Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kid's Summer Reading List: Part 4/4

Whopee!  My final summer reading list.  But rest assured I will have reading recommendations posted every week throughout the summer!  This final summer reading list is for the:

Mom of a Teen/Tween

This list is for the mom who is hoping their little angel stays out of trouble for the summer.  Give them a good book and you know that for a few hours they are not sneaking computer times, playing video games or hanging out downtown/mall.

These books are page turners and they are sophisticated enough that your kids will want to read them.  So get out there and get your teen/tween reading.  They will love you for it in the end!  Don't forget to follow one great book on Facebook or twitter!

Also my kids just started their own book blog - one great book unplugged!  My oldest has posted one of his favorite teen/tween books so check it out for more summer ideas!

Title:          Divergent
Author:      Veronica Roth
Target:       Grades 6 and up
Series:        Yes
What this book is about:
Society is divided into five factions representing different personality traits: honesty, selflessness, bravery, peacefulness and intelligence.  All the sixteen year olds take a test to determine which faction best represents were they should spend the rest of their lives.  Some of those who go through the test find that their results are mixed aka divergent.  They must hide this fact and still commit to a faction where they will train and join, because being factionless means being abandoned by society.  Our heroine, Beatrice, finds she is divergent and this story follows her choices and struggles.
Why I love this book:
This book is FABULOUS!  I think it is as close as I have come to the excitement and edge of your seat thrill ride I had with the Hunger Games.  Each faction is so different and so extreme, that watching Beatrice find her place is fascinating.  There is the conflict that exists with her choice, the conflict within her pledge class and the conflict with the ideals vs. the reality of the factions.
I am struggling in not telling you too much because I don’t want to ruin the experience of the Choosing Day when Beatrice determines her faction, or the initiation into this choice!  Suffice it to say that you should set aside a chunk of time for this book because you will not be able to put it down.
Who this book is for:
If you loved the Hunger Games, this book is right up your alley.  There is violence, but I will say it is much less explicit than the Hunger Games and there is romance, but that too is pretty innocent.  
Final thoughts:
My son and I had quite a discussion about which faction we would belong to, which was fun.  But my final words are read this book, you won’t regret it!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Divergent (Divergent Trilogy)  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog.

Title:          The Name of the Star
Author:      Mauren Johnson
Target:       Grades 6-8

Series:        No
What this book is about:
Rory has arrived to study in London, only to find that a Jack the Ripper copycat has surfaced and is recreating crimes from the past.  When Rory spots a man that police believe may be the murderer, she is confounded why her companion did not see him too.  Why can only Rory see him and why has she become his target?
Why I love this book:
This was a fun thriller.  While I would have liked a little more suspense, the supporting characters are well developed and quirky.  Rory is very likable and I was totally invested in her.  A ghost story intertwined with a mystery made it an entertaining read.  It was also fun learning the history of Jack the Ripper.
Who this book is for:
Kids who like a little horror.  While the murders are not described in minute detail, even the generalities are bit squeamish inducing.
It is also a fun book for girls who have thought about studying abroad.  Rory is living life as a high school boarding student in London, so the backdrop was one that I would have loved imagining when I was younger.
Final thoughts:
My favorite quote from the book “Fear can’t hurt you ... When it washes over you, give it no power.  It’s a snake with no venom.”

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: The Name of the Star (Shades of London)  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog.

Title:          The Scorpio Races
Author:      Maggie Stiefvater
Target:       Grades 7 and up
Series:        No
Printz Honor Book (these are the Newbery’s for YA)
What this book is about:
This book is based on the Celtic myth of the water horses that rise from the ocean in the Fall.  They are wild, deadly and can sweep riders back into the ocean.  Every November islanders capture and train these horses to participate in the Scorpio Races.  In this book, Sean is racing so that he can keep the horse he has trained and ridden for as long as he can remember, and Puck is racing to keep her family homestead and her siblings together.  They both need to win this race, but their own survival is not guaranteed in these races.
Why I love this book:
This book actually surprised me.  I thought it would be more action oriented, and while it certainly has its climactic points, it is much more about the emotions and motivations of the two main characters.  One of the failings of the book is that it takes a little too long to get to the good stuff, so hang on for the first 100 or so pages and then you will be rewarded.
The voice of the book switches between Puck and Sean, which I always enjoy because it gives greater insight into the story.  I found myself actually enjoying the Sean segments more than Puck, but I think I found his story the more intriguing of the two.
Who this book is for:
This book is a little more sophisticated than some YA that I read, so for seventh and eight graders, I think the book will tend more towards girls.  I don’t mean to diss the boys, but emotions play a key role in the story and I don’t see a seventh grade boy connecting with the book on that level.  I still wish the race component had come faster and had been more action oriented because then I could recommend to boys as well.
Final thoughts:
This is a very thoughtful and engaging book.  I wanted to love it, the concept is fabulous, but I only liked it because the character development took too much space away from the action.

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: The Scorpio Races  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog.

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