And…. just in the nick of time - I’ve finished SSYRA title no. 15 / Summer Reading no. 22. The Raven Heir by Stephanie Burgis. Nice fantasy about triplets fleeing dukes who want them to sit on a cursed throne. (The triplets aren’t the pushovers they think.)
Summer Reading no. 21 / SSYRA no. 14 (I to go!): The Curse on Spectacle Key by Chantel Acevedo. I enjoyed this one. A ghost story with some unique twists. I liked the Florida lighthouse setting and that the main character, Frank loves books (and libraries!)
Summer Reading no. 20 / SSYRA no. 13 (2 to go!) Honestly Elliott by Gillian McDunn. I liked this one better / it seemed much more realistic than the last SSYRA title I read. The main character Elliott has ADHD and is dealing with a lot of changes, his best friend has moved, he’s about to have a new little brother, and he’s really struggling to keep up with middle school classwork. It seems that no one wants to work with him on a big spring project, until Maribel also finds herself without a group. Can they successfully work together to make pies in time for a local festival? A great title to build empathy for others’ differences.
Summer Reading no. 19 / SSYRA no. 12 (3 to go!). Parts of this I liked, particularly the relationship between Marvel (main character) and Butter (the goat), but as an adult reading, I had a lot of trouble suspending my disbelief during several parts of the book. Would a school really threaten a student with documented anxiety that she will fail sixth grade if she doesn’t perform public speaking in front of an audience? Seems like at least one caring staff member would have suggested an alternate assignment.
Summer Reading 23 no. 18: Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Perfection by Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr
Summer Reading no. 18: Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Perfection by Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr. Another worthy sequel. In this one, Ben must reconcile with the fact that perfection, like the perfect batting average, is always just out of reach.
Summer Reading no. 17: The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat. Beautifully written book. A little darker / more intense than I was expecting in parts (could’ve done without the description of the whalers in the middle), but all in all, a great high seas adventure.
Summer Reading no. 16 / SSYRA no. 11: Secondhand Dogs by Carolyn Crimi. Last year there were a few cat- centric SSYRA titles. I suppose this year is the year of the dog. Here’s Gus chatting with the elusive Ghost the mostly under the bed cat.
Summer Reading 2023 no. 15: Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Endless Waiting by Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr
Summer Reading no. 15: Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Endless Waiting by Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr. Worthy sequel to one of last year’s SSYRA titles. This time, Ben’s fortune cookie advises him to wait, and he learns some things about friendships, that it’s much easier to tell how they begin than when or how they end.
Summer Reading no. 14: Egg Marks the Spot by Amy Timberlake. I didn’t love it quite as much as I loved the first in the series, Skunk and Badger, but it is still very charming to spend time with the grumpy Badger and effervescent Skunk. Skunk reminds me more than a little bit of Gonzo from the Muppets. (He really loves chickens.) A little like Frog and Toad, but for early MG readers.
Experimented with a different brush on this one - Summer Reading no 13. Elf Dog and Owl Head by M.T. Anderson. It took me a chapter or two to get into it, but I loved it once the story got going. A boy named Clay lives at the edge of woods that have secret paths between worlds. Soon he’s adopted Elf hound Elsinore, and having adventures with Owl-head friend Amos. Great fantasy with gentle influences from the pandemic. Hard to believe this is the same author who wrote Feed.
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