Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Reading 2014!!

It's time for summer reading! Thanks to a prolonged bout of (dong-sucking) pneumonia this Spring, I actually started reading books again! Lots of them! And now I've nearly exhausted all my new books and I want to read more so I'd love to get your recommendations, both on books for me and also for my kids.

I'll get started! Currently, I'm reading two kinds of books:
  • Books written by bloggers
  • Young Adult fiction that I'm screening for my rising 6th grader. Also, ((deep breath here)) I love YA fiction for just me, myself and I and I'm not ashamed. Also, please take a moment to appreciate the sweet De La Soul click thru. 
So let's start with YA:

We Were Liars by E Lockhart
A GREAT, fast-paced summer read about a group of 4 teenagers who spend their summers together in a fancy private island near Martha's Vineyard. The protagonist has lost her memory following a traumatic head injury and is trying to put things back together. You will read this whole book in a matter of hours and if anyone tries to talk to you during the last 50 pages you will be like: "Go ask your father and if you interrupt me again I will scream obscenities at you." Also this was Amazon's book of the month in May. And the author is my Twitter friend so I think that makes us real friends, like I am with the Property Brothers. If you know me in real life, I bought 2 copies so I could loan them out so we could geek out over it together.

Is it good for 10-12 year olds? I think so, but the end may freak them out a little. If they can handle watching scary movies then this book should be fine. Probably read it yourself first anyway because it's freaking awesome.

Wonder by RJ Palacio
This book is GREAT for tweens. In fact, I'm going to encourage my 9 year old son to read it. It's about a 10 year old boy who was born with medical problems that make his face hard to look at, and this has kept him from going to a regular school. The story chronicles what it's like for him to go to middle school.

IT IS JUST SO GOOD. Everyone in the whole wide world should read it. It has an an amazing message about kindness and acceptance without being preachy. It might be a little sad in spots for some younger kids but it's worth it. It's just awesome.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs

OK, I'm only 3/4 of the way through this but I already love it. It's quirky and interesting and has amazing photos and artwork interspersed with the prose. It's about a 16 year old boy from Florida who, after his grandfather's death, goes to an island off the coast of Wales to the orphanage where his grandfather spent time as a boy. It's creepy and awesome and a little scary.

It's also not a good fit for my 11 year old daughter. Here's how I know. First chapter I come across this bit of dialogue between two teenage boys:
Boy 1: "What are you, my mom?" 
Boy 2: "Do I look like I blow truckers for food stamps?"
Now let me be clear - I ADORE THAT LAST SENTENCE. I plan to work it into conversation as often as possible. But… This book is more for teenagers than tweens, in my opinion.

Next on my list is The Fault in Our Stars , which I have seen no less than 10 parents reading at various sporting events and practices. Probably because we know we can all use an egg timer to count how long it will be before out children begin begging us to see the movie.

Now on to books by bloggers.

Suburban Haiku: Poetic Dispatches from Behind the Picket Fence by Peyton Price
I literally carried this book around with me for a week after I read it so I could share various poems with my friends. It's pointed and painfully honest at times, but never mean because she is one of us. It's fantastic and if you're looking for a great gift for a friend, or a teacher who has kids, or a housewarming gift for your hipster friends who just had a baby and moved to the 'burbs - this is it.

Here's maybe my favorite in the whole book:
It's perfect weather
for sending the kids outside
and watching TV.

Her blog and her Twitter are the shit, too.

I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting by Karen Alpert
Karen Alpert writes the wildly popular blog Baby Sideburns and I just met her last weekend and she was really nice to me even though I got a little fangirl on her.

Also, she really needs to stop being so f*&king awesome and funny because some people (me) who write humor blogs might read her stuff and then get discouraged by how effortlessly awesome and funny her writing is.

