Ferndale Library Picks: Susan’s Summer Reading Rev-Up For Teens
(Jeff Milo, Ferndale Area District Library, June 1, 2015)
Summer will be here before you know it! That makes this an ideal time to start revving up your younger readers at home for a summer season filled by recreational reading! Every summer, midway through June, our Children’s Librarians organize a series of events, activities and programs designed to keep kids and teens reading through the summer months. SUMMER READING 2015 will kickoff soon; stay tuned to the Ferndale Area District Library’s KIDS Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/ferndalekids
In the meantime, we have Young Adult Services Librarian Susan Paley here to provide picks particularly geared toward teenaged-readers. It’s vital to keep kids reading during the months when they’re away from school, if only to remind them how much fun it can be when it’s not part of their homework. Susan’s got some splendid suggestions. Happy Summer Reading!
We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
YA BIO SUNDQUIST
Young Adult Biography / Find it: http://bit.ly/1F4Fky9
Uncomfortable with the fact that he has never had a girlfriend, author Josh Sunquist, a twenty-five year-old Paralympic ski racer decides to reunite with his six (almost) girlfriends to find out where he went wrong in his relationships. Part hilarious memoir and part science experiment, Josh analyzes his personality and overall relationship with each girl, factors that he thinks might have influenced each relationship, and finally, what went wrong? Is it Josh’s personality? His missing left leg? (His left leg was amputated when he was nine, he’s also a childhood cancer survivor). Could it be something wrong with the girls? In a style reminiscent of John Green or Louis Sachar, Josh describes everything from embarrassing conversations to bad dates, a malfunctioning prosthetic foot, to unsuccessfully surprising Miss America.
After each meeting with each former (almost) girlfriend, he realizes maybe the girls aren’t the problem. The problem he’s imagining isn’t even really a problem-he just hasn’t found the right girl yet. As he is starting to understand that maybe he needs to accept himself before he can find the right girlfriend his Paralympic skiing career sends him to the 2006 Torino Olympics. File this one under: guy reads, memoir, athletes with disabilities, humor, and Paralympic sports.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Young Adult Fiction / Find it: http://bit.ly/1ILfkri
Winner of the 2015 Printz Award, this beautiful and detail-rich novel is two stories in one. The first story begins with thirteen-year-old Noah, his love for colorful painting and realistic sketching, his first crush, and his relationship with his parents and twin sister Jude. Noah begins to feel a separate identity from Jude as she starts hanging around with the popular middle-school crowd, and he becomes more and more obsessed with his art, his mom’s dream for Noah and Jude to apply to a prestigious arts high school, and the new family that has moved in across the street. Jude’s story begins three years after Noah’s. After a tragic event separates the siblings even more, Jude is at the prestigious arts school but nothing she creates is what she wants, and Noah was not accepted. Feeling that she must unleash a dark secret, Jude contacts a famous eccentric sculpture and asks him to teach her to carve from stone. The story begins to unravel and reconnect Noah and Jude to a new mentor, an old friend, and several possibilities they only discover after Jude’s sculpture is complete. File this one under: artsy reads, sibling rivalry, secrets, and summer adventure.
Wildlife by Fiona Wood
Young Adult Fiction / Find it: http://bit.ly/1GXK4mL
New from Australian author Fiona Wood, Wildlife is a novel with strong characters, an absorbing plot and an accurate portrayal of sixteen year-olds. Sibylla has to spend a quarter of the school year in the Australian wilderness at her school’s “outdoor education campus”. Just before the term begins, her picture is on a billboard (an ad for perfume) and she kisses the most popular boy in her grade. She’s also forced to room with several other girls, including a mysterious new girl with a secret, her on-again-off-again friend Holly, plus deal with her boyfriend, her oldest friend, and learn survival skills. The story has two perspectives, one is Sib’s and the other is Louisa (Lou) who spends much of her time writing things in notebooks. The reason she is the new girl is revealed through the journal entries. When Sib, Louisa and Sib’s friend Michael form a bond during their wilderness adventures, the three of them are finally forced to take a look at their lives and discover what is really important in their lives. File this one under: summer adventures, first love, Australian stories, and quirky coming-of-age.
Denton Little’s Death Date by Lance Rubin
Young Adult Fiction / Find it: http://bit.ly/1dLxEor
This debut novel by Lance Rubin is a must for fans of John Green and John Corey Whaley. In the not-so-distant future, thanks to cutting age genetic research, everyone on earth now knows when they will die. They don’t know how, but they know when. Denton, who is 17, is known as an “early” because the genetics researchers determined he will die at 17, sometime during his senior year. Denton hasn’t really worried about this fact of his life very much. He’s attempted to live a normal life, with friends, school, and a girlfriend, nothing too wild. Until, his supposed last day on earth, when he wakes up in an unfamiliar house, forgets his speech for a party for him, and can’t remember if he still has a girlfriend or not. All of this is happening on Denton’s last day. But what if there’s a big secret that no one is telling him? What if he’s really not going to die by the end of the day? Read this hilarious story to find out. Hint: the ending isn’t what you expect. File this one under: John Green read-a-likes, sci-fi, and hilarious reads.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Adult Fiction / Find it: http://bit.ly/1wkZDOf
A new book for my “favorites of all-time list” this is a fantastic beautifully written post-apocalyptic novel. Beginning in Toronto in present day and moving forward several decades into the future, following the lives of a famous actor, several of his close friends, a child actor, and an entertainment journalist Station Eleven is about what happens when Earth is devastated by a flu-like illness called The Georgia Flu. There are very few survivors, no electricity, no running water, no Internet, no airplanes, and a general feeling of looming, yet unknown danger. One section of the story deals with the years leading up to the collapse of the modern world and the second story line follows the child actor in the new world. Walking the desolate landscape with a Shakespeare performing company called the “Traveling Symphony” across what was once Michigan, is Kristen the now-grown child actor, who clings to distant memories, a glass paperweight, and a treasured comic book. She is walking toward The Museum of Civilization in Severn City, which is actually a disused airport terminal (since planes stopped flying after the collapse and everyone in the airport was stranded, with literally, absolutely nowhere to go.) Hoping to reunite with friends the Traveling Symphony left behind, Kristen attempts to find the museum and meets a group of people who seem like they are hiding something sinister, later, someone else who has been living in the airport with a hidden connection to Kristen’s past and the ability to live in the new world but still remember the old one. At times a stressful read, but also believable and funny, this is a book you’ll be thinking about long after you actually read the last page. File this one under: post-apocalyptic, disaster, getting along, survival, and epic reads.
Stay tuned via http://ferndalepubliclibrary.org –as the staff prepares a list of each of their own favorite books of all time, the top 100 FADL Must Read List!
Ferndale Library Picks: Susan’s Summer Reading Rev-Up For Teens