I became acquainted with the nomadic Cullen family and the small unassuming town of Forks, Washington, a few summers ago. I’ll admit I was not originally a fan of ‘Twilight’. Several close friends had tried convincing me of the merits of the four title series by Stephanie Meyer. However, I didn’t believe that any adult could enjoy a world of teen vampires who fall in love against the backdrop of the gloomy Pacific Northwest. Eventually, I agreed to try the first book and to my surprise I became immersed in the story. I stayed awake at night devouring the tale of Bella, Edward, and Jacob. The series became an international phenomenon, and like ‘Harry Potter’, the story was so inviting that many who read it (including me) wished they could be a part of this magical story. And that is the beautiful thing about reading! While turning those pages, you ARE a part of the story.
The Hot Reads:
Each summer, I create a “hot reads” list; titles that are causing a stir within the book world and first title on the list is the National Bestseller ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ by Trenton Lee Stewart is a magical series with elements of Charlie and his Chocolate Factory as well as the escapades of our old friend, Harry. When a peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. But in the end, only four very special and gifted children will succeed and be invited to attend the prestigious Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened.
A juvenile title that has been quietly gaining popularity is ‘Where the Mountain Meets the Moon’, a Newberry Award Winner by Grace Lin. This story infuses the myth of dragons, folklore of China and the quest of a very brave young girl named Minli. This simple story is reminiscent of ‘The Wizard of OZ’, with its whimsy and adventure.
I have a feeling that ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio is going to be the book everyone is talking about this summer. The story chronicles the fifth grade year of Auggie Pullman who was born with a facial deformity. It starts “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” I think I might select this one as the summer’s first “hot read”. It will be a good one to begin with, a new season and a new perspective. What will you read this summer?
These titles and many more great summer reads are available for purchase in Content Reserve in the Summer 2012 YA/Juvenile Read-A-likes list.
Renee Lienhard is an Analyst for the Collection Development team at Overdrive