What We’re Reading: Beach Books!

By Marci Tate

Ready to sit by the pool with a cold drink and a fun book? Here are few suggestions to keep you reading all summer long.

adored33361757.JPGAdored by Tilly Bagsahwe:  (The definition of a beach read!)  Gorgeous, smart, and talented Siena McMahon is Hollywood royalty—granddaughter of movie star Duke McMahon and daughter of big-shot Hollywood producer Peter McMahon. Though she yearns to be a movie star like grandpa, her dad has different ideas for her. Siena has a falling out with her parents and goes her own way with her love life, her career and the people she keeps close to her. From her glorious highs to her unbelievable lows and a dysfunctional family thrown in the mix, this is a sexy soap-opera type of story.

leaving-normal51dw9zem6gl_sl500_aa240_.jpgLeaving Normal by Stef Ann Holm – Natalie Goodwin thinks she has everything she needs in life as she opens up her florist shop in Boise, Idaho. She is single again after divorcing her husband, and her daughter has started her first year of college in Chicago. Natalie is very proud of her accomplishments after dropping out of college to marry and raise her daughter. She realizes that she is a little bit lonely so she takes ponders the dating scene only to find that it is not what she wants.   The only man who interests Natalie is her neighbor, Tony Cruz, a firefighter that is nine years her junior. What starts off as friendship takes an interesting turn.  Natalie’s family members are great supporting characters with their own problems that make this a great character-driven story.

hunger-games27357077.JPGThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Written for the teen audience and given great reviews by Stephen King, this is a great book for the adult readers as well.  Sixteen-year-old Katniss hunts for food for her widowed mother and little sister from the forest outside the legal perimeter of District 12, the poorest of the dozen districts constituting Panem, the North American dystopic state that has replaced the U.S. in the not-too-distant future. She is “chosen” to represent her district in the Hunger Games, a fight to the death where contestants must battle harsh terrain and artificially concocted weather conditions.  Each district sends two teenagers to participate in the barbaric games that are televised throughout Panem.  Katniss must fight for her life, learn who to trust, and try to make it home to her mother and sister.  This is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you up late just for “one more chapter”.

look-me-in-the-eye37844487.JPGLook Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison:  John Robison was an outcast from a very young age.  He wanted so much to fit in, but just couldn’t figure out why he was socially inept.  When he was forty, he was diagnosed with a form of autism known as Asperger’s syndrome.  This is a funny and sad memoir of John’s life in a dysfunctional family (his brother is author Augusten Burroughs) and how he learned to cope.  He shares his strange, yet successful career path, and how he has built a family of his own who help him deal with his quirks. 

Don’t let your kids read all the great books…. read with them. Here are some suggestions:

lightning-thief13710711.JPGLightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 1) by Rick Riordan – Great for kids 4th grade and up, this series is on it’s way to the big screen next year.  Be prepared to dust off your knowledge of Greek Mythology.  Percy Jackson is a troubled 12-year old ADHD student who finds out that the father he has never known is actually Poseidon, god of the sea.  His mother sends him to Camp Half Blood where he makes friends with other demigods (one parent is a greek god and one is mortal).  Mystery, battles, foiling plots to start a war, and more – this one is full of action.

diary26540956.JPGDiary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney – Popular with students from third grade and up, this is a quirky little series about Greg Heffley who keeps an easy-to-relate to diary of his misadventures in middle school.  He keeps an account of things that happen in his day to day life from fights with his brother to problems at school.  Very funny and relatable for those who are headed into those adolescent years and those who have already lived them.

For more summer reading suggestions for the kids (that the grown-ups will also want to read!), visit www.kidsreads.com. CLICK HERE to see Marci’s book suggestions on the Vandergriff Elementary website.

Marci Tate of Fayetteville is a busy wife, mom of two, avid reader (when time allows) and Library Media Specialist at Vandergriff Elementary School.

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