With summer approaching, it is the perfect time to select some books to read on the porch with a tall glass of lemonade. With the volume of homework you manage all year it can be hard to find time to read for pleasure. Remember the joy you get from reading a riveting story and not wanting to put it down? Our friends at Wellesley Books offer recommendations in a range of genres:
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo A powerful free verse story of two teens whose lives become unexpectedly intertwined when their late father’s bigamy is revealed and they discover that they’re sisters. Told in two voices: Camino in a barrio in the Dominican Republic, and Yahaira’s Washington Heights neighborhood.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (5/19/20)
Set sixty four years before the events of The Hunger Games, teenager Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory. It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games and the once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times. Tasked with mentoring a District 12 tribute, Snow has to outwit, outcharm, and outmaneuver. Their fates intertwined, every choice could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin.
Jo & Laurie by Melissa de la Cruz and Margaret Stohl (6/2/20)
After the publication of Little Women, Jo March is surprised to discover her book is a bestseller, and her publisher is demanding a sequel. Pressured into coming up with a story, she seeks inspiration in New York with her dear friend Laurie. But Laurie has romance on his mind and despite her growing feelings, her desire to remain independent leads her to reject his proposal. When Laurie returns to Concord with a new love, will Jo finally admit her true feelings or risk losing him forever?
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson (6/2/20)
Liz Lightly has always believed that she’s too black, too poor, and too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed town. But she has a plan for that–she’ll attend Pennington College, play in their world famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when her financial aid falls through, her plans are ruined…or are they? Her school has a scholarship for prom king and queen and that would be perfect. The only problem is that she hates the spotlight. The only thing that makes it all halfway bearable is meeting Mack–she’s funny, smart, and the timing might be perfect for all of Liz’s dreams to come true.
Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi
Rebellious Frannie Tasker knows little about the war between England and its thirteen colonies in 1776, until a shipwreck off her home in Grand Bahama Island presents an unthinkable opportunity. Frannie assumes the identity of the drowned Emmeline Coates, sails to New York and lives as Miss Coates for three years. But, after witnessing the darker side of the war, she realizes that her position gives her power. Soon she’s eavesdropping on British officers, risking everything to pass information on to George Washington’s Culper spy ring as agent 355.
Five estranged cousins are lost in a maze of their family’s tangled secrets. Their grandparents, former potato farmers Gottfried and Marla Hemmings, managed to trade digging spuds for developing subdivisions and now they sit atop a million-dollar bank account—wealth they’ve refused to pass on to their adult children or their five teenage grandchildren. The Hemmings family is rotten to its very core and the result is convoluted, heart-wrenching and, in the end, hopeful. The world depends on future generations to try and help fix mistakes made in the past so that history doesn’t repeat itself. It’s a daunting task, but one that the characters in Dig will have to face as they come together and in their search for the truth.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Set during the 1800s in Joseon (Korea), The Silence of Bones is the story of a young woman, Seol, who has been indentured to the police bureau during a time when silence is golden and curiosity can be fatal. When a noblewoman is brutally murdered, Seol is tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector. But their friendship and her loyalty are put to the test when signs begin to point to him being the prime suspect. Unable to trust anyone, Seol has to rely on her own ingenuity to discover the truth and prevent another murder before it’s too late. June Hur has crafted a formidable work of historical fiction that covers a period of time that often feels sorely overlooked in young adult literature. It’s a gripping and often gruesome mystery that I think readers will be talking about for some time to come.