will be the most castle-like site? Download your own copy of Artie the Alligator Looks for a Moat to find out.

Make sure to check out this week’s activity inspired by Artie’s search for castles in the Sunshine State. Click here to learn how to create your own castle with kinetic sand at home! You can also download coloring sheets from this week’s adventure by clicking here.



July 16 – Legends of the Sea

Join us as we plunge into the waters around Florida for a virtual reading of Pearl by Molly Idle with special guest, Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee.

Click here for this week’s instructions for making your own mermaid or pirate bookmark. Print out the pieces to decorate your very own page-hugging bookmark by clicking here. You can mix and match different tails, hair, hats, and more! 



July 23 – Muscogee Stories

Muscogee storyteller Misty Penton shares three tales with us this week: “How Locv Broke Her Shell,” “How Raccoon Became Time-Keeper,” and “How Opossum’s Tail Came to Be.” Click here for instructions on collecting natural materials to create animal puppets to play along with during story time. You can also click here to download educational pages to learn the Muscogee names for the animals or print out paper dolls for an easy craft by clicking here.



July 30 – Campfire Creatures

Join us for a fun exploration of “Campfire Creatures” as we read an excerpt of Scott Marlowe’s book Cryptid Creatures of Florida. Then go on your own exploration for unusual creatures by clicking here to download this week’s activity, Cryptid Quest. You can also download the Cryptid Coloring Book by clicking here.