From What I RememberThe summer reading list that the school sends out each year seems like a wonderful idea until you are nagging your 'tweens and teens to get off the computer and pick up a book. We spoke with three authors (who also happen to be moms) to find out their ideas for new novels that kids-and their grown-ups-won't be able to put down.
Melissa Kantor, whose most recent book is 'The Darlings in Love,' tells Shine that the best way to find out what your child will enjoy reading is to ask them to name just one book they think "is awesome" and then ask a trusted book seller or your local librarian for similar titles. "Want to ask me for a suggestion for your child?" Adds Kantor, who also happens to teach middle and high school English. "Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Valerie Thomas, who co-authored the rollicking 'From What I Remember' with Stacy Kramer, tells Shine, "I find the school requirement that my fourth grader read 30 minutes a day makes all the difference in motivating her." Have a daily rule that younger children read for at least 30 minutes and teens for at least an hour before they watch television or use the computer. Be flexible about the genre and the reading level. The point is to help them develop a love of reading, not forcing Dickens or Shakespeare on them (unless, of course, that's what they genuinely want to read!).
In addition to their latest books, what are the three YA novelists' top recommendations for this summer?
'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' by Ransom Riggs. It's a mystery, a family drama, and a paranormal photographic extravaganza. When sixteen-year-old Jacob's beloved grandfather dies, Jacob attempts to learn more about the man's childhood. What he discovers is far stranger than anything he could possibly have imagined.
'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green. Can a book about a girl with terminal cancer be funny as well as heartbreaking? It can be if it's by John Green.
'Okay for Now' by Gary Schmidt. How do you survive being the new kid in town when your family, far from being the solution, is a big part of the problem? Try books, love, and Broadway.
'The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight' by Jennifer E. Smith. Missing your flight to London could be the best thing that ever happened to a girl.
'The Book of Blood and Shadow' by Robin Wasserman. This YA 'Da Vinci Code' is about a girl who must prove her boyfriend's innocence when he's accused of murder. It's full of mystery, secret societies, and globe trotting.
'There is No Dog' by Meg Rosoff. The story begins with the premise that God is a 19 year-old boy, living in an apartment with his middle aged personal assistant. In this hilarious and fun book, God is outrageously lazy and useless, solely interested in himself and girls.
'Unbreak My Heart' by Melissa Walker. This engrossing love story is told in alternating points of view about a girl who's heart has been broken and the boy who eventually heals it.
'I Hunt Killers' by Barry Lyga, This book is both a thriller with a wicked pace and a literary novel, about a boy whose father is a serial killer. It's unlike most of what's out there in YA and expertly done.
Any other suggestions you would like to share? Please leave in the comments below.
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