Every Summer Has a Story

What story has defined your summer? Climbing mountains? Exploring an urban jungle? Maybe a new job complete with colorful characters? There’s something about this time of year that sets it apart from the rest – the days are longer, and with those hours come endless opportunities.

There are plenty of stories to behold in the pages of books as well. In case you’re still looking for some summer reading, here are some seasonally appropriate recommendations before we come back to school.

Ernest Hemingway’s That Dangerous Summer

184808In this vivid account, Hemingway captures the exhausting pace and pressure of the season, the camaraderie and pride of the matadors, and the mortal drama as in fight after fight the rival matadors try to outdo each other with ever more daring performances. At the same time Hemingway offers an often complex and deeply personal self-portrait that reveals much about one of the twentieth century’s preeminent writers.

 
Richard Cox’s The Boys of Summer

28695774In 1979, a massive tornado devastates the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, leaving scores dead, thousands homeless, and nine-year-old Todd Willis in a coma, fighting for his life.

Four years later, Todd awakens to a world that looks the same but feels different in a way he can’t quite grasp. For Todd, it’s a struggle to separate fact from fiction as he battles lingering hallucinations from his long sleep.

The new friends Todd makes in 1983 are fascinated with his experience and become mesmerized by his strange relationship with the world. Together the five boys come of age during a dark, fiery summer where they find first love, betrayal, and a secret so terrible they agree to never speak of it again.

Sarah Dessen’s That Summer

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For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture…

 
Sue Halpern’s new release Summer Hours at the Robbers Library

35068755For head librarian Kit, the public library in Riverton, New Hampshire, offers what she craves most: peace. Here, no one expects Kit to talk about the calamitous events that catapulted her out of what she thought was a settled, suburban life. She can simply submerge herself in her beloved books and try to forget her problems.

But that changes when fifteen-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary. The judge throws the book at Sunny—literally—assigning her to do community service at the library for the summer. Bright, curious, and eager to connect with someone other than her off-the-grid hippie parents, Sunny coaxes Kit out of her self-imposed isolation… As they come to terms with how their lives have unraveled, they also discover how they might knit them together again and finally reclaim their stories.

Stephanie Perkins’ Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

“Maybe it’s the long, la25063781zy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake… Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.”

Brian Sloan’s A Tale of Two Summers

109147A ten-year best friendship is put to the test when Chuck and Hal spend their first summer apart falling for two questionable mates: a sexy Saudi songstress and a smokin’ hot French punk. As Chuck heads off to summer theater camp and Hal stays in their hometown, learning how to drive, they keep in touch via blogging, reporting to each other about their suddenly separate lives and often ridiculous romantic entanglements. As both their relationships take some unexpected turns, Hal and Chuck struggle to come to terms with their growing differences…

Jen Malone’s Wanderlost

26244548Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

Jim Lynch’s The Highest Tide

94673One moonlit night… Miles O’Malley sneaks out of his house and goes exploring on the tidal flats of Puget Sound. When he discovers a rare giant squid, he instantly becomes a local phenomenon shadowed by people curious as to whether this speed-reading, Rachel Carson obsessed teenager is just an observant boy or an unlikely prophet. But Miles is really just a kid on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and fearful that everything, even the bay he loves, is shifting away from him.

 

Graphic Novels

Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer

18465566Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

 

Michel Rabagliati’s Paul Has a Summer Job

806101“Paul Has a Summer Job continues the story of Paul, a Quebecois teenager in the 1970s, as he experiences the first conflicts of responsibility with his desire to be free. Paul is outraged that he is forced to stop his high school art training. But he’s been asked to put art aside because his other grades are so terribly low. Defiant, he quits school and anticipates a summer of leisure. But instead Paul follows the path of so many Quebecois teenagers: he lands a job as a counselor at one of the many summer camps in the mountains outside the city. There he finds himself guiding a motley band of kids, misfits and troublemakers, much like himself.

Check out Goodreads.com to find more good books!

 

Read Me in a Day

Sometimes, you just need a short book.

Something to read for Reading Workshop, or to finish before dinner. These titles are amazing, and substantial without being bricks. Odds are, you could finish most of them in a Reading Workshop period, but they’re so good you’ll wish they weren’t over!

From kidnapped girls to Auschwitz to English spies to mysterious Titans, these novels cross all genres, so there’s something  for everyone on this list.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.

Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.

Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends — her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice’s story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

The more things change…

As far as Haven is concerned, there’s just too much going on.

Everything is changing, and she’s not sure where she fits in.

Then her sister’s old boyfriend shows up, sparking memories of the summer when they were all happy and everything was perfect…

But along the way, Haven realizes that sometimes change is a good thing. Continue reading