The barbeques have been dusted off and lawn chairs pulled out. The kids are running wild through the neighborhood, freed from the schedule of school. It’s hot and sunny. And it’s time to kick back with a great book.
This summer’s Book Matters (ksl.com) recommended reads include stellar fiction for the whole family. So whether you’re sitting on the porch steps or lounging by the pool, you’ll be entertained and taken away to a different world.
Little Ones, Sticky With Popsicle (picture books, ages 3-8)
This adorable Caldecott Honor book is the perfect summer read for young readers. Flora and her flamingo have lots of fun together and the pages are interactive, with lift-the-flap additions. Plus what is more summer than a cute pink flamingo?
2. “Bones: Skeletons and How They Work” by Steve Jenkins
Steve Jenkins, a Caldecott Honor winner, offers a wealth of information for curious little minds. A perfect choice for boys, this nonfiction all about different bones, what they look like and what they do, is a great addition to the family library.
Reading On Their Own, Hopefully in the Highest Branches of a Tree (middle grade, ages 8-14)
1. “Circus Mirandus” by Cassie Beasley
This new book was all the rage at the recent Book Expo of America and an Indie Next choice. Micah Tuttle believes in magic. He can’t get enough of the stories his dying grandfather tells him of the amazing Circus Mirandus. To save his grandpa, Micah goes in search of some of that magic in an extraordinary tale perfect for fans of Roald Dahl. A great choice for boys and girls.
2. “Book Scavenger” by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Another great choice for boys and girls, this new book is also a critic favorite. Emily and James, new friends in San Francisco, love to play Book Scavenger, an online game sensation with clues to hidden books all over the country. When the creator of the game is attacked, Emily and James are pulled into a mystery and a race against time.
Young Adults, Too Cool for School and Tanning by the Pool (ages 15-18)
1. “The Ghosts of Heaven” by Marcus Sedgwick
Marcus Sedgwick, master of interwoven narratives, offers a new book that will thrill, astound, and capture the attention of readers. Spirals are everywhere in our world, but how do these shapes connect a first civilization girl and her cave drawings, a Victorian mental institute doctor, and a man so far in the future that humans are looking for a new earth? Read it and find out. A good choice for girls and guys.
Content note: A couple uses of mild foul language and mild violence.
2. “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir
One of the most talked about YA books released this year, “An Ember in the Ashes” is a thrilling, meaningful fantasy that young and old can enjoy. In Tahir’s world, inspired by ancient Rome, the government is harsh and life is rough. Lila is a slave and Elias a solider, both trapped in a world they hate. When the two meet, their fates and the fate of the Empire changes forever. This is the first book in a series.
Content note: A lot of violence, some brutal and possibly emotionally disturbing, including attempted rape. Only a few cases of mild foul language and some mild romantic kissing.
Grown-Ups, Hiding in the Shade with a Cold Beverage (ages 18+)
1.“A Heart Revealed” by Josi S. Kilpack
New in the “Proper Romance” line from local publisher Shadow Mountain, “A Heart Revealed” is a thoughtful, hard-to-put-down clean romance set in Regency London. Favorite local author, Josi Kilpack, takes the familiar high society story and throws in some of the unexpected. When a tragedy befalls Amber Sterlington, the Rage of the Season, she is cast out of London. Forced to face a simpler life with little hope of regaining her old life, Amber must look at the world in a new way, including what it means to be a friend, a sister, and, perhaps, a wife.
Content Note: A clean read.
2. “Beach Town” by Mary Kay Andrews
New from New York Times Best-Selling author, Mary Kay Andrews, comes the quintessential beach read. Greer Hennessey, a struggling movie location scout, finds herself in the blissful Florida Keys, doing her best to find exactly what her new director wants for his big film. The little town is perfect, but there’s one big problem: Eben Thinadeaux, the mayor. Lots of wit, charm, and romance abound in this story.
Content note: The occasional use of foul language, some sexual references, and one to two moderately descriptive sex scenes.
3. “The Truth and Other Lies” by Sascha Arango
For something a little dark and twisty, pick up this brand new book, out June 23, 2015. Henry Haden is a charming, handsome, successful novelist. He’s a great friend and a devoted husband. He’s also a psychopath. When his mistress becomes pregnant, the secret of who really writes his best-selling novels (his wife) is threatened. What follows is a path that winds around so many curves you’ll be dizzy with delight. Extremely clever, humorous, and hard to put down. Great for guys.
Content note: Occasional use of foul language, including a couple F-words, and a few graphic sexual references.
4. “Nine Coaches Waiting” by Mary Stewart
Now for something old, and so worth the read. In the 1960’s author Mary Stewart was queen of the romantic suspense novel. This book, one of her bests, feels like “Jane Eyre” and “Rebecca” rolled into one delightful story. Linda Martin arrives at the Chateau Valmy, ready to serve as governess to the young French boy who is set to inherit the estate and family fortune. There she also meets the handsome, daring Raoul Valmy. But when the young boy’s life is threatened Linda is unsure if she can trust the man she’s fallen in love with. Compulsively readable and beautifully written.
Content note: A clean read. Only a couple romantic kisses.