Check it out: Summer chapter books

4:05 PM, Jun. 7, 2013  |  Comments
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Erin B Moulton offers a defining summer story in her captivating second novel, "Tracing Stars." For Indie Lee Chickory, a fisherman's daughter in a touristy New England town, summer is just beginning, but her life is falling apart. On the last day of school, her pet Monty Cola, an extremely rare golden lobster, escapes. In addition, Indie's sister Bebe, who has always been her closest confidant, has become status obsessed and emotionally distant. When Bebe gets a role in the community theater's production of "The Sound of Music", Indie volunteers to work with the "misfits" backstage. Indie finds herself making unexpected friendships with the punk rocker who runs the woodshop, as well as out-of-towner Owen. Owen, serious-minded and scientific, proves to be a loyal friend. He even accompanies Indie on her moonlit searches for Monty. When Bebe and her arrogant friends play a cruel prank on Owen, Indie makes a decision that defines her summer and herself. Vivid, likable characters, poetic imagery, and a cola-swigging lobster add up to a standout summertime novel.

(Suggested grade levels)

"One Crazy Summer" by Rita Williams-Garcia (4-7)

This short but powerful piece of historical fiction takes place in Oakland, Calif. in 1968, when tensions are crackling between the Black Panthers and police. Delphine, a responsible and perceptive 11-year-old, and her two charismatic younger sisters are visiting their mother, who abandoned them seven years before. In the process of trying to understand her mother, who is cold and resentful and at best warily amused by her daughters, Delphine discovers revelations about of her sisters, herself, and her cultural history.

"Words of Stone" by Kevin Henkes (3-6)

Ten-year old Blaze, insightful and artistic, spends a lot of time alone. His widowed artist father, whom Blaze idolizes, is kind but often distracted and distant. Over the course of a summer Blaze is adjusting to his dad's new girlfriend and the lingering loss of his mother. Things take an eerie turn when Blaze starts awakening to messages written in on the hill which spell the tragedies in his past. Meanwhile, Blaze meets Joselle, who has moved in across the hill with her grandmother after one of her mother's sporadic abandonments. Where Blaze is introverted and cautious, Josie is needy and unpredictable. The key to the words of stone throws light on the secrets of both Blaze and Josie while casting a perilous shadow over the bond they've forged. This perceptive and hauntingly lyrical novel is ultimately a triumphant tale of resilience and a reward to insightful readers.

"Abel's Island" by William Steig (2-4)

"The Applewhites" at Wit's End by Stephanie Tolan (5-8)

"Artsy-Fartsy: An Aldo Zelnick Graphic Novel" by Karla Oceanak (3-5)

"Because of Winn Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo (2-5)

"Behind the Bookcase" by Mark Steensland (4-7)

"Cheesie Mack is Cool in a Duel" by Stephen Colter (2-5)

"The Encyclopedia of Me" by Karen Rivers (5-8)

"Eye of the Storm" by Kate Messner (4-8)

"The Ghost of Graylock" by Dan Poblocki (5-8)

"Glory Be" by Augusta Scattergood (3-6)

"Holes" by Lois Sachar (3-6)

"Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast" (series) by Clete Smith (4-7)

"Ivy Honeysuckle Discovers the World" by Candice Ransom (1-4)

"Ivy Takes Care" by Rosemary Wells (2-5)

"Junonia" by Kevin Henkes (2-4)

"Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom" by Rachel Vail (2-4)

"Keeper" by Kathi Appelt (4-7)

"King of the Mound : My Summer with Satchel Page" by Wes Tooke (2-5)

"Lawn Boy/Lawn Boy Returns" by Gary Paulsen (4-7)

"The Lemonade War" by Jacqueline Davies (3-5)

"Little Blog on the Prairie" by Cathleen Bell (5-8)

"The Mapmaker and the Ghost" by Sarvenas Tash (3-6)

"Mr. Terupt Falls Again" by Rob Buyea (4-7)

"My Life as a Book" by Janet Tashjian (4-7)

"My One Hundred Adventures" by Polly Horvath (4-7)

"Nature Girl" by Jane Kelley (5-8)

"Nerd Camp" by Elissa Weissman (3-6)

"Notes from the Dog" by Gary Paulsen (5-9)

"Olive's Ocean" by Kevin Henkes (5-8)

"One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street" by Joanne Rocklin (3-6)

"Penny from Heaven" by Jennifer Holm (5-8)

"Planet Tad" by Tim Carvell (3-6)

"Rebel McKenzie" by Candice Ransom (3-6)

"Precious Bones" by Mika Ashley-Hollinger (4-7)

"Rules" by Cynthia Lord (4-7)

"Seaglass Summer" by Anjali Banerjee (3-6)

"Secrets from the Sleeping Bag" by Rose Cooper (4-7)

"The Shadow Collector's Apprentice" by Amy Gordon (4-7)

"Snow in Summer: Fairest of them All" by Jane Yolen (5-8)

"Sparrow Road" by Sheila O'Connor (4-8)

"Summerhouse Time" by Eileen Spinelli (4-6)

"The Summer Before Boys" by Nora Baskin (4-6)

"Summer of the Gypsy Moths" by Sara Pennypacker (4-8)

"Summer of the Wolves" by Polly Carson-Voiles (4-7)

"Summer in the City" by Marie-Louise Gay (2-4)

"Sway" by Amber McRee Turner (3-6)

"Ten Good and Bad Things about My Life (So Far)" by Ann Martin (3-6)

"Three Times Lucky" by Sheila Turnage (4-7)

"Tracing Stars" by Erin Moulton (4-7)

"Turtle in Paradise" by Jennifer Holm (4-6)

"The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis (4-6)

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