SUNNY SUMMER READS: Amazing Authors
REALISTIC FICTION by Joan Bauer
Squashed -Sixteen-year-old Ellie Morgan is determined to win the blue ribbon at the Rock River Pumpkin Weigh-In, but coaxing her potentially prize-winning pumpkin, Max, to gain another two hundred pounds proves no easy task. Ellie copes with inclement weather, pumpkin thieves, and stiff competition.
Thwonk - A cupid doll comes to life and offers romantic assistance to A.J., a teenage photographer suffering from unrequited love.
Hope was here - When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.
Rules of the road -Jenna, newly armed with a driver's license, thought she had her summer all worked out--until Mrs. Gladstone, owner of the shoestore chain where Jenna works in Chicago, shows up and asks Jenna to drive her to Texas.
Best foot forward - Back in Chicago after their road trip to Texas and self-discovery (Rules of the Road), Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone are back at work in the shoe store, trying to keep up the standards of quality in the face of a corporate takeover.
FANTASY FICTION by Michael Buckley
The sisters Grimm: Book one, Fairy-tale detectives - Orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother that they have always believed to be dead. (A “One Book New Jersey” selection for 2008!)
The Sisters Grimm: the unusual suspects - Although filled with anger over her parents' disappearance, eleven-year-old Sabrina Grimm--along with her grandmother, sister, and several fairy-tale characters--tries to discover who has killed her teacher.
NOVEL IN GRAPHIC FORMAT BY Cecil Castellucci
The Plain Janes - Jane's parents relocate to the suburbs when she's caught in a bomb attack in Metro City. Bored and lonely in her new town and school, the teen is thrilled when she meets three other girls named Jane, all of them as out of place as she is. They form a secret club, the Plain Janes, and decide to liven up the town with art. Also enjoy her realistic novel, Boy Proof, about a girl who hides behind the identity of a favorite movie character until an interesting new boy arrives at school and helps her realize that there is more to life than just the movies.
SURVIVAL AND SCIENCE FICTION by Ann Halam
Dr. Franklin's Island (A “One Book New Jersey” selection for 2008!) - Teen conservationists Semi, Miranda, and Arnie board a plane bound for the Ecuadorian rainforest. As part of a prize-winning team gathered by the TV show Planet Savers, they begin an amazing hands-on ecology experience. But their trip-of-a-lifetime quickly becomes a fight for survival as they find themselves on a remote island, the only survivors of a devastating plane crash. And this is no ordinary island - it is the home of a mad scientist, anxious for subjects for his ghastly experiments.
ADVENTURE AND FANTASY BY Shannon Hale
Princess Academy - While attending a strict academy for potential princesses with the other girls from her mountain village, fourteen-year-old Miri discovers unexpected talents and connections to her homeland. (A Newbery Honor Book)
The Goose Girl - She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother. When she is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom as a bride, Ani disguises herself as a goose girl and wanders on the royal estate. Does she have the pluck to reclaim her rightful place? Get ready for a fine adventure tale full of danger, suspense, and surprising twists. Continue the story in Enna Burning and River Secrets.
Book of a thousand days - In a mythical land, something like medieval Mongolia, Lady Saren loves Khan Tegus, who rules a lesser realm, and she refuses to marry the evil man whom her father has chosen for her for political gains. The narrator, Dashti, is the princess's maid, immured in the tower almost as soon as she's found employment in the royal household. Bound to obey her mistress, Dashti is ordered to speak in her place when Tegus comes calling on their prison.
FUNNY FICTION BY Gordon Korman
Born to Rock (a Garden State Teen Book Award nominee) - Young Republican Leo, who’s staring down the loss of his scholarship to Harvard, asks his biological father to put him through school. How? For a summer, Leo will serve as a roadie for his father’s punk band as they tour the U. S.
No more dead dogs - Eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention attending rehearsals of the school play where, in spite of himself, he becomes wrapped up in the production and begins to suggest changes that improve not only the play but his life as well.
SURVIVAL AND ADVENTURE BY Gordon Korman
The contest - Four climbers, winners of an American Junior Alpine Association contest, vie to become the youngest person ever to reach the peak of Mount Everest. This story continues in The climb, where the climbing contest turns into a life-or-death rescue mission.
Kidnapped: The Abduction - Meg, 11, is abducted on her way home from school. Her brother, Aiden, 15, works with the FBI to find her and deliver the ransom money. In the meantime, Meg fights back with muscle and wit, even managing to sneak out an SOS letter. The hurtling plot, with mysterious meetings and high-tech surveillance, shifts between the two kids' viewpoints.
FANTASY AND FUN BY David Lubar
Hidden talents - Thirteen-year-old Martin, a new student at an alternative school for misfits and problem students, falls in with a group of boys with psychic powers and discovers something surprising about himself. Follow this one with the sequel, True Talents.
Flip - Eighth-grade twins Taylor and Ryan are complete opposites and seem to have nothing in common, until they find a set of mysterious disks that magically allow them to transform into legendary figures from the past.
The Curse of the Campfire Weenies - 35 new short stories, from funny and unsettling to spine tingling, in which everyday kids face the fantastical.
