Sorry for the delay in posting…May is always a difficult month, between vacations, transitioning from the school year to the summer, getting the summer reading program ready and finishing up all our book and media buying for the year! It doesn’t give us much spare time for blog entries.
With summer coming quickly, it seemed like the perfect time to sit back, hang out in a hammock, drink lemonade and read. About what? Summer, of course. So here’s a booklist featuring some recent summer adventures! Check one out today!
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How Tia Lola Saved the Summer by Julia Alvarez
Miguel Guzman isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer now that his mother has agreed to let the Sword family—a father, his three daughters, and their dog—live with them while they decide whether or not to move to Vermont. Little does Miguel know his aunt has something up her sleeve that just may make this the best summer ever. With her usual flair for creativity and fun, Tía Lola decides to start a summer camp for Miguel, his little sister, and the three Sword girls, complete with magical swords, nighttime treasure hunts, campfires, barbecues, and an end-of-summer surprise!
Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee
Eleven-year-old Poppy Ray longs to be a veterinarian, but she’s never had a pet. This summer, she’s going to spend a month with her uncle Sanjay, veterinarian and owner of the Furry Friends Animal Clinic on an island off the Washington coast. Poppy is in for big surprises. She loves tending to the dogs, cats, and even a bird, and she discovers the fun of newborn puppies and the satisfaction of doing a good job. But she learns that there’s more to caring for animals than the stethoscope and cotton swabs in her Deluxe Veterinarian First-Aid Kit. She’s not prepared for quirky pet owners, gross stuff, or scary emergencies. With help from a boy named Hawk, a chunk of seaglass, and a touch of intuition, Poppy gains a deeper understanding of the pain and joy of working with animals.
The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Julia and Eliza are best friends. Julia’s mother is serving in the National Guard in Iraq, and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. So the girls lose themselves in their summer, hanging out at the resort where Eliza’s father works. But when they meet a new boy, neither of them is prepared for how it impacts their friendship, and Julia has to cope with the possibility of being separated from yet another person she loves.
Cicada Summer by Andrea Beaty
Eleven-year-old Lily has a passion for Nancy Drew stories and a secret she is keeping from those she loves. When summer brings lying, stealing, sneaky Tinny Bridges to town, Lily must be on her guard with this perceptive newcomer, or risk having her secret revealed. But Tinny won’t leave Lily alone. She takes candy from the general store and blames Lily. She tries to steal Lily’s friends and even her father’s affection. Then Tinny goes missing, and only watchful, mystery-loving Lily has any idea what happened to her. But for Lily, finding Tinny means confronting her hidden past.
Summer at Forsaken Lake by Michael D. Beil
With their father en route to Africa for Doctors Without Borders, city-kids Nicholas and younger twin sisters Haley and Hetty are off to spend the summer with their Great-Uncle Nick at his house on Forsaken Lake. Despite some initial doubts, Nicholas is right at home in the country: he learns to sail, learns about his father as a boy, and makes fast friends with a local-girl, the tomboy Charlie. The summer takes a turn toward the mysterious, though, when Nicholas discovers an old movie that his father made as a boy: it tells the story of the local legend, The Seaweed Strangler, but was never finished. Before long Nicholas wants answers both about the legend, and about the movie. Together, he and Charlie work to uncover the truth and discover some long-buried family secrets along the way.
Possum Summer by Jen K. Blom
Possum Summer is an uplifting novel about a girl and her father whose fractious relationship is healed by the hard lessons they learn about love and letting go. Eleven-year-old P (short for Princess) longs for a pet, but her father insists that all animals on their Oklahoma farm earn their keep. While he’s away on combat duty, P rescues an orphaned opossum that she names Ike. When her father is injured and her world falls down around her ears, P knows she must find it in herself to betray Ike’s trust and force him to survive in the wild – no matter how much it kills her to do it.
Summer of the Wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles
Julie of the Wolves meets Hatchet in this middle grade novel that follows twelve-year-old Nika and her seven-year-old brother, Randall, as they leave their California foster home to spend a summer with their long-lost uncle. There she finds an orphaned wolf pup in a cave, whose mother has been shot. This compelling first novel explores themes of searching for family and finding a balance between caring for- and leaving alone-wild animals.
Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull
When their parents disappear in the middle of the night, a cryptic picture message from their mother leads young sisters Summer and Bird through a familiar gate and into the woods, where the sad, electric song of a tiny patchwork bird draws them Down. In this ruined, frozen world of birds, their divided hearts will lead them in very different directions in a quest toward untied goals: vanquish the ravenous, bird-swallowing Puppeteer; help the birds find their way back to their true home; and reveal the true heir to the swan queen’s throne. But when the border of the birds’ home is finally in sight, the world of Down will turn on itself, demanding a sacrifice and threatening the fate of all who live there.
Gold Medal Summer by Donna Freitas
Joey Jordan loves gymnastics, but because she’s a graceful gymnast in a sport that prizes muscle and power, she’s never quite made it to that gold-medal stand. Now she’s at a crossroads in her competitive career: Her parents are tired of the toll the sport enacts on their family. Her best friend, Alex, is thinking of quitting, and a cute boy named Tanner-whom Joey doesn’t have time to see-makes a “normal” life sound awfully attractive. But then her coach suggests some exciting new routines that play to Joey’s strengths as a gymnast, and as she finds the bravery to navigate all the other changes in her life, her gold-medal summer might happen at last.
The Summer of May by by Cecilia Galante
Twelve-year-old May is living in a desolate situation with only her grandmother, who is depressed about the absence of May’s mother, and her father, who works long hours and is almost never around. Due to her circumstance and her resentment over having to live in a low-income neighborhood, May often finds herself picking fights and getting into trouble. But when May is caught graffiti-ing her least favorite teacher’s classroom, she is faced with a choice: expulsion or one-on-one summer school with the teacher she most detests. Begrudgingly, May chooses summer school and ultimately learns that her teacher has a secret past–and might just hold the key to answers no one else will give May about her mother.
My Mixed-up Berry Blue Summer by Jennifer Gennari
Twelve-year-old June Farrell is sure of one thing–she’s great at making pies! And whatever it takes, she plans to prove it by winning a blue ribbon in the Champlain Valley Fair pie competition. But a backlash against Vermont’s civil union law threatens her family’s security and their business. Even when faced with bullying, June won’t give up on winning the blue ribbon; more importantly, she won’t give up on her family. A realistic account of a family coming together under stress.
Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff
Annie Richards knows there are a million things to look out for bicycle accidents, food poisoning, chicken pox, smallpox, typhoid fever, runaway zoo animals, and poison oak. That’s why being careful is so important, even if it does mean giving up some of her favorite things, like bike races with her best friend, Rebecca, and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Everyone keeps telling Annie not to worry so much, that she’s just fine. But they thought her brother, Jared, was just fine too, and Jared died. It takes a new neighbor, who looks as plain as a box of toothpicks but has some surprising secrets of her own, to make Annie realize that her plans for being careful aren’t working out as well as she had hoped. And with a lot of help from those around her and a book about a pig, too? Annie just may find a way to close her umbrella of sadness and step back into the sunshine.
My Summer of Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald
At the end of My Life in Pink & Green, Lucy Desberg had just won the grant that would save her familys pharmacy–and turn it into a modern eco-spa. Now its summer, and the work has begun in earnest. Lucy figures that with the spa opening and her sister, Claudia, home, shell have a great summer. But her sister brings a new boyfriend, and their investor brings his extremely irritating daughter, Bevin. Plus theres a new spa coordinator in charge of the plans, and so Lucy finds herself at loose ends. Whats a girl to do? A makeover, of course. But this time Lucys makeover skills might not smooth over the cracks in her happy family . . .
Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation by Tommy Greenwald
The lovable slacker Charlie Joe Jackson is back, and he’s wreaking havoc at an academic summer camp. Despite all attempts to avoid reading and extra work, Charlie Joe Jackson finds himself in a terrible dream he can’t wake up from: Camp Rituhbukkee (pronounced “read-a-bookie’) – a place filled with grammar workshops, Read-a-Ramas, and kids who actually like reading. But Charlie Joe is determined to convince the entire camp to hate reading and writing – one genius at a time.
