Not just for kids: When it’s raining, pore over these fun books

Good Reads1 copyBy John Hoover
©2015-Telegraph Publishing LLC

June is the month that summer really begins and for our younger readers, the month school lets out for the longest break of the year.

So, young readers, what are you going to do with all your free time? I’m sure you’ll have lots of things planned and, I suspect, most of them will take place out of doors during those warm sunny days that lie ahead. But what about those rainy days when you can’t get outside? We’d like to suggest that you curl up with one of our recommended Good Reads – we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Keeping SecretsLynne starts us off with her recommendation for something she’s recently discovered: “I suggest a new series, Timber Ridge Riders by Maggie Dana, for middle grade readers who love horses. Book 1, Keeping Secrets ($8.99), grabbed me right away. Black Magic, a beautiful show jumper is dead, 14-year-old Kate feels responsible, and has put riding out of her life. Her new summer job is to be a companion to Holly, a former riding star who is confined to a wheelchair and whose mother runs a riding stable. The plot thickens when we meet Angela, an arrogant, lazy and rather nasty rider. A perfect summer read.”

Bill looks back into his childhood for a classic. “With summertime comes time for a round or 20 of Poohsticks.  Pick up a copy of Winnie the Pooh ($12.99) by A. A. Milne (1926) for details on the game, get some friends together and some suitable sticks and find a bridge.  Winnie the PoohEverybody drops sticks on the count of three and runs to the other side to see whose comes out first (and second and third).  Return to the book for further delight.  Ah, summertime.”

Like Bill, Amanda looks to her own childhood for her pick. “During elementary school summer vacations, my mother required that I read for an hour after lunch every day.  I don’t remember ever objecting to this requirement!  I do remember that one of my favorite books was From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler ($7.99) by E. L. Konigsberg, winner of the 1968 Newbery Award – in fact, I still own the copy of the book I read all those years ago.  A quintessential young person’s novel, it transports the reader to another experience altogether. From the Mixed-Up files Twelve-year old Claudia and her younger brother Jamie run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they bathe in the fountain and sleep in a Renaissance bed while they attempt to solve a mystery surrounding a sculpture recently acquired by the museum.  I’m heading out to the barn now to find my copy of the book so I can read it again.”

Kim went to the proverbial “horse’s mouth” for her recommendation. “While chatting about books with my 9-year-old nephew the other day, we started discussing some of the past DCF (Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award) nominees and winners we both had read. Neither of us had gotten to this year’s winner — Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library ($6.99) by Chris Grabenstein — but both agreed it looked interesting. MrLemoncellosLibraryI’ve since had a chance to read it and I’ve got to say it was wonderful! Willy Wonka meets The Mysterious Benedict Society (both excellent reads) with a healthy dose of literary and pop culture references. Lots of fun puzzles and it serves to illustrate just how much pleasure there is to be found at your local library. (For the record, the boy is busy devouring Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief ($7.99), which he enthusiastically gives  two thumbs up.)”Lighteningthief

Sylvan’s recommendation comes from the genre of young adult fantasy. “My pick is Trial By Fire ($17.99), by Josephine Angelini, author of the Starcrossed series. Having devoured the fantasy trilogy that drew on Greek mythology, I was very excited to see Angelini was writing a new series drawing on the lore of the Salem witch trials. TrialbyfireThis spooky, fun page-turner has everything you could want for a YA-fantasy: a heroine who doesn’t know her own power, alternate universes, magic spells, drama and the requisite love triangle (with a twist, of course).”

Jory is back with two recommendations for June. “In A Mad, Wicked Folly ($10.99), by Sharon Biggs Waller, Vicky Darling hates the arranged-marriage life that awaits her. mad wicked follyInstead, she wants to be an artist and go to art college. In this terrifically fun romp through 1890s London, Vicky will try all sorts of ways to escape the life she rejects in order to live the life she wants. My second recommendation is Matt de la Pena’s The Living (9.99), the story of a cruise gone wrong. Shy takes a job on a cruise liner for the summer, but when a devastating earthquake strikes California, the tidal waves at sea sink the ship. Shy finds himself on an island in the Pacific, where all is not as it should be. Adventure, thriller and part sci-fi, this book is made for a single sitting.”The Living

I don’t often read young adult books but while shelving books at the store I came across one that I just couldn’t resist, Divided We Fall ($9.99) by Trent Reedy. Daniel Wright, high school senior and star football player, joins the Idaho Army National Guard to help pay for college expenses. Divided we fallBut, when protests in Boise get out of hand, Daniel’s unit is called up and the situation goes from bad to worse. This is an exciting story of what could happen when extreme political positions clash and one that could have almost been copied from today’s headlines.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeGood Reads

About the Author: After a 35-year career as a high school social studies teacher, John Hoover and his wife, Sally, retired to Vermont. He lives in Windham where he serves as a Justice of the Peace and Library Trustee. He works part time as a book-seller at Misty Valley Books, is active at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and sings in several choral groups.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.