It’s a shame that most summer breaks are ten weeks or less. How could a proficient reader hope to get to all the great books within such a short time frame? Perhaps summer vacations should be longer to accommodate a better window to read a good list of books?
We’ve had many heated discussions regarding what books are must-reads for this summer. After much consideration, here, in no particular order, are books that every young student ought to read during the summer of 2015:
1. A brand-new release by Liz Garton Scanlon called The Great Good Summer. Scanlon’s first attempt at a novel does not disappoint. Her signature style of rich language makes reading this book a delight. The story revolves around a daughter’s search for her mother and a boy’s search for meaning after he’s is crushed by the end of the Space Shuttle Program. Their adventures in searching for the lost mother prove to be poignant and entertaining. Perfect for a student entering middle school.
2. The Terrible Two. This is a new series by Mac Barnett and Jory John. The main characters are competing for best prankster in Yahnee Valley. One boy is outwardly mischievous while the other appears to be an angel. The two boys learn to become friends and work together after many hijinks and adventures. A great read for a fourth to sixth grader who likes the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.
3. West of the Moon by Margi Preus. A beautifully written story that weaves fantasy, history and a heart-felt story into a seamless work of art. Astri is sold by her aunt to a goat farmer who treats her badly. Astri escapes, finds her sister and goes in search of her father who has left for America. The people and places she encounters along the way make a story that stretches the envelope of fantasy and history. An excellent book for a seventh to tenth grader.
4. Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. This new book is a heady 580 pages long. But, worth every second it takes to read. Ryan has become a stalwart contributor to the world of juvenile literature. This book centers on the adventures of children and a harmonica that touches groups of children across generations. A beautiful story with an excellent message. If your child can only read one book this summer, this is the one to buy.
5. The I Funny series by Chris Grabenstein and James Patterson. This series follows the tragedy and triumph of Jamie Grimm, a wheelchair-bound middle-schooler who has the goal of being the best stand-up comic in the world. The three books: I Funny, I Funnier and I Totally Funniest, are fast reads that prove to have a lot of heart and soul. A child will learn important life lessons through Jamie’s experiences.
6. The Five Kingdoms series by Brandon Mull. Accomplished author Brandon Mull has created not one, but five worlds and a fast-paced story that connects them all in a wonderfully written series. As of this writing, there are three of the five books released. The three installments that are released will make for an excellent block of reading. The books will activate imagination and get any child away from the iPad or TV for the entire summer.
These are just some immediate recommendations. Please visit our Reviews section to learn more about new books that are worth reading.