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets by Danette Haworth
At The Meriwether, Florida’s famous antebellum hotel off of Hope Springs, nothing is quite as it seems. Secret staircases give way to servants’ quarters and Prohibition-era speakeasies make for the perfect hide-and-seek spot. Allie Jo Jackson knows every nook and cranny of The Meriwether’she’s lived there her whole life’and nothing surprises her, until the first time she spots the enigmatic and beautiful Tara emerging from the springs. Tara’s shimmery skin, long flowing hair, and strange penchant for late moonlight swims disguise a mysterious secret’and once Allie Jo and her friend Chase discover Tara’s secret, nothing will ever be the same.
Summer in the City by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel
Charlie can’t wait for school to be over. But he’s wondering what particular vacation ordeal his parents have lined up for the family this summer. Canoeing with alligators in Okefenokee? Getting caught in the middle of a revolutionary shootout in Mexico? Or perhaps another trip abroad? Turns out, this summer the family is staying put, in their hometown — Montreal, Canada. A “staycation,” his parents call it. Charlie is doubtful at first but, ever resourceful, decides that there may be adventures and profit to be had in his own neighborhood. And there are. A campout in the backyard brings him in contact with more than one kind of wildlife, a sudden summer storm floods the expressway, various pet-sitting gigs turn almost-disastrous, and a baseball game goes awry when various intruders storm the infield — from would-be medieval knights and an over-eager ice-cream vendor to a fly-ball-catching Doberman. Then of course there’s looking after his little brother, Max, who is always a catastrophe-in-the-making.
Tracktown Summer by Elizabeth Holmes
Jake has felt fatherless ever since his parents separated, and so he can’t wait to spend the summer with his dad. But the house Dad rented is a shabby place next to the railroad tracks, with no friends and nothing to do. Then, through a pickup game of hoops, Jake befriends a neighbor boy. Adrian is charming at first, but soon Jake starts to sense a streak of desperation in him. Jake gets sucked into Adrian’s bizarre life, in which recklessness escalates to danger. Witnessing Adrian’s highly dysfunctional, sometimes violent, family gives Jake new perspective on his own situation.
Sand Dollar Summer by Kimberly K. Jones
Twelve-year-old Lise watches her safe world fall apart when her strong, self-reliant mom is injured in a car accident. To recuperate, Mom takes Lise and her bright little brother to live in a rattletrap house on the beach in Maine for the summer. Although her mother grew up there, this is Lise’s first experience with the ocean. She’s terrified by what may be lurking in the cold depths and confused by the ways that Maine is changing her mother. As secrets from the past start spilling out, even the solid earth may not keep Lise safe anymore. Lise will have to learn to go with the flow — or risk falling apart — in this tender, funny, and wise novel…the story of one family’s unforgettable summer.
Summer of the Wolves by Lisa Williams Kline
Stephanie and Diana are having a hard time adjusting to life as new stepsisters. The girls ‘pretend’ to like each other, but it’s pretty hard considering they are complete opposites. When their new family takes their first-ever vacation to a horse ranch in North Carolina, not even long horse-back rides in the forest can tame their tempers. Diana’s anger issues and Stephanie’s fear of everything prove disastrous, until Diana discovers the caged wolves in the deep woods. She vows to free them, and surprisingly, Stephanie agrees to help. But their actions have unforeseen consequences, and if there’s any chance to make things right, Stephanie and Diana must put their differences aside.
Summer Ball by Mike Lupica
When you’re the smallest kid playing a big man’s game, the challenges never stop’especially when your name is Danny Walker. Leading your travel team to the national championship may seem like a dream come true, but for Danny, being at the top just means the competition tries that much harder to knock him off. Now Danny’s leaving Middletown for the summer and heading to Right Way basketball camp, where he’s out of his element and maybe out of his league. The country’s best ballers are in attendance, and Danny will need to raise his game if he wants to match up. But it won’t be easy. Old rivals and new battles leave Danny wondering if he really has what it takes to stand tall.
