School days are ending and we’re all gearing up for Summer fun. This is the perfect time to go chasing magical adventures and magical reads. The excitement of traveling during summer vacations only gets better with a story to enjoy while relaxing or to make travel time fly by. And don't forget travel books to help you plan your trips
For those of us who work at public libraries summer time is one of our busiest seasons. We love seeing all of those summer reading participants and being the go to place for stocking up on vacation reads. Whether you plan to pack an extra bag full of physical books or are looking to load up your device with ebooks I have some suggestions.
For the adult readers
Astrophysics for people in a hurry from our favorite astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is a slim volume that packs in a solid amount of science knowledge, history and theory. I can highly recommend the audio version of this title which is just under four hours listening time and read by the author.
Stranger in the woods by Michael Finkel, tells the true story of a man who spent decades alone in the Maine woods living out of a tent. Vacations take us aware from the daily grind for a time but in 1986 Christopher Knight chose to walk away from everything.
American war the debut novel by journalist Omar El Akkad for those who prefer something more dystopian. Set less than 100 years in our future, after a second American civil war and devastating plague, where familiar coastlines have been lost to global warming.
Come sundown is Nora Roberts’ newest release, bringing readers into the lives of the Bodine/Longbow family at their western Montana ranch and family run resort. In addition to the always well written romance this book has the added dimension of suspense with a Room-esque storyline.
For readers of Young Adult fiction (not just teens)
The book jumper by Mechthild Gläser offers mystery and magic. When Amy Lennox visits the Scottish island of Stormsay she learns a secret family skill that any reader will be envious of. Exploring her new ability to jump into the books she’s always loved she learns about some disturbing happenings in the book world and their connection to the island’s inhabitants.
Roar is first in Cora Carmack’s new Stormheart series. No sleeping beauty, this Princess Aurora has to find her own magic to face the storms. The book will be available on June 13, 2017 but I snagged an ARC (advanced reader copy) by waiting over an hour at the Tor Teen booth on the last day of the Texas Library Association conference. It was definitely worth the effort and I look forward to more in this series.
One of us is lying by Karen McManus was one of the other ARCs I picked up at the conference. This book was touted by publishing reps as Breakfast club meets Pretty little liars, five students enter detention but only four leave alive. It also didn’t disappoint and, while I thought I had the mystery solved, I didn’t quite have everything figured out by the end.
The Thunder road series from Katie McGarry is an excellent choice if your interests lie more along contemporary young adult. I’ve been loving this series which, at three books so far, has lived up to the West side story meets Sons of Anarchy tagline.
Middle grade readers get some great titles as well
Lucky broken girl by Ruth Behar is a semi-autobiographical story of a young Cuban-Jewish girl’s new life in 1960s New York City. After a tragic car accident leaves her in a full body cast for months on end Ruthie has to find new ways to interact with the world around her.
Orphan train girl is a young reader edition of the bestselling Orphan train by Christina Baker Kline. It is the story of an unexpected friendship between a young foster girl trying to find a solid place in the world and an elderly former orphan train rider who understands all too well.
The trials of Apollo series book two, The dark prophecy, from Rick Riordan brings us more from the world of Percy Jackson. Publisher Disney-Hyperion, in addition to the multiple Riordan series, gives readers in-depth info about characters and places we love with the Official Rick Riordan companion books like the newest on Camp half-blood.
The book scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman will interest fans of the Chris Grabenstein’s Mr. Lemoncello’s library series. The story’s premise of hiding books to be found by solving puzzles has been brought to life by fans who participate at bookscavenger.com. The website even provides a downloadable Book Scavenger’s guide to San Francisco.
For our youngest readers there are always a bevy of picture books to delight.
Dragon loves tacos 2: the sequel is Adam Rubin’s time-traveling follow up to the funny tale of dragons who love tacos. Don’t we all! Taking the dragons back to a time before tacos went extinct on a mission to gather as many tacos as possible.
Almost everybody farts by Marty Kelley offers a rhyming reminder that farts can be funny. Mom insists she doesn’t fart, but doesn’t she? The hilarity of reading this aloud and the colorful illustrations, including the bright unicorn on the cover, makes this book something everyone will enjoy.
Not quite Narwhal from Jesse Sima is a heartwarming tale of a unicorn born in the sea to a narwhal family. Kelp always thought he was just a bit different from the other narwhals until a journey brings him face to face with a creature more like himself, a unicorn. This story explores the experience of being of two different worlds and getting the best of both.
Who wants to be a Princess: what it was really like to be a medieval princess by Bridget Heos is for anyone interested in the middle ages, not just those of us who’ve always dreamed of being a princess. An entertaining read that also compares our idealized medieval princess with what daily life would really entailed.
Whether you choose one of the titles I’ve mentioned or some of you discover on your own, enjoy a summer of magical reads.
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