I Just Want to Be Alonehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/098840804X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373493&creativeASIN=098840804X&link_code=am3&tag=rantsfrommomm-20 by lots of bloggers you already love
This is the sequel to I Just Want to Pee Alone, a book I was in. Some of the best and funniest women on the internet contributed to this book and it's only about $4 for the Kindle version. I met a bunch of them last weekend and they were so great that I wanted to slow dance with them. I haven't read it yet, but it's happening right after The Fault in Our Stars (only because my daughter is pestering me about that one - so urgency). If it's anything like the last one, compiled by the amazing and hilarious Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, it's going to be great.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
This came out last year but you guys. Oh my GOD. You will read this book and never stop laughing. You will laugh so hard that you will need your inhaler and if you don't require an inhaler, then you will need some Always pads with wings. My kids and I have even read through some of the chapters together (beware of curse words) and they loved it so much that they started begging me to read them chapters as bedtime stories.

Allie also writes about her depression and about her dogs. She does both perfectly. I swear I have bought at least 4 copies of this book because I keep giving them away. Not even kidding.

Also! Dear Allie Brosh (who will never see this), Please consider writing a children's book. My kids love your book so much and it's like you don't even get how much they get it and how much they love it. It could just be stories about your dogs and from when you were a kid. I would buy all the copies. Love, Lydia

The Cookie Jar Parable by Stephanie Giese
Stephanie writes the blog Binkies and Briefcases and was one of the contributors to "I Just Want to Pee Alone". This children's book is designed to help children and parents deal with loss. In the story, a little boy copes with the loss of his Grandfather. The parable of the cookie jar helps him to work through it. It's good to know about these books like this just in case you ever need one, or if you want to offer one as a gift to a friend whose family is grieving. Definitely add this one to the list.

Now I need your recommendations! I need specific help with some specific categories of books but you guys should of course feel free to suggest whatever you want:
  • New and recentish books for grown ups
  • Chapter books that younger boys (grades 2-5) will love. This has been a huge challenge so PLEASE HELP MOI.
  • Great books for tween girls (that aren't all about boys and popularity and sexy, sextime).
  • Best book for early readers (like just learning to read/sounding out words)
Thank you so much! I can't wait to see what you recommend!

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2014


  1. For young adults anything by Maureen Johnson! Funny and awesome!

  2. My son (6) is really into Captain Underpants. He's still working on sounding out words and because it's a book he enjoys we've started hearing "but I only got to look at one book" when we ask him to turn out his lights. His sister (7) also loves the books and will often read then out loud to him just so that she can have a turn with them!

  3. My daughter and I just finished reading 'The Witches,' by Roald Dahl. She's 7 and going into second grade. I felt it was a very gender neutral read. It is a boy and his Grandmother and witches. The boy has to be very sneaky and try to defeat them. Your son might like them. I'm currently reading the most recent Mortal Instruments book. I like the series but the first movie was god awful. Then I'm moving onto the fault in our stars. Gillian Flynn I recommend if you like dark fiction. It's thrillers/suspense. So far on our read list is Little Women, Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. If you're not familiar with Mo Willems, he writes the Elephant and Piggie books and the Pigeon books. My kids (4&7) LOVE LOVE LOVE them. We also have Junie B Jones for my 7yo and the entire Ramona series.

  4. Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan for boys ( and girls!!) Excellent book series, deals with some grown up themes: bullying, drug addiction, but in a well handled kid friendly way. Strong female characters too.

    Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, zombie series, but so so sSOOOOO good. No sexy sextime, but deals with relationships.

  5. Lydia, for ya books i love anything Tamora pierce wrote. Start with Alanna and work your way through. I'm also loving Kelley Armstrong. She writes more sexy adult stuff but her ya it's spot on. Also I'm considering starting to read Harry potter to my 5 year old

  6. I absolutely loved wonder. Lots of the classes I supply teach have read it. Recently I read a part of Last Message but I don't know the authors name. It is part of a series of seven books by seven authors all about the quests that a grandfather gives his grandsons in his will. Sounds very cool. As for girl books,, have you tried anything by Vikki VanSickle? She has 3 or 4 awesome teenage girl type books, but dealing with real topics like the mom has breast cancer and fittng in at middle school. I went to high school with her so I may be a little biased but I loved the books. One is called Words That Start With B

  7. Wonder is a beautiful story. I read it with my 5th graders this year [I read it prior and couldn't keep it a secret] and they were head over heels for it.