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer by Megan McDonald
It’s not bad enough that Mom and Dad are heading to California, leaving Judy and Stink with Aunt Awful (er, Opal), but now Judy’s two best friends are going Splitsville, too. Just when it looks like her summer is going to be BOR-ing – eureka! – Judy comes up with the most thrill-a-delic plan ever. Get ready for a race involving tightrope walking, Scream Monster riding, and way more! Add in a treasure hunt for Judy’s teacher, a midnight stakeout, a runaway ice-cream truck, and a dash of Bigfoot, and what have you got? The Judy Moodiest summer ever!
Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge
Twelve-year-old Tracy-or Tuyet-has always felt different. The villagers in Vietnam called her con-lai, or “half-breed,” because her father was an American GI. And she doesn’t fit in with her adoptive family in California, either. But when Tracy and a friend discover a soldier’s dogtag hidden among her father’s things, it sets her past and her present on a collision course. Where should her broken heart come to rest? In a time and place she remembers only in her dreams? Or among the people she now calls family? Partridge’s sensitive portrayal of a girl and her family grappling with the complicated legacy of war is as timely today as the events were decades ago.
Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
Stella loves living with Great-aunt Louise in her big old house near the water on Cape Cod for many reasons, but mostly because Louise likes routine as much as she does, something Stella appreciates since her mom is, well, kind of unreliable. So while Mom “finds herself,” Stella fantasizes that someday she’ll come back to the Cape and settle down. The only obstacle to her plan? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. Angel couldn’t be less like her name; she’s tough and prickly, and the girls hardly speak to each other. But when tragedy unexpectedly strikes, Stella and Angel are forced to rely on each other to survive, and they learn that they are stronger together than they could have imagined. And over the course of the summer they discover the one thing they do have in common: dreams of finally belonging to a real family.
Summer Secrets by Sarah Webb
Could this summer be any worse? Thirteen-year-old Amy’s dreamy boyfriend, Seth, is off to Rome, while she gets to spend two weeks on a tiny Irish island with a nagging mom and a neurotic aunt locked in a feud, not to mention a crazy stepdad and a surly cousin. Good thing Clover, teen advice columnist supreme, is there to keep Amy from going completely nuts! It doesn’t help Amy’s changeable mood that Seth keeps mentioning some girl in his e-mails, or that Amy feels an electric attraction to the mysterious young gardener next door. So when The Goss magazine unexpectedly sends Clover to glitzy Miami to write a revealing piece on a hot young actor (with Amy as her sidekick, of course) it couldn’t come at a better time.
One Crazy Summer by by Rita Williams-Garcia
Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.
Minn and Jake’s Almost Terrible Summer by Janet Wong
The 10-year-old pals are spending the summer apart. Jake is visiting his old neighborhood in Los Angeles and is excited to have no plans. No science camp. No swimming lessons. But he soon discovers that it isn’t much fun to wake up every day at 6 a.m. to his little brother, Soup, jumping all over him or have his Korean grandmother stuffing him with food to “make him grow.” Jake misses Minn, but he hasn’t done a great job of keeping in touch this summer. But when she and her parents make a surprise visit, things start to heat up. On a trip to Disneyland, the friends have a fight and end up not speaking. How will the summer end for these best friends?
Snow in Summer : Fairest of Them All by Jane Yolen
With her black hair, red lips, and lily-white skin, Summer is as beautiful as her father’s garden. And her life in the mountains of West Virginia seems like a fairy tale; her parents sing and dance with her, Cousin Nancy dotes on her, and she is about to get a new baby brother. But when the baby dies soon after he’s born, taking Summer’s mama with him, Summer’s fairy-tale life turns grim. Things get even worse when her father marries a woman who brings poisons and magical mirrors into Summer’s world. Stepmama puts up a pretty face, but Summer suspects she’s up to no good – and is afraid she’s powerless to stop her.
Booklist prepared by Julie G.
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And there you have it! Twenty-seven summer titles! There should be at least one of interest to any summer reader. So visit the library this summer and try a summer title. If one of these doesn’t suit you, you can always ask the librarian. We’ll find you some of our old Summer Favorites, like The Worry Week or Gone-Away Lake or This Island Isn’t Big Enough for the Four of Us…or something else, completely different!