Friday, May 29, 2009

Sue Scheff: Summer Reading for Teens

Summer reading and teens don’t always mix, however offers some great advice and ideas to get your High School teens reading this summer.

Summer reading is a great way to get your child interested in books, on his or her own terms. For the best books for high school summer reading, we turned to the nation’s finest independent bookstores to get their favorites, from classics to new releases, death-defying adventures to thought-provoking insights. Here are their recommendations for a summertime full of fantastic books:

Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons by Ann Rinaldi

This work of historical fiction is the story of Phillis Wheatley, America’s first published black poet. She goes from being a slave to being the toast of literary society, but the story of her success is also a thought-provoking exploration of a time, place, and culture. Recommended by Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO. Where to buy.

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce

A retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin story taking place on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, this book has a strong heroine with a big serving og romance, suspense, and a fine historic sense about it. Recommended by Powell’s Books, Portland, OR. Where to buy.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

In this third installment in the wildly popular Twilight Saga series, Bella is again caught up in a world of vampire romance and danger. A perfect summertime read for fans and newcomers to the series alike. Recommended by Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, IA. Where to buy.

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

Just the young adult book we’ve been waiting for! With characters both achingly real and creatively imaged, Kluger is sure to garner favorable reviews from teens and parents alike, and probably some national awards and honors along the way. Recommended by 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL. Where to buy.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

A coming of age story about a young girl’s aspirations to become a famous author, this is a wonderfully written and timeless story with real characters that anyone can relate to.

Recommended by Linden Tree Children’s Recordings and Books, Los Altos, CA. Where to buy.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Set in San Francisco, a few years in the future, terrorists blow up the bay bridge and 3 young teens find themselves taken into custody by homeland security. Outraged by their treatment, one of the kids takes it upon himself to fight the system and take down “Big Brother”. This is a fabulous techno-thriller, widely regaled as the “Hipper, Younger Brother of Orwell’s 1984.” Hands down the best book of the summer! Recommended by Kepler’s Bookstore, Menlo Park, CA. Where to buy.

Want to see more from’s book list? Here’s a collection of our favorite books for high school:

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

This fantasy series melds adventure, magic, and myth in an epic battle between the powers of Light and Dark. Before there was Harry Potter, there was Will Stanton, the seventh son of a seventh son who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is one of the Old Ones, dedicated to battling the powers of evil. This series strikes the perfect balance between everyday characters and a world of ancient magic, humor and danger.

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