Friday, May 24, 2013

Fun Summer Reading

As children and teens nationwide wind up the school year, they will leave with summer reading lists of "suggested" titles, possibly even a required number for completion by the time school resumes. But what about the books that give pure pleasure? Let's make sure they have some of those as well.

Flight 1-2-3 by Maria van Lieshout makes an ideal travel companion for families planning a trip by plane. High-contrast design elements serve as a legend that unlocks airport signs for luggage carts, elevators and the all-important rest rooms. Kids who like to get a bit more technical will welcome Jet Plane by David Macaulay.

For newly independent readers, the Critter Club series by Callie Barkley, liberally illustrated by Marsha Riti, stars four friends who start an animal rescue in Amy and the Missing Puppy; their adventures continue in All About Ellie and Liz Learns a Lesson. Even 8- to 12-year-olds who don't refer to themselves as "readers" will madly turn the pages of The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen and its sequel, The Runaway King. Four orphans, conscripted by a nefarious member of the royal court, "audition" for a chance to pose as a young prince presumed to have been killed by pirates. In Nobody's Secret, author Michaela MacColl imagines poet Emily Dickinson as a teenage detective solving a murder, and Doll Bones by Holly Black, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, describes a role-playing game gone awry, with plenty of suspense and gothic overtones.

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick (which may well find its way into a few adult beach bags) examines a culture of instant commentary and the dilemma of a normal teen who gets a chance to become "the most beautiful woman who has ever lived." Fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling books will discover heroines just as smart and skillful in Robin LaFevers's novels, Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph. And teens searching for a gripping dystopia, in which an alien presence attempts to hijack the earth, will not be able to put down The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

This article originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.


  1. Grace Mercy is one of my favorites right now! I have Dark Triumph on my TBR shelf. :)

    Great list!

  2. Oh, I love your middle grade suggestions!

  3. Thank you Stephanie and Erica! I'd love to hear about other books you're excited about, too.