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Updated by Jen Blair on Jun 02, 2019
Headline for Summer Reading 2019
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Jen Blair Jen Blair
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Summer Reading 2019

A snippet of some of my favorite books that I've read so far this year. Pick something that looks good to YOU and start reading! Summer is here! It's time to relax and read!

Forward Me Back To You by Mitali Perkins

For such heavy themes of assault, human trafficking, and recovery, this is a surprisingly sweet read. Kat is a victim of assault who refuses to live like a victim. Robin is a child of adoption who wants to know more about his roots. As they travel together in India as part of a church group, they find ways to fight back out of the darkness, for themselves and the new friendships they make along the way.

Lovely War by Julie Berry

I can’t resist a good war story...or a good love story. This has both. The goddess Aphrodite narrates this WWI romantic tale. I stayed up all night to find out the fates of Hazel and James. Cried my eyes out, swooned, held my breath. The writing is just as gorgeous as the cover.

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

A novel in verse about a girl named Jude. She and her mother are forced to flee Syria when it becomes too dangerous for them. They have family in Cincinnati and they try to settle in to life in America. But even though Jude has been watching American films and listening to American music her whole life, life is VERY different in her new country. And yet so much the same. We are all more the same than we are different.

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Fresh, witty dialogue and the BEST friends anyone could ever ask for. I love the bond of Jack, Franny, and Jillian is so strong that it can survive the bad choices of SEVERAL lifetimes. A love story on repeat. This is a new version of _Groundhog’s Day _ with one kid working to keep the love of his life alive, without losing everyone else.

Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden

Did your mother or grandmother insist that you read Anne of Green Gables? Did you politely say “no thank you?” There is a reason why generations of young people fell in love with Anne. She is so passionate. About everything. From poetry to social justice. From puffy sleeves to the true meaning of friendship. If you can’t be bothered to read all of the Anne books, try this graphic novel retelling. It hits all the high points with the grace, humor, and passion as the original. And heck, you might make your grandmother happy.

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

For fans of the Illuminae Files, your favorite authors are BACK with a new science fiction series with all the things you love: page-turning action, sarcastic dialogue, mixed with life and death choices. In space. What happens when your squad is made up of the people no one else wants? And what if this squad is made up of the only people who might actually be able to save the universe?

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1)

They say that you need to read the His Fair Assassin books before reading this novel. I would say that yes, you need to read _His Fair Assassin _books because they are amazing AND you will appreciate Sybella’s and Genevieve’s story so much more. Young women fighting evil while trying to protect themselves and their queen. Political intrigue, battles, romance...I can’t say how much I love this book except to say I will probably read it again. And again.

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Norris Kaplan has just moved to Austin, Texas from Canada. He is in the throes of culture shock, to say the least. All the cliches of American high school seem to be coming true in front of his very eyes, but when someone finds his journal all of his brilliant, cynical, [and hilarious] insights might end up hurting the people he loves the most. And dudes, read the dedication. The best book dedication ever.

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Vivid characters that leap from the page. The dialogue is witty and fun, even when dealing with serious subjects. This is the story of Annabelle as she runs from her life. Literally. She is getting a hamburger and is triggered and just starts running. She won’t stop. Maybe she can push all the sorrow and rage away with her running.

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

Tiger’s mom dies in the first chapter and things go downhill from there. Nothing goes right. There seems to be no hope for her. But Tiger has an AMAZING best friend in Cake. Their love leaps from the page. And she has back-up from surprising sources. Grief never ends. Life isn’t perfect. Sometimes life is too hard to take. But it’s worth it to keep on moving forward.

Internment by Samira Ahmed

How fragile is our democracy? What would it take for you to speak up? What would you risk when you know something is wrong? This novel takes place in the near future when all Muslim Americans are rounded up and placed in internment camps. Will Layla and her friends fight back? Will anyone take their side? #resist

New Kid by Jerry Craft

Jordan is new to a prestigious school for rich (and mostly white) kids. As an artist, he observes the behavior of those around him and documents it all in his sketchbook. How do we want to be seen? How do we choose what we see in others? How can we fit in without losing ourselves? This graphic novel has so many layers, covering issues both big and small. You will want to read it again and again and again.

The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin

This one surprised me. As funny as it was (goats - at school), there were a lot powerful messages about being true to yourself and making good choices. Caitlyn is like a lot of us, thinking there is a system or set of rules that you can follow to help you be successful. But middle school is anarchy. And rules don’t really matter. Friends do.

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

Sometimes you die before you are ready. Sometimes you need to come back from the dead to work things out. The best zombie friendship story you didn’t know you needed. Life, love, laughter...and zombies.

Her Royal Highness (Royals, #2) by Rachel Hawkins

The second in the Royals series. These books are so delightful and joy-filled. Both are stories about a fictional Scottish royal family whose members end up falling in love with unexpected people. But oh! The banter and havoc and mischief that happens first? If you are having a bad day, pick one of these up. Everything will be all better.

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

One of the most beautiful books you will ever read. What does it take to be heard? What will it take to call you to action? I want to quote from every page. Read every verse twice. Cried through the whole thing. We ALL need this book. Speak up. Shout together.

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan

A modern-day Parent Trap told via letters and emails. Two girls whose fathers are dating are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp in hopes that they will become best friends as they may someday become sisters. They have nothing in common and don’t WANT to become friends...until they do. Now nothing can tear them apart, even if their fathers’ relationship has completely fallen apart.

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1) by Emily A. Duncan

You should only read this book if you like magic. And power. And blood. (So much blood.) Oh! And kissing. This is the first in a trilogy about three young people who must use their power to destroy a king while avoiding destroying themselves. This is one of the best books that I’ve read in a long, long time.