  8. I read The Fault in Our Stars in like 3hrs. It was so good. I had balked at reading it because I knew it would make me ugly cry, but it is very well written! I saw Peculiar Children and thought it looked interesting, I am definitely going to read it now.

  9. I highly recommend The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It is a long book, aimed at YA, and the prose is gorgeous. The descriptions are vivid and the story is engaging. It might be too much for a 10 year old, but my 13 year old daughter enjoyed it. I loved it even more.

  10. The Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger and Dewey the Library Cat!!

  11. So don't be surprised if your middle schooler gets a summer reading list sent home with assignments...i saw the first page of our 7th grade summer reading list and was super excited to see S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders on it...so 3 people (me included) will be (re)reading that this summer. Books for the 2-5th grade (*also some of these will work for older miss thing): Humphrey books, Captain Underpants series, Big Nate series, Origami Yoda books, Diary of a Wimpy kid series, James Patterson's Middle School series*, 39 Clues*, Percy Jackson Series*, Harry Potter series*, Disney Kingdom Keepers series*. Also for Miss Thing: Anne of Green Gables Series, Little Women, Stargirl, A Mango Shaped Space, My Life in Pink and Green, Number the Stars. For Hawk: Harry Potter, Divergent, Hunger Games, Lord Of the Rings Trilogy, The Art of Keeping Cool, Trouble Don't Last. And for Miss Mini: Biscuit books, Amelia Bedelia, Dr. Seuss, Ted Arnold, and Kevin Henkes.

    1. Craftynanny! You are my soul sister!

  12. For grown ups - The Orphan Train: A Novel, we just read it for Book Club and we all loved it. I also read The Listener by Taylor Caldwell, but it's a rare find (I borrowed from a friend) - really great book. For tweens, I know growing up that I adored anything by Madeleine L'Engle (The Wrinkle in Time series, The Arm of the Starfish, I loved them all). For the younger crowd, I second the commenter who suggested Mo Willems - my boys LOVED Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Super cute book! We also like Bear Snores On (and the other Bear books by Karma Wilson). Don't forget the Mouse on a Motorcycle series, either. We've also enjoyed The Phantom Tollbooth - especially if your kids like math and quirky humor.

  13. For girls, start with Tamora Pierce... Alanna series and then
    protector of the Small series. Kristin Cashore is also fantastic (Bitterblue, Graceling, FIre). Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" sequence and all the Rick Riordan books are good, too.

    For boys, I've been going through this list: http://teachers.d181.org/~jillberry/jillberry/Reading_Opportunities_files/Booklist%20K-5.pdf He would also love the Rick Riordan books. Start with The Lightning Thief.

    For adults..... 11/22/63 By stephen king (think time-travel mixed with a romance mixed with the kennedy assassination.) If you like vampires, read Chuck Hogan/Guillermo Del Toro's "The Strain" trilogy. It's being made into a show on FX this summer. Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, anything by Lauren Weisberger, Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

  14. My son is in 2nd grade and has devoured the Stink Moody books! He has them all and we have read them all multiple times. For YA books, Jennifer Lavoie has written two with gay main characters, Andy Squared and Meeting Chance, the second of which might be better suited for tweens and is awesome.

  15. What great suggestions from your readers! I'll try not to repeat what I see above.

    Artemis Fowl series
    Charlie Bone series
    Guardians, Inc. series
    Island of Fog series
    Flora and Ulysses (great read-aloud for Mini)
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    Johnny B Fast series
    Chronicles of Narnia
    Flea's Five Christmases series
    Wolves of the Beyond series
    Spirit Animals series
    School of Fear series
    A Series of Unfortunate Events

    For Mini now:
    Anything by Dr. Seuss
    Go, Dog, Go! - this might be my favorite beginning to read book
    Knuffle Bunny books (or anything by Mo Willems!)

    As Mini's reading progresses:
    Magic Tree House series
    A to Z Mystery series
    Calendar Mysteries
    The Boxcar Children series
    Clementine series
    Sarah, Plain and Tall
    American Girl books

    My kids are the same ages as yours (11 yo girl, 9 yo boy, 5 yo girl) and they are voracious readers. I'm always looking for new things for them to read. My favorite source for discovering new kids' series is BookBub.org. They send me an email every day with a list of free or discounted books for Kindle (you can also subscribe for Nook). I have found hundreds of books for me to read and dozens of new books for the kids -- all for free. If they like the first book in the series, then we purchase the rest.

