As is the case most years, our summer has been filled with sports, sleeping in, and summer reading. While our opposing schedules always mean more work and less fun than we would like, we still managed to cram in a few days where the most pressing decision was where to go for dinner. Along the way, of course, we also enjoyed our share of great reads.
One of the happiest surprises of the summer was that my most reluctant reader devoured books this time around. In a testament to the importance of having not only good literature, but also a variety of options readily available, he found several books that he connected with, and went through them faster than ever before, reading well past the mandated allotment each day, and taking a book to bed with him each night as well.
One of the things I enjoy each summer is the increased opportunity to read together with my kids. Sometimes, we choose a book that we all read together, and other times, I have a separate book going with each boy. We have logged chapters in the car on road trips, poolside in Palm Springs, and snuggled up in bed at home.
As we embark this week on our last books of the summer, I have compiled a list of some of the books my two younger boys have enjoyed thus far this season. It is always handy to have a good book on deck, and we hope you will enjoy some of our favorites as well.
Luke, 10, offered a review of his favorite book, “Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan,” by Jeffrey Brown:
“I liked this book because it made me laugh, and it really gets your imagination going. In this second book in the series, Roan starts flight school and has a new set of adventures, including participating in the 150th annual light saber fencing competition. I especially liked the bonus Ewok Pilot comic that taught me how to speak in Ewok.”
Other titles Luke enjoyed include “Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit,” by Octavia Spencer (yes, THAT Octavia Spencer,) “George Washington’s Socks,” by Elvira Woodruff, and “Mouseheart,” by Lisa Fiedler.
Braden, 12, offered a review of his favorite book, “Insurgent,” by Veronica Roth:
“Even though I enjoyed all three ‘Divergent’ books, book two, ‘Insurgent,’ was my favorite because it focused on Tris getting over the tragedy of losing people she loved, and having to make choices that challenged her morals. I liked that it showed how our actions always take a toll on our lives, either good or bad. I appreciated that Roth balanced a great plot with some good action scenes.”
In addition to reading the “Divergent” trilogy, Braden also enjoyed “Rules,” by Cynthia Lord, “Gathering Blue,” by Lois Lowry (book two in the “Giver” series,) and “Counting by 7s” by Holly Goldberg Sloan.
Perhaps my favorite of our shared books was “When You Reach Me,” by Rebecca Stead. I had been previously unaware of the Newbery Award-winning author, and really enjoyed our first experience with her.
What was great about “When You Reach Me,” was that it combined the first-person observations of a pre-teen as she navigated the tricky waters of adolescence, learning how to balance new and old friendships, with a bit of time-travel and mystery. Throw in her quirky mother’s preparation for the 1970’s game show, “$25,000 Pyramid,” and her growing appreciation for the sacrifices a mother makes, and the result was a well-rounded book that was both poignant and humorous.
All of us at Casa de Crabtree hope you have time to squeeze in one more reading adventure before the bell rings in September.
Edie Crabtree is an avid reader and the mother of three active boys. She can be reached at [email protected]