2023 Summer Reading Guide: Elementary Readers (Ages 8-12)
May 25, 2023 § Leave a comment
Today’s installment of the Summer Reading Guide features favorite new releases for 8-12 years, mostly traditional novels but concluding with three graphic novels. If you have Emerging Readers, check out last week’s recs here. And if you have Middle School Readers, stay tuned for next week’s recs for 10-15. Some of you may have kiddos that straddle two lists—the more the merrier!—and keep in mind that many of these would make terrific read alouds or audio books as well!
Wait! Before you scroll down, hear me out. Earlier this year, I did a Spring Break Reading Round-Up here and here with other incredible new books. If you missed it, make sure you check out that list in conjunction with the one below. A few of them, like Lasagna Means I Love You, It’s Boba Time for Pearl Li, and Link & Hud are actually set during the summer! You might also want to reference last year’s Summer Reading Guide for this age group (here and here), as many of those picks (ahem, Skandar and the Unicorn Thief) have sequels just out, and others are now in paperback.
If you’ve got a fantasy lover, they’re in for a treat because I’ve got a whopping SIX recommendations below. If you’ve got a kid off to sleepaway camp, I’ve got a book with ALL THE FEELS (be sure to also check out Camp Famous, just out in paperback, which my daughter read and loved at the end of last summer, too late for the 2022 Guide). If you’ve got a reader easily intimidated by long books, the first three recs are for you. If you’ve got a kid only hooked by zany plots, like survival stories or reality TV, I’ve got you covered. Animal lovers? Check. STEM interests? Check.
Alas, there are books I haven’t yet read that may well have made the cut. (Deadlands: Hunted, a new series billed as Wings of Fire meets Jurassic Park, got rave reviews from my co-workers, with the sequel out as soon as this fall!) As I tackle more, I’ll post reviews on Instagram of anything I love, so follow me there for more recommendations.
Finally, if you’re planning to purchase any of these, especially if you’re local, please consider supporting Old Town Books, where I do the kids’ buying. My links will take you there. (We also ship!) And for those who want to meet with me directly, I’ll be holding Office Hours on Sunday, June 4 and Sunday, June 25 from 10am-4pm, so bring your kids, your questions, your slumps, and we’ll have a great time.
Onwards! Maycember is almost over, and I can almost taste all the reading in store for us all!« Read the rest of this entry »
2022 Gift Guide: YA Books for Ages 12+
December 1, 2022 Comments Off on 2022 Gift Guide: YA Books for Ages 12+
We’ve come to the end of this year’s Gift Guide, which means today is all about the teens! Now, before we begin, I must remind you that, if you have a young teen, you’ll also find some great recs in my Middle-Grade Round Up from last month. And if you have a teen of any age, be sure to check out Coven and Victory. Stand!, which I covered in the Graphic Novels Round Up.
There are some fantastic books here, and I hope I’ve found something for every teen on your list, even and especially the finicky ones who think they no longer love reading. There’s no better time to re-engage teens with reading for pleasure than a holiday break, especially if we park our own phones and model the fun ourselves. So, start a fire, make some hot chocolate, and invite your teen to curl up alongside you with their own book, plucked from this list.
The books below are roughly presented from younger to older, but I’ve also grouped them according to genre, like romance, thriller, and historical fiction. And I end with two picks that hold as much appeal for adults as for older teens (seriously, do not miss them!). Because I know it matters to some, I’ve included mentions of mature content, including where any of the romance moves beyond kissing.
As always, links support my work at Old Town Books, and I really, really appreciate you using them (if you’re local, remember you can always select “pick up at store” at check out!). MANY THANKS and happy reading!« Read the rest of this entry »
2021 Gift Guide: Young Adult Fiction for Ages 13+
December 9, 2021 Comments Off on 2021 Gift Guide: Young Adult Fiction for Ages 13+
All good things must come to an end, so here we are at my final Gift Guide post of the year. I didn’t want to send you into the holidays without some fun, gripping, eye-opening, occasionally heart-wrenching new reads for your teens!
The titles below are truly stand-out works of fiction. But it doesn’t have to stop here! If you’re looking for graphic novels, remember that there are three not-to-be-missed titles for teens at the end of my Graphic Novels Gift Guide post. (And for mercy’s sake, if your teen hasn’t discovered the Heartstopper graphic novel series by now, with the fourth out in a few weeks, please remedy that now.) And, if non-fiction is your teen’s jam, check out Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Shutdown, included in my Middle-Grade Gift Guide post.
Finally, a gentle reminder that with YA increasingly finding readership among adults in addition to teens, it skews older than it used to. The subject matter is getting more mature and, oftentimes, downright heavy. If you have young teens, encourage them not to graduate from middle-grade literature too quickly; there are a rising number of gems being expressly written for the 10-14 crowd, with elevated prose and complex characters (there are at least four favorites in this earlier post, for example). That said, pay close attention to the age ranges listed below for each title, and I’ll be sure to follow each review with any trigger warnings.« Read the rest of this entry »