SPORTS FICTION BY Mike Lupica
The Big Field - When fourteen-year-old baseball player Hutch feels threatened by the arrival of a new teammate named Darryl, he tries to work through his insecurities about both Darryl and his remote and silent father, who was once a great ballplayer too.
Summer Ball - Thirteen-year-old Danny must prove himself all over again for a disapproving coach and against new rivals at a summer basketball camp. (sequel to Travel Team.)
FANTASY NOVELS BY Tamora Pierce
SONG OF THE LIONESS series
Alanna: the First Adventure - Eleven-year-old Alanna, who aspires to be a knight even though she is a girl, disguises herself as a boy to become a royal page, learning many hard lessons along her path to high adventure.
Others in the series: In the Hand of the Goddess, Lioness Rampant, The Woman who Rides like a Man
Trickster's choice - Alianne, daughter of Alanna, is ready to create her own legend. As the book opens, Aly, 16, longs to follow in her father's footsteps as a spy, but her parents refuse to allow it. Annoyed, she sails off in her boat, only to be captured by pirates and sold into slavery. She meets Kyprioth, the Trickster, and strikes a bargain: if Aly keeps the Duke and his family safe for the summer, Kyprioth will return her to her family and persuade her parents to let her be a spy. With magic, spells, winged horses that are part human and part metal, crows that take human form, brutal fighting, treason, and attempted kidnapping, this fantasy will hold your attention! Continue the story with Trickster's queen.
IMMORTALS series (spin-off from Song of the Lioness)
Emperor Mage - When she is sent as part of the delegation from Tortall to negotiate a peace treaty with Carthak, fifteen-year-old Daine must use her powers to communicate with animals for more than healing the Carthak emperor's dying birds.
Wild Magic - The mage Numair, the knight Alanna, and Queen Thayet enlist thirteen-year-old Daine's help to battle the dreadful immortal creatures that have recently begun to attack the kingdom of Tortall.
Wolf-Speaker - With the help of her animal friends, Daine fights to save the kingdom of Tortall from ambitious mortals and dangerous immortals.
CIRCLE OF MAGIC QUARTET series by Tamora Pierce
Sandry’s Book - Four young misfits find themselves living in a strictly disciplined temple community where they become friends while also learning to do crafts and to use their powers, especially magic.
Tris’s Book - With the defenses of Winding Circle Temple seriously weakened by an earthquake, Tris and her fellow mages-in-training try to join their different magic powers to protect the Winding Circle community from a pirate attack.
Daja’s Book - While at Gold Ridge castle to the north of Winding Circle, Daja and the three other mages-in-training who have become her friends develop their unique magical talents as they try to prevent a devastating forest fire from consuming everything in its path.
Briar’s Book - Briar, a young mage-in-training, and his teacher Rosethorn must use their magic to fight a deadly plague that is ravaging Summersea.
CIRCLE OPENS QUARTET series by Tamora Pierce
Cold fire - While studying with her teacher Frostpine in the northern land of Namorn, Daja helps the twin daughters of her host family discover their own magic and uses her powers to track a deadly arsonist.
Magic Steps - Lady Sandrilene Fa Toren must combine her magic with that of her young student Pesco in order to reveal a mysterious murderer who has the power to reduce essence to nothingness.
Street magic - Former "street rat" Briar Moss must face his past when he discovers a young mage in need of a mentor.
Shatterglass - Tris and her mage-student, a young man whose glassmaking magic has been amplified and mixed with lightning, team up to track a killer who may be nearer than they suspect.
PROTECTOR OF THE SMALL QUARTET series by Tamora Pierce
First Test - Ten-year-old Keladry of Mindalen, daughter of nobles, serves as a page but must prove herself to the males around her if she is ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a knight.
Page - Keladry of Mindelan continues her training to become a squire with the aid of a new maid, the support of her friends, interference from some other pages, and some serious, even dangerous opposition.
Squire - Fourteen-year-old Kel of Mindelan, a squire in training for knighthood, begins four years of preparation for her final test, the Ordeal--a psychological challenge that is breaking more squires in the land of Tortall than ever before. This series ends with Lady Knight - When she became a knight, eighteen-year-old Kel hoped to be given a combat post, but instead she finds herself named commander of an outpost of refugees, where she must face the unnatural forces of the evil Balyce.
SCIENCE FICTION AND ADVENTURE by Adam Rex
The True Meaning of Smek Day
Twelve-year-old "Tip" is left to fend for herself after Earth is colonized by aliens and her mother is abducted, and must try to stop another alien invasion with only the help of a cat named Pig and an alien named J. Lo.
REALISTIC FICTION by Gary D. Schmidt
The Wednesday wars - During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.
First Boy - Dragged into the political turmoil of a presidential election year, fourteen-year-old Cooper, who runs a New Hampshire dairy farm since his grandfather's death, stands up for himself and makes it clear whose first boy he really is.
