'Summerlost', by Ally Condie. (who wrote 'Matched', which I very much enjoyed and I fully intended to read the whole series, but then I didn't.) THAT COVER. 'Tis so so awesome. Honestly if they were trying to convey Judy Blume nostalgia, they nailed it. And I adore the title. This one is about a girl, Cedar, who moves back to a small town in the summer after the death of her father and brother, whereupon she meets a strange costume-bedecked boy who's working for the local Summerlost theatre festival. Part of the plot touches on a mystery surrounding the life/death of a Hollywood actress who supposedly haunts the festival. I'm sold.
Julia saw 'Wolf Hollow' by Lauren Wolk at the bookstore and asked me "to take a picture" of it so she could come back and buy it later (we already had made a purchase) or so she could ask for it from the library. I'm not sure that she realizes what it's actually about. This one sounds INTENSE about a girl who has to stand up to a cruel and manipulative classmate, whose bullying escalates to attempts at ruining a WWI veteran's life. One of the reviews compared it to 'Atonement' for kids, but without the atonement. I think I'll need to be emotionally prepared to read this one....
'The Girl in the Well Is Me' by Karen Rivers is another whose cover sold me. But when I read the premise, I was really intrigued - a girl falls into a well during a 'popular kids' club initiation (seriously, why are kids so terrrrrrrrible????) and spends hours revisiting elements of her life - the book travels back and forth in time as Kammie (the well girl) ponders the state of her life thus far. When a hallucination induced French-speaking coyote was mentioned, I knew that this book had to go on the list.
'Paper Things' by Jennifer Richard Jacobson is another book with an intense sounding storyline - this time tackling the issue of teen homelessness. From 'couch surfing' in friends' apartments to juvenile shelters, the story tackles a girl's course as she tries to both remain with her older brother, as well as excel enough in her studies to gain entry to a middle school for the gifted.
(A lot of these books sound heavy, but I'm thinking back to stuff I liked as an older elementary and I loved this sort of stuff. Back in my day - oh my word I can't believe I said that - it was pretty much just Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton who were tackling The Big Themes.)
'The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary' by Laura Shovan sounds cool and again - loved the cover! This is neat - a novel-in-verse depicting the poems written by a 5th grade class. The poetry will be placed in a time capsule, during the last year of an elementary school facing closure, as plans are afoot for a shopping mall to take the school's place. The poems also reflect the personal events going on in the children's lives.
AND LAST we've got the great Kate DiCamillo's newest offering, 'Raymie Nightingale', which follows a little girl's attempts to win a Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition. And I think that's all I need to dangle in front of you about that one. I'm hooked already.
So what do you think? And what are your older elementary kids (or any of your kids) reading this summer? I can tell you one thing - my child is not getting out of the Narnia books this season......
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