To me, "summer reading" suggests relatively light, fun, hopefully funny books. Sort of like summer movies. Not necesarily "fluff" or "beach reads," but simply stories that lift your spirits.
True story: The summer before third grade, back when I was "Cindy Lou," I won the summer reading contest at the Mid-Continent Public Library of Grandview, Missouri. I earned a lot of free paperbacks, an award certificate, and had my picture (with the mayor!) in the local paper. When Jingle Dancer was released in 2000, I sent the librarians a thank you letter and a signed copy.
Here are a few sizzlin' titles for summer:
picture books: Altoona Baboona by Janie Bynum (Harcourt, 1999); Chance by Dian Curtis Regan, illustrated by Dee Huxley (Philomel, 2003); Dawdle Duckling by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Margaret Spengler (Dial, 2003); Hoptoad by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Karen Lee Schmidt (Harcourt, 2003); The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman by Darcy Pattison, illustrated by Joe Cepeda (Harcourt, 2003)(see also Searching For Oliver K. Woodman (Harcourt, 2005)); Mystery At The Club Sandwich by Doug Cushman (Clarion, 2004); Old Thunder And Miss Raney by Sharon Darrow, illustrated by Kathryn Brown (DK INC, 2000); Piggies In A Polka by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Harcourt, 2003); Shake It, Morena And Other Folktales from Puerto Rico compiled by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by Lulu Delacre (Millbrook, 2002).
Middle Grade: The Meanest Girl by Debora Allie (Roaring Brook, 2005); Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee (Arthur Levine, 2003); Maya Running by Anjali Banerjee (Wendy Lamb Books, 2005); Monster Of The Month Club by Dian Curtis Regan, illustrated by Laura Cornell (Scholastic, 1994); Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo by Greg Leitich Smith (Little Brown, 2003, paper 2005); Tria And The Great Star Rescue by Rebecca Kraft Rector (Delacorte, 2002); Tofu And T.rex by Greg Leitich Smith (Little Brown, 2005); The Wish by Gail Carson Levine (HarperCollins, 2000).
Young Adult: The Adventures of the Blue Avenger by Norma Howe (Holt, 1999); The Boyfriend List (15 guys, 11 shrink appointments, 4 ceramic frogs and me, ruby oliver) by E. Lockhart (Delacorte, 2005); Burger Wuss by M.T. Anderson (Candlewick, 1999); Geography Club by Brent Hartinger (Harper, 2003); My Road Trip To The Pretty Girl Capital of the World by Brian Yanksy (Cricket, 2003); Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, 2005); Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez (Simon & Schuster, 2005), Son Of The Mob by Gordon Korman (Hyperion, 2002); Storky: How I Lost My Nickname and Won The Girl by D.L. Garfinkle (Putnam, 2005); Terry And The Pirates by Julian F. Thompson (Atheneum, 2000).
See also my recent post on Writers Must Read with links to my 2005 recommendations.
Cynsational News & Links
Authors' Reading Lists from authorsontheweb.com. Highlights include reading lists from: Alex Flinn; Gail Carson Levine; Kathleen Odean; Terry Trueman; and Laurence Yep.
Invasion of the Road Weenies at BEA: a real-live (giant) Road Weenie per Invasion of the Road Weenies by David Lubar (Starscape/Tor, 2005). See also David Lubar: Award-winning Author with a Sense of Humor by Sue Reichard from Suite101.com.
Thanks to Amarin Enyart, the new BookKids events and marketing coordinator at BookPeople, for helping with ordering/coordinating books for my upcoming workshop.