Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Fabulous Summer Reading List

When I was growing up I loved reading. My favorite characters were Pippi Longstocking, Ramona, Claudia (Mixed Up Files), Judy Blume books and The Borrowers.  I was constantly reading and spent a lot of time at our local library. I was in a library book club and I remember we read Watership Down and The Hobbit. I read Johnny Tremain as a kid and loved it. These books built empathy for me, made me laugh, and gave me the feeling of comfort and well-being. 

Today’s world of kids lit is like an explosion of variety! So many many choices! While we did have Cleary, L’Engle, Blume, and Konigsburg we didn’t yet have the brilliance of Kate DiCamillo, Allan Gratz, Katherine Applegate, Stuart Gibbs, Dan Geminhart, Jacqueline Woodson, or Jason Reynolds. That’s just a handful that come to mind and my library is filled with many other great authors. And furthermore we didn’t have graphic novels! Sure we had comics but that style was not my jam. I love graphic novels! 

The last few summers I've donated a lot of my reading time to reading elementary fiction books that are on our state award list. I love being on the committee to choose the next round of books because I have a good amount of young readers who love to read and challenge themselves to read the books on the list.  I get to read a whole batch of really excellent stories. I'm not going to tell you about each one of these stories but know they are excellent. 

I start off the list with Tom Lake by Ann Patchett which is adult fiction that I decided to listen to using the Libby app because I read that Meryl Streep narrated the story and she was amazing! This story focuses on summer stock theatre and the play Our Town.  The rest of the list is all elementary fiction with a few graphic novels thrown in.  Just Keep Walking was an adventure to read as the mother/daughter team hike The North Shore of Lake Superior. First State of Being is interesting science fiction tale about friendship. Half Moon Summer deals with a young boy watching his dad deal with an illness. 

Even amidst all this reading I am having a great summer. I've done a far amount of traveling starting back in the spring with a weekend trip to Cleveland to watch my nephew, Jasper, graduate from Case Western. And we just arrived home from a family trip to Asheville, NC. Road trips are the best; I like to drive as much as I like to sit in the passenger seat and read page after page. I'm headed to Minneapolis in a week to hear some live music with my brother and sister-in-law. And in August I am taking a very exciting trip with my friend Barb.  Summer is the BEST!

Whether you read the new stories or the classic stories be sure to keep reading...