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With half of summer break still ahead there is lots of time for your reluctant (or enthusiastic!) reader to discover some great summer reads. Although hot new titles have immediate appeal, older books can be just as compelling, and you can probably find them at your local library (leaving you more money for ice cream!). Here are some suggestions of not-so-known books to help you get your kids off their screens and into a story that sparks their imagination:

Gemini Summer by Iain Lawrence captures the excitement of the late 50’s space race through the eyes of two brothers. A poignant tale about family, loss, and dreams with the feel of To Kill a Mockingbird and Bridge to Terabithia. Appropriate for ages 12 and up, including adults who want to be swept back to those carefree days of youthful summers.

If your pre-teen is determined to watch Stranger Things, the Masterminds trilogy by Gordon Korman might be just the ticket. No creepy ‘upside-down’ here, but plenty of twists and turns to keep you wondering who are really the good guys.

Got a kid who likes animals? How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied by Jess Keating will keep them entertained and informed. Twelve-year-old Anna hides from the outside world by immersing herself in the (literal) zoo she’s grown up in. “An absolutely perfect summer read.” – Girls’ Life Magazine.com 

Every girl on the cusp of her teenage years will find something to relate to in Summer Days, Starry Nights by Vikki VanSickle. Set in the 1962 at a summer resort where thirteen-year-old Reenie learns about life, love and heartache. Readers both young and old will find a piece of themselves in Reenie and her struggle to be seen as an adult.

Nothing says summer like a creepy haunted house in the middle of a lake. Summer’s End by Joel Sutherland has that and more. Joel and his friends are determined to make the best of their last summer before heading different ways for high school. What they find on the lake will bring them together in ways they never imagined. A great choice for the middle-grade reader.

Although On the Edge by Lesley Strutt follows a female protagonist in search of her previously thought dead mother, both male and females will enjoy this adventure. Loosely based on the author’s own sailing trip from Canada to the Bahamas, On the Edge will take readers on a journey of sailing, storms, and self-reliance.


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An avid reader of practically anything and trying to share that passion with my kids and anyone else that will listen!

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