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Staff photo by Tim Barber/ Wearing a PPE face mask, avid reader Mary Van Dusen returns books through the doorway Friday at the Soddy-Daisy Community Library at 9619 Dayton Pike.

Students on their coronavirus school breaks can get a jump on their summer reading with a list of book recommendations released this week by the Soddy-Daisy Community Library.

"We've had a ton of parents contacting us for recommendations," said Kelly Flemings, the library's education and outreach coordinator. "Kids are going to have reading lists over the summer anyway. We wanted to give parents a resource to go by."

Although closed to inside visitors, the library is offering limited curbside service, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday, for holds made online at KelCurtFoundation.org. Returned books are put into a 72-hour quarantine before being reshelved.

The recommended books are categorized by grade level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. The titles represent a diverse cross-section of interests and were chosen by a panel of librarians, educators and book industry professionals. The list is posted on the library's Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TheSDCL, and is available in jpg and pdf formats by request.

The list includes classics such as "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss for beginning readers and "Watership Down" by Richard Adams for teens. Genres range from fantasy and sci-fi to biographies and graphic novels. Several titles on the list have been chosen as Volunteer State Book Award nominees for 2020-21.

Assuming coronavirus precautions are lifted, the library will officially kick off its Magical Summer of Reading program in May, Flemings said. Kids will have a chance to earn a Harry Potter-themed T-shirt for reading a certain number of books.

The Soddy-Daisy Community Library, 9619 Dayton Pike, has more than 1,600 registered users and is free and available to everyone, regardless of location. In addition to Hamilton County residents, Flemings said the library serves patrons in Bradley, Marion, Rhea and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee and Catoosa County in Georgia. It is operated by the KelCurt Foundation, a 501(c) nonprofit organization that relies solely on the support of its patrons and the community, receiving no tax money.

The library also serves community youth as a food distribution point for the YMCA Mobile Fit Student Lunch Program. Children 18 and younger may come by to pick up a free lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Kelly Flemings at 423-800-2367 or founders@kelcurtfoundation.org.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

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