Skip to main content

Paging All Readers by Alexandra Brown

05/02/2016 04:36PM ● Published by Alexandra Brown

It’s summertime once again – which means it’s time to keep up that reading and summer reading is so incredibly important.   The American Library Association has stated that “Children who don't read over the summer experience summer learning loss. That's right -- kids don't just feel like they've forgotten some of what they've learned -- they actually do forget it.”  

While we want to stress the importance of summer reading to our kids, we also want to make it an enjoyable experience, not stressful.  I have tried my best to include some books that are fun to read that hopefully your kids will find enjoyable.  You may find them enjoyable as well, and what a better way to set an example for your kids by reading along with them?  Most of these books are available in paperback so feel free to grab one and toss it in your beach bag!

 First is a book I believe you should place at the very top of your “must read” list.  “I Will Always Write Back:  How One Letter Changed Two Lives” by Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifirenka is the true account of the amazing friendship that grew as a result of a simple school assignment.  Two school students were randomly matched to be pen pals.  One student was Caitlin, a typical American middle school girl, and the other was Martin, a 14 year old boy living in a Zimbabwean slum.  Caitlin thinks nothing of the things she has available to her as a normal middle school kid in America.  Martin has trouble even find enough money to pay for postage for a letter to Caitlin.  Through their notes, which begin stiffly and grow into encouraging heartfelt letters, each of them learn about life outside their culture and the result is an eye opening book for every reader. Do not miss this one.  I recommend it highly for everyone ages 12 and up.

 Second for this month is “Hattie Big Sky” by Kirby Larson.  This story is a historical novel set in 1918 where the main character is Hattie, a 16 year old orphan who has spent her entire life being shuttled between relatives.  When she unexpectedly inherits a homestead parcel in Montana, Hattie decides she has had enough of being dependent on others and decides to settle the homestead parcel on her own.  In this harsh yet beautiful setting we see Hattie not only persevere but begin to thrive into an amazing young woman.  This book is based on the author’s family stories of her great grandmother homesteading by her herself in Montana.  The result is a book you won’t wish to miss.  The great thing is that if you like the story enough there is a sequel – “Hattie Ever After.”  This book is suited for anyone ages and up.

 Next I recommend another historical novel “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler:  Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club” by Phillip Hoose.   The book is a true story that reads like an action novel.  During WWII, the government of Denmark chose not resist German occupation.  A band of middle school boys, led by Knud Pedersen, decide that this is shameful and begin a resistance movement that begins small and quickly gains ground.  This book a great way to see another view of an often written about time in history and for the boys that really like war stories this one will be a favorite.  I recommend this one for boys ages 12 and up.

 Now for the slightly younger set I recommend “Audacity Jones to the Rescue” also by Kirby Larson.  Audacity Jones is an eleven year old who wants to shake up life at “Miss Maisie’s School for Wayward Girls.”  Audacity is a smart and resourceful girl and she pretty much runs the place until a wealthy businessman shows up wishing to adopt an orphan.  While it seems that this story is going to quickly turn into a Little Orphan Annie knock off, the story takes an adventurous twist and Audacity finds herself trying to foil a plan to abduct the president of the United States.   This book is a lot of fun and your child will enjoy every page of  it!  This is planned to be a series so hopefully your child will enjoy it enough to look forward to the new releases.  This book is targeted for ages 8 and up.

I wish all of you a wonderful summer.  Wear sunscreen and read!  As always, any recommendations or comments can be forwarded to  Happy reading!

Subscribe to On the Coast Magazine's Free Newsletter for regular updates!
Today, Today American Library Association Tweens I will always write back: How one letter changed two lives Martin Ganda Caitlin Alifirenka HAttie Big Sky Kirby Larson Hattoe Everafter The Boys Who Challenged Hitler Knud Pedersen Churchill Club The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club Phillip Hoose Audacity Jones to the Rescue Miss Maisies School fro Wayward irls Little Orphan Annie


This Month's Issue:


Want more? Like us on FaceBook to keep updated with local events, activities, stories and more! On the Coast Magazine