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (Newbery Honor Book and Prinz Honor Book) - The year is 1912, and Turner Buckminster III has a mighty cross to bear: his family has just moved from Boston to Phippsburg, Maine; no one in Maine seems to throw a baseball so he can hit it; and, worst of all, he is the minister's son.
FICTION NOMINEES FOR THE GARDEN STATE TEEN BOOK AWARD – a selected list
All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall - Mr. Collins’ inner city seventh grade math class couldn’t care less about math . . . until he challenges them to break the record for creating the world’s largest tetrahedron! Soon, students James Harris III, Rhondell, Sharice, and Marcel are meeting every day after school despite their differences in order to meet their goal. Will they make it?
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson - It is 1918 and sixteen-year-old orphaned Hattie gets unexpected news, providing her with an enormous opportunity. An uncle she never knew has left her his homestead in Montana, and all Hattie must do is fulfill the terms of his claim: fence and cultivate the land. Can she do it, and finally have a home of her own?
Rules by Cynthia Lord - When 12-year-old Catherine is embarrassed by her autistic younger brother's behavior, her mother reassures her that "real friends understand." But Catherine is not convinced, and she is desperate to make a friend of the new girl next door. She doesn't like it when others laugh at David or ignore him; she writes down the rules so he will know what to do.
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer - Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: A Melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz - Cheeky orphan Maud falls under the spell of her adoptive aunts, who harbor a cruel secret: they want to incorporate her into their séances to swindle a grieving mother. Maud's resolution to be perfectly obedient becomes a quest to set the Hawthorne sisters' misdeeds right.
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang - This Printz Award-winning graphic novel ties together three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book (graphic novel) format.
Manga Claus: The Blade of Kringle by Nathaniel Marunas - Santa is forced to break out his ancient samurai swords and assume the guise of Manga Claus in order to save the happiest time of the year from a disgruntled elf and a horde of possessed ninja teddy bears.
Terrier (New series by Tamora Pierce: A Tortall Legend) - Taking place before the Song of the Lioness Quartet, this new series introduces readers to sixteen-year-old Beka Cooper, a Puppy (trainee) in Corus's Guard who narrates her story via a diary. When sixteen-year-old Beka becomes a "Puppy" to the Provost's Guards, she uses her police training, natural abilities, and a touch of magic to help them solve the case of a murdered baby in Tortall's Lower City. Coming soon - Bloodhound
NONFICTION NOMINEES FOR THE GARDEN STATE TEEN BOOK AWARD – a selected list
Unexplained: An Encyclopedia of Curious Phenomena, Strange Superstitions, and Ancient
Mysteries by Judy Allen - Paranormal experiences, urban legends, superstitions, ancient mysteries, and unexplained events from across the globe are shared for all, as well as likely explanations.
Freedom Riders by Ann Bausum - Explores the lives of John Lewis and James Zwerg during the Civil Rights movement that helps teens understand the segregated experience of our country’s past.
Escape! : The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman - A biography of the amazing Harry Houdini written by a fellow magician in graphic format.
Making Comics : Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud
A graphic novel about how great graphic novels can work with readers. Learning how the professionals put together all the elements of a story and illustrations is fun with this easy, fascinating read.
Team Moon : How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh
Experience the story of Apollo 11 first landing on the moon, as told firsthand by the engineers, software experts, technicians, and many others who worked behind-the-scenes.
Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine?: The Art of Making Zines and Mini-Comics by Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson - Leave behind the world of push-button publishing with a little hands-on crafting of your own self-distributed mini-comics and zines. This book is full of advice, step-by-step instructions, and super-charming illustrations.
Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent and Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet’s Life by Allan Wolf - Contains a guide to writing poetry, providing advice, ideas, writing activities, and encouragement from a working poet, presenting poems by a variety of poets from the unknown to the famous, including Langston Hughes, e.e. cummings, Eve Merriam, and more.
WHY READ IN THE SUMMER?
(We know the answer! Those who read…SUCCEED!)
“Reading Can Make You Smarter!” In an article by Anne Cunningham and Keith Stanovich ( PrincipalNovember/December 2003: 34-39) the authors report that the more children read, the greater their vocabulary and the better their cognitive skills.
“In Summer Learning and the Effects of Schooling (Academic Press, 1978), Barbara Heyns followed sixth and seventh graders in the Atlanta public schools through two school years and one summer. Among the findings of her research:
- The number of books read during the summer is consistently related to academic gains.
- Children in every income group who read six or more books over the summer gained more in reading achievement than children who did not.
- The use of the public library during the summer is more predictive of vocabulary gains than attending summer school is.”
In Stephen Krashen’s book, The Power of Reading, (Libraries Unlimited, 1993) the value of free voluntary reading in the development of reading, writing and spelling skills is demonstrated. Studies are reviewed that illustrate how free voluntary reading benefits student achievement, including these highlights:
- People who read more, write better.
- Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary and reading speed.
- Outstanding high school writers reported extensive summer reading.
We hope that you choose to READ this summer!
These book suggestions were compiled by Kathleen Hedden, Media Specialist at William Annin Middle School and Karen Olivari, Young Adult Services Librarian at Bernards Township Library.
Copies of these and other great books are available at the township library.