Best of Summer Reads 2014

That was some list of recommended reads the Dickens' community came up with last June. 195 books!! I don't know how many books each of you managed to plow through, but in the two summer months, I think my tally was 34 novels. (Not all were from that list, because I do have to read newer books in order to try to keep up with those voracious readers)

Since we are all returning to school again, I thought it was time to identify a few of my favourites. It isn't easy, because I didn't blog about all of them, and choosing a best book is kind of like picking which one of my boys is my favourite child.

Without looking at my list, three jump out as being unforgettable.

If I wasn't already a huge fan of Deborah Wiles work, Revolution would have sent me there. It's already winning accolades and will most assuredly win awards. It is brilliant on so many levels. I've ordered a copy for the library but it hasn't arrived yet. This will work for sophisticated grade 5's and up. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz is another title that won't let me go. It isn't a book filled with action, but it resonates long after the last word on the last page is done. These are characters that won't let go of you. I'll probably put this one on the grade 7 shelf, but I suspect that sophisticated grade 6's could handle it.

Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan is a profound novel about the power of love, family, and friendship. It's a book about redemption, and how one person can make a difference in so many other's lives. Read it out loud with your family or classroom. 

After looking at my goodreads account, I see that I gave 5 stars to a few other books this summer. 

I've become a fan of Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series. Sammy is one spunky kid; "part innocence, part tough as nails, and part Sherlock Holmes." She lives illegally with her grandmother in a senior's only building. The mysteries themselves are fabulous, but each novel works on many more levels. Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, deals with homelessness. This series works for sophisticated grade 3's and up. 

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee is a modern retelling of the ice queen fairytale. It's both beautifully written and heartbreakingly sad. If you enjoyed the Narnia series by CS Lewis, you will find this one to your liking. Probably best for grade 4 and up.

The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson is the story of homeless teens. It's also a gripping mystery. There is nothing romantic about why these young people live on the streets, yet what we see is a group of supportive individuals looking after one another. Sophisticated grade 6's and up. 

I can't wait to have conversation with all of you about your best summer reads!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cheriee!
    I am running the Book Blog awards this year and wanted to let you know nominations have been extended and are now open until october 12th. Yours looks perfect for the children's book blog category. There are 13 awards up for grabs. You may nominate your own blog or ask your readers to nominate you. Readers vote on November 15th.

    Please leave a comment on my blog or tweet me @emancipatedmimi to get the badge to add to your site. You may use it to encourage your readers to vote for your blog on Nov 15th. The awards are intended to be fun and exciting, and get your blog some exposure as well. Hope you will join =) I'm usually on twitter so tweet me anytime with questions or comments =)

    official announcement video:
    NOMINATE here:
    VOTE HERE on Nov 15: