Kiddosphere: Summer Reading: New Books to Kick off the Summer

Posted by Aaron on

YOU GUYS. We have so many amazing books coming our way that it’s unreal. With Memorial Day and summer vacation coming up, I hope you and yours have a reading-filled summer planned! If you’re looking for some outstanding titles to add to your to-be-read list, keep reading.

Children’s Books

Front Desk by Kelly Yang book cover

Front Desk has received fabulous reviews and a ton of buzz on Twitter, so I’m looking forward to reading this story about a young Chinese-American girl and her family’s hotel.

I loved Amina’s Voice, so I cannot wait to read her series opener, Power Forward, about fourth grader Zayd’s love for basketball (and his plan to be the first Pakistani-American in the NBA).

Sci-Fu U has been a hit at our branches ever since we received our copies; this graphic novel series combines 1980s hip hop, robot aliens and martial arts into a super-fun story.

This year’s Shark Week (30th anniversary!) begins July 22, so I know Science Comics: Sharks will be one of our hottest titles this summer! The Science Comics series has been one of my favorite additions to our children’s nonfiction collection; every one has been a top hit.

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School sounds so sweet; to find out exactly what is causing their beloved human Stewart’s anxiety, they decide to impersonate as a new student in order to investigate what’s bothering him at school.

Young Adult

I am up to my eyeballs in Young Adult (YA) fantasy featuring teen princesses/teen queens, but our YA fans can’t get enough of them! Ash Princess features a teen princess captive in her own palace after her country is invaded and her mother is murdered; it’s received very good reviews.

Bethany Hamilton’s latest inspirational book, Be Unstoppable and Unsinkable: Moments, Milestones, and Medals, should be a popular read with her fans. It’s a companion to her documentary, which should definitely spark interest.

Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth book cover

Eric Gansworth’s If I Ever Get Out of Here is one of my favorite YA historical fiction novels, so Give Me Some Truth is definitely high on my TBR list. Although it also takes place on the Tuscarora reservation in the  decade after “If I Ever Get Out of Here”, this involves new characters who are also finding their way as Native teens in a community that has to face tensions with the surrounding Caucasian community in the area. Pop music was a major part of the first novel, and it appears to be the same with this one. Favorable reviews and lots of Twitter excitement precede this one; Gansworth is a much needed voice in YA fiction.

If you’re looking for an addicting and romantic YA fantasy, check out Caraval. Legendary is its sequel, also set in the strange audience-participation game show.

We received Royals right before the recent royal wedding, so it’s not surprising that our copies immediately checked out. With her older sister engaged to a crown prince, 16 year old Daisy finds her life uncomfortably in the public gaze. Of course, she meets the prince’s younger brother (who’s just a heap of trouble), which makes her life even more complicated!

Based on the hit Youtube series “Rooster’s Teeth,” RWBY features students at Beacon Academy training to save the world from ferocious monsters. I’m always ready for a new graphic novel series, so I have my eyes on this one!


The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty book cover

Anything food-history related grabs my attention, especially if it features a specific community or heritage. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South recently won the prestigious James Beard award; I’ve followed Michael W. Twitty on Twitter for some time and am fascinated by his work, so can’t wait to dive into this one.

I have so many books checked out that I needed to finish due to other people waiting for them; as soon as I am done, I’m coming for The Cottingley Secret (provided it’s available). The faked fairy pictures scandal in 1917 is one of the most fascinating stories from 20th century history; we have the superb The Fairy Ring: Or, Elsie and Frances Fool the World that readers of this book should definitely check out, but there’s not been much on this geared toward adults (there was a beautiful movie made about it sometime in the early 2000s). I prefer my historical fiction to be purely historical fiction, and not time travel to the present; there are only a few that I really enjoy that do that, such as The Sandcastle Girls. However, this sounds just up my alley, so I’ll deal.

I guess historical fiction about old Hollywood is becoming more of a thing; although I was resistant to it for some unknown reason, Melanie Benjamin’s The Girls in the Picture has me more open to the idea (and it’s a break from wars, epic family struggles and the like). I’ll admit that I know little about Laurel and Hardy other than that they were a very successful comedy team in the 1930s and 1940s; He: A Novel intrigues me because we don’t often get historical fiction that features the friendship and working (sometimes fractious) relationship between two men (which is probably why it caught my eye; I loved “The Girls in the Picture” for the same thing, albeit it being between two women).

Since much of my reading about dinosaurs tends to be written for preschoolers-3rd graders, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs might be a bit daunting for me, but I’m willing to give it a go. It’s received amazing reviews.

Although Civil War historical fiction doesn’t automatically interest me on the whole, it’s another story if you tell me it’s actually set in Virginia and covers the expanse of  100+ years (ending in the 1980s). A Shout in the Ruins sounds like a powerful read.

Need more ideas? Check out Wowbrary, which lets you know about books/DVDs/recorded books/ebooks that have been recently ordered (back issues are available).

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

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