    Happy Reading!

  16. Read "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss, do it now, you won't regret it. Depending on what you think of it, it might be suitable for your YA reader too, the main characters are young-ish and a university is heavily featured. It is possibly the best book I have ever read, and I read all the time.

    Also kind of YA-ish, with a fun plot making for quick, easy reads, try the "Temeraire" series by Naomi Novik. I love a good woman author, and she is pretty great. Also, Mercedes Lackey has some good books that take a different look at fairy tales where the main characters aren't helpless girls but magicians in their own right. Look for "The Fairy Godmother" and "Gates of Sleep" by Mercedes Lackey.

    When I was a tween girl, I read a lot (A LOT) of Anne McCaffrey's "Pern" novels and Mercedes Lackey's "Valdemar" novels, so those are an option too. Strong female characters in every single book. Often they're the main characters.

    My 6 year old is just starting to get into reading for fun, so I've been keeping him interested with DK Readers. They come in different reading levels and you can find them on all kinds of subjects. Right now his favourites are Indiana Jones and Pokemon. My husband has also been reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to him at night before bed.

    For other recommendations, I really suggest joining Goodreads. A lot of authors are active there, and there are tons of reviews of almost every book imaginable.

  17. My tween and I are reading books from the Newbery Award List. Try "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Geiman, or "Moon Over Manifest" by Claire Vanderpool. Also, "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. Really any of these books are well written, interesting, and not trashy!

  18. When I was 11 or 12 I discovered books by Tamora Pierce. I still read them now (as in, reading one today and i'm 33). They are fantasy, but with female heros. Very well done. She has two unrelated "universes" of books. I am a fan of the ones set in Tortall (i have read them all and own most of them).

  19. My daughter (9) read the "Little House on the Prairie" series (twice), the series about Laura's Mother, the series about Laura's grandmother, "Heidi" by Johanna Spyri, and "Anne of Green Gables". We got the whole "Anne of Green Gables" series(about 8 books?) as an ebook from Amazon for about $20. Another great series is the "Wrinkle in Time" series by Madeline L'Engle. I also second the Origami Yoda series for both boys and girls. It's about bullying, but it's not preachy. My son (11) loved the "Ranger's Apprentice" series, he's reading it again. He read the "Harry Potter" series twice. His favorite was the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
    For adult books, I loved "The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simison, "What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty, "Someone Else's Love Story" by Joshlyn Jackson, "I've Got Your Number" by Sophie Kinsella, and "Crazy for You" by Jennifer Cruise.

  20. I second (or third) The Fault in our Stars (YA). Also the Pern books by Anne McCaffrey (starting with Dragon Song then Dragon Singer and Dragon Drums as these are the most YA). That said, I'm sure I read the whole series before I was 13 so it's reasonable to go on from there. Skip the ones by Todd McCaffrey. A more current YA genius is Maggie Stiefvater. Read everything she's written. Personally my favourite is 'The Scorpio Races'. She also has a blog. And while I wholeheartedly agree that 'The Name of the Wind' is absolutely incredible, I don't know if I'd go so far as to say it's suitable for a young reader. Read it yourself first. Then read the sequel. Then cry that the third book isn't out yet. Then decide if your kids can read it. And for the sheer hilarity, read "Where'd you go Bernadette" - not really YA.

  21. Marcus Zusak writes really good YA fiction. I read "I am the Messenger," but I've heard his other books are good too.

  22. For grown ups Rebecca's Choice by Tobias J. Samuels. The cover raised my curiosity. It was an interesting short read. Crazy plot twist at the end.

  23. Matt Christopher has written tons of books about sports for young boys. We are enjoying his baseball ones now.

  24. Lots of good suggestions for the ninos- but for you, please read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It is first in a series of 8 (book 8 actually came out today!) that I promise will turn you into a slipshod of a woman void of caring for laundry or dinner... Seriously, read the first. Hit me back when you're hooked! DG is a genius.

