Keep your kids reading this summer!
One of the best ways you can help prevent "summer slide," that phenomenon by which all of the knowledge kids learn from September to June seems to fall out their ears during the summer months, is to keep your kids reading all summer long. That's a pretty easy task if you have a book lover on your hands, but what if you don't? It can be a difficult task to inspire a reluctant reader to pick up a book, but with the right book, you can ignite a fire that will inspire a lifelong love of books and reading.
I've got a long list of suggestions for you, for kids with varying interests. Most of these are for kids in the middle-grade / YA age group, with some teen reads thrown in, as that's where we are in our house. Let me know in a comment what books your kids are reading this summer, or even what some of your own childhood favourites are!
The Inventors at No. 8, by A.M. Morgen
The story of George, an orphan in London who is about to lose his house. That is, unless he can sell everything he owns. When his family's very last heirloom, a priceless map to the Star of Victory, is stolen, George sets out to find it with the help of Ada Byron and a flying machine she built herself. Together they take off on a journey through the skies in a swashbuckling tale of friendship, treasure, and extraordinary bravery.
Not So Normal Norbert, by James Patterson and Joey Green (COMING IN JULY!)
From the bestselling author James Patterson comes this story of Norbert. Norbert lives in the United State of Earth, where everyone is expected to conform, follow the rules and never, ever, stand out. Norbert has followed the rules his whole life, until one day. In a flash of an eye, his life changes. After getting caught doing a funny impression of their Loving Leader, their dictator, he finds himself arrested and banished to a planet on which kids who break the rules roam free. At first, he wants to go back home where, although he has to follow the rules, everything is comfortable an familiar. But he soon seems that being different is OK, and that maybe living among the crazies is exactly where he fits in after all.
A great story of what it means to be oneself and how important it is for each of us to find a place to belong.
Annie B. Made for TV, by Amy DIxon
Annie Brown is 11 years old. Her best friend, Savannah, is good at everything. She is MVP of the track team, gets straight As, and wins some of the top awards at school. By all comparisons, Annie just doesn't measure up. However, she does have one specialized skill: She loves "As Seen on TV" commercials, and she is great at inventing clever sales pitches for them. When the opportunity arises to audition for a local web show, Annie is locked and loaded. She can do this! Of course, things don't go as planned, and soon Annie finds herself in a situation where she could lose not only the web show opportunity, but also her best friend.
Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman
In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons can be whomever they choose.
Tess doesn't fit into any of those roles. She's different. She's bold. She speaks her mind. And she can't keep out of trouble. When she goes one step too far one day, she is sent by her family to a nunnery. On the day she is to join the nuns, however, Tess chooses a different path for herself. She cuts her hair, straps on a pair of boots, and set out on a journey. She's not sure where she's going, but she knows she is in search of somewhere she belongs.
This book returns the world created in Seraphina, and is an unforgettable story of learning to rely on oneself and the power of redemption.
Rabbit & Robot, by Andrew Smith
Cager has been transported to the Tennessee, a giant cruise ship orbiting the moon How'd he get there? He was brought there by Billy and Rowan to help him shake his Woz addiction. Down below, Earth is in the middle of 30 simultaneous wars and the robots on board the ship become increasingly crazy. They can't return to earth, as it has become a toxic wasteland, and the boys are starting to wonder whether they'll be stranded alone in space together.
Flora and Miranda Steal the Show, Jennifer Torres
Miranda is the lead singer in her family's ranchera band. When they are offered a spot in a travelling carnival on the side stage, they jump at the chance. Soon, they are given a shot at the main stage, and Miranda wants to try something new, despite her father's objections.
Flor works at the carnival, too, at her family's petting zoo. She loves everything about carnival life. What will happen when Flor overhears carnival owner Mr. Barsetti telling Miranda's dad that he may have to cut out the petting zoo in order to accommodate Miranda's family's main stage salary? She decides to stop Miranda by whatever means necessary, but will she change her mind once she and Miranda start to become friends?
The Unflushables, by Ron Bates, presented by James Patterson
The Plumbers' League of UnNaturally Gifted Exceptionals (P.L.U.N.G.E.) is looking for new members! If you can unstop a toilet, fight mutant sewer creatures, and tighten a leaky faucet, you just might be cut out to be a TItan of the Toilets and help keep NItro City safe for everyone! Described as "Super Mario Bros meets Captain Underpants," this is the story of 13-year-old Sully Stringfellow and a league of has-been plumber heroes. It's up to them to save the city from mutant creatures, who are really going to make things go nuclear at the 50th anniversary Burrito Festival! Can the Plumbers' League make the city safe for all to flush again?
This hilarious adventure book will appeal to kids who love to giggle at the mention of "bathroom words" :)
The Battle of Junk Mountain, by Lauren Abbey Greenberg
"The perfect middle grade beach read"
Twelve-year-old Shayne Whittaker always spends summers on the coast of Maine with her grandmother Bea and her best frined Poppy. Shayne and her grandmother are both collectors: Shayne collecting sea glass and BEa scouring yard sales for treasures to add to the ever-growing pile in her house (known as Junk Mountain).
This summer everything is different, however. Poppy is fixated on boys and Bea's habits have gone from collecting to full-on hoarding. Shayne's only friend this summer is the Civil War obsessed kid next door, who turns out to be coveting a treasure of his own.
What starts out as the worst summer of Shayne's life turns out to be one of the best, as she sets her sights on saving her friendships, helping rescue her grandmother, and keeping close the memories she holds the closest to her heart.