Whether someone is graduating from kindergarten or receiving an advanced degree from a university, books can provide an inspiring or fun read to set the graduate on his or her new path.

For graduates from four to 18 years old, fbmarketplace.org recommends Oh, the Places You’ll Go — yes, by Dr. Seuss. With its advice that “You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,” the book can inspire readers of any age at a time of transition.

Readers who are seven to 15 years old may find inspiration in Mr. Browne’s precepts in 365 Days of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. The book features conversations between an English teacher and his students, ending with quotes celebrating the goodness and power of people’s wills.

For inspiration on what can be achieved against all odds and expectations, the website recommends Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly, for graduates from 13 on up. The book tells the true story of African American women whose mathematical skills were indispensable to the success of the early space program at NASA.

VALLEY WRITERS
Pat Hunter and Janice Stevens have released the third in the series of their illustrated books on Highway 1. The first installment featured the highway north and the second was on the central portion. The new book takes readers along as An Artist and a Writer Travel Highway 1 South. The book was published last month by Quill Driver Press and features more than 130 original watercolor illustrations by Pat Hunter. Janice Stevens is the writer of the title. The book is more than a travel guide, but it does include detailed descriptions of places to see, eat, and stay along the way, combined with deep cultural awareness and personal reflections.

WRITERS IN RESIDENCE
Information on applications for the writers in residence program at Hedgebrook became available mid-June with a deadline of July 25. The writers are housed in private cabins on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, free of charge, for a two to six-week program. Applications must include writing samples of seven to 10 pages. The application fee is $30. Details at: hedgebrook.org/writers-in-residence.

WRITING CONTESTS
The Writer Magazine has a free downloadable guide listing almost five pages of summer contests. Many of the deadlines have passed for this year, but most contests repeat annually. You can find it at writermag.com/summer-writing-contests.

Still open for submissions is the Harold G. Henderson Awards for Best Unpublished Haiku presented by the Haiku Society of America. Entries may include up to five unpublished Haiku. Deadline is July 31. Entry fee is $7 per five haiku. First prize is $150 and publication in Frogpond and the HSA website. Details at: hsa-haiku.org.

Another open contest is the Red Hen Press Fiction Award for an original story with a minimum of 150 pages. The deadline is August 31. Entry fee: $20. Prize is $1,000 and publication. Details at: redhen.org/awards-2.

Other contests include the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award for Fiction, Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, and several with deadlines in September and October.

THE LAST WORD
“You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” – Tom Brokaw