    1. I second the vote for Outlander- the mini series is coming out on Starz in August

  25. For adults (especially moms who are perhaps a bit burnt out), I'm going to recommend, Hold Her Down by Kathryn R Biel. The cover gives the impression that it is a racy novel--it is not. Read the summary, read the reviews. I think a lot of moms can relate to the struggles of the main character. It is going on sale this upcoming weekend (6/15) for the ebook versions. Please check it out.

  26. Tamora pierce for your daughter. Seriously. strong female characters. Feminism done right. I have them all and read them all the time. Try the Alanna series or the circle series first. SO good

  27. Chapter books for boys- The 'I survived..." books by Scholastic- there are different events they focus on like the shark attack of 1914, hurricane katrina, 9/11, battle of gettysburg, etc., The Percy Jackson Series,

    For you- The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs, The Selection by Kiera Cass, anything by Maggie Steifvater- I love the Raven Boys series she wrote, The Mortal Instruments series

  28. Shameless self-promotion alert! If you're looking for another book by a blogger I recommend mine, "Confessions of a Paris Party Girl." Or the sequel, "Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer." They're funny if I do say so myself and you can read them in a few hours. "I Heart My Little A-Holes," "I Just Want to Pee Alone," and "I Just Want to Be Alone" are all on my list this summer. Looks like I'll be peeing my pants a lot :)

  29. For your daughter: "Stargirl" and "Love, Stargirl" by Jerry Spinelli.

    For YA fiction, screen these before passing them on: "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher, "The Day I Killed James" by Catherine Ryan Hyde...these are dark, but good. I also loved "Starting From Here" by Lisa Jenn Bigelow. My tween and I just finished watching "Bridge to Terabithia," which is SO sad...I'd never read it & it kicked me almost as hard as "My Girl."

  30. For Mini: Amelia Bedilia, Junie B Jones for reading together, Frog and Toad, Biscuit, Mouse Soup. They are all early reader and first chapter books.

  31. My 8 year son old loved the James Patterson Middle School books. He's only recently started reading for fun, but I think it was the Judy Blume Superfudge books that hooked him. He also really liked the Ramona books & read them all, as well as Encyclopedia Brown. He's reading The Mysterious Benedict Society right now, which I think he'll like because of the puzzles.

    My 11 year old boy likes all 3 of the 39 Clues Series, the Percy Jackson books, & Ronie Kendig's series about military dogs. (One of them is called Trinity...but I can't remember the rest.) He likes the Matt Christopher books about sports that someone else mentioned.

    When they were both starting reading, the only books I can think of that they really liked were The Magic Tree House ones.

    Oh, right now for read aloud at bedtime, we're doing Into the Land of the Unicorns. It's a 4 book series & really good! I'm so excited to share it with them!

  32. My son who is 4 loves most Roald Dahl books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Danny the Champion of the World and the Twits are his favorites. If you haven't read the Twits you need too. I think it'll make you laugh real hard. Also he likes the Beverly Clearly books about Ralph mouse (the Mouse and the Motorcycle etc). Also Stuart Little was a hit. We are reading these to him but all are a pretty early reading level.

  33. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was fantastic (and aimed at adults, I believe - not YA). I also loved the Fablehaven series (5 books) by Brandon Mull. Amazon lists the reading level for it as age 9 and up, and it would be great for boys and girls. :)

  34. Oh, also, my daughter and I recently discovered the Gustav Gloom series (age 8+). We're halfway through the first book (Gustav Gloom and the People-Taker) and she loves it. :)

  35. The Peculiar Children is a series. The second one, Hollow City, is very good. There will be also be a third one but can not remember when it comes out. Really love these books!
    Also, try If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It's beautiful and made me cry. The movie will come out later this year and it looks good but the book is very good! It's a YA novel but for teens.

  36. For boy's i would recommend Tin Tin the comic book series by Herge. I know they have been translated but i wouldn't know how many. ( sorry for my English, i do hope this makes sense )
    As been stated above The name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss is really well written, and i've been enjoying The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. Hope this helps :)

  37. Because i don't have time to pre-screen books, I can also recommend the massive book listing at ... A Mighty Girl's book section features over 1,500 girl-empowering books starring stellar Mighty Girl characters. With over 200 book categories to explore, the best way to discover what this section has to offer is by browsing our detailed book menu -- just mouse over the 'Books' button on the menu bar above. From there you can choose the categories of interest to you and then use the filters on the left-menu to further refine your search.


  38. This is the voice of your friendly children's librarian here :) Everyone has given great suggestions for your boys, but I would also recommend letting them read nonfiction. Boys don't enjoy fiction like us girls do, which is why it is so hard to get them to read it. Go to the library and find some books on topics that the boys are interested in and let them pick something. It might be too easy or way too hard, but let them pick and you will be amazed at what they come away with.

  39. My son is 8 1/2 and I'm working to get him reading for fun. So far we've bought
    THE PYRIDIAN CHRONICLES. Kavik the wolf dog (big hit). Gentle ben. The great brain (loved it as a kid). Seven (a series of 7 books about 7 cousins who have to complete tasks of their grandfather's will- all written by different authors. The first grandson has to climb a mountain.) Encyclopedia brown. Non-fiction books about insects, weather, and Mayan Indians. Ramblefoot (another wolf story). The guardians of ga'hoole series (there's a movie). The yearling (sad ending). Classics are good too Treasure Island, The Prince and the Pauper, Oliver Twist, Old Yelled and its sequel Savage Sam. HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS, the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler. I just finished reading him Watership Down and we've started The Mysterious Journey of Edward Tulane and he and his dad are reading all the Hardy Boys.

    I think girls have it easier. The gender of the hero/heroine doesn't seem to make a difference. I liked the Westing Game, anything by Frances Hodgeson Burnett, Tuesdays at the Tower, Wednesday in the Castle, the Dancing Shoes series, the Book of God (novelization of the Bible done very respectfully and accurately), the Blue Sword and the Hero and the Crown (both by Robin McKinley), the Wind in the Willows, 8 Cousins and A Rose in Bloom by Alcott, the view from Saturday, Caddie Woodlawn, all the Little House books, and Mandy by Julie Andrews. Authors Caroline B. Cooney and Lois Duncan were popular with my friends but not my favorites. Same goes for the Nancy Drewnbooks and the Bobbsey Twins books.

    If it helps, when I was about Thumbalina's age, my mom took me to the library and started me in the A section of the youth area. She showed me how to read the inside description of the book (or back cover). It helped me because I knew where to start each time I returned to the library, I foundnbooks I might not otherwise have read because they weren't reccomendations but random picks, and my mom got final approval in case I inadvertently picked up something inappropriate for my age.

  40. I forgot .....everything by Bill Pest would be a great read aloud for Mini, Christina Katerina and the box,Andrew Henry's Meadow, Mrs. Twiggy's Treehouse, Miss Suzy, the Blahs, everything by Jack Kent especially the Grown up Day, Chico Bon-bon, Tikki-Tikki Tembo, and the Laughing Dragon.

  41. I love Robin McKinley, but you want to keep in mind that some of her books (Hero and the Crown is one, I think) have some "sexy sextime" stuff in them. My personal favorites are her fairy tale/legend adaptations (Outlaws of Sherwood, Beauty), but they're, again, probably for slightly older girls. (It's been awhile since I read Beauty--it's probably at least "sextime" free, though!) The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Patricia C. Wrede) are great--strong, funny female lead (especially in the first one), and have a Shrek-ish irreverence for fairy tale tropes without all the potty humor. An author that does good, clean teenage realistic fiction books that still grapple with some tough stuff is Joan Bauer; I'd read anything by her. Wendelin Van Draanen is another. E.L. Konigsburg is an oldie-but-goodie (still publishing until 2007, so there are some more recent titles than Mixed-Up Files). For early-to-middle-grade boys, try the Guys Read site (http://www.guysread.com/); anything Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Mo Willems are great for for starters! I can't recommend any adult books (other than the Jane Austen classics!) because I really don't read any! (Oh, and Georgette Heyer, my Regency-themed guilty pleasure--but definitely not newish!)

  42. Last summer I have not read any books that you refer, I would schedule them on vacation this winter. Thanks for sharing




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