Thursday, May 23, 2013

Great Summer Reading and a Free Book

Summer is infectious. Infectiously wonderful. Especially when you live in a mosquito ridden place and you finally discover that if you actually pay people money to come kill the mosquitoes at your house, the people will come, and they will kill the mosquitoes and you will be


Summer reading has nothing to do with mosquitoes, fortunately, but it is also infectious. Infectious and delicious, and I think lots of kids, if given the right sorts of encouragement, will take it up with vigor. (Can you take reading up with vigor? The answer, I believe, is yes.)

Here are a few delicious summer reading options for your middle grader. 
Product Details
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint

I'm just going to post the reviews of this book here, because I'm not feeling articulate enough to convince you to give this a try without help. 

New York Times Editors' Choice Book
A Spring 2013 Kids' Indie Next List Pick

"Thoroughly delightful....Lillian Kindred is a first-rate heroine, brave and bright and kind....Bewitching and wonderful." (New York Times )

* "De Lint zestfully combines the traditional and the original, the light and the dark, while Vess's luminous full color illustrations, simultaneously fluid and precise, capture Lillian's effervescent blend of determination and curiosity." (Publishers Weekly, starred review )

"Sweetly magical.... A satisfyingly folkloric, old-fashioned-feeling fable." (Kirkus Reviews )

"The story's lyrical, folkloric style is well suited to a tale of magic and mystery." (Booklist )

* "Has a wonderfully old-fashioned fable-like feel to it, imparting a message of 'be careful what you wish for' through beautifully descriptive, finely tuned prose that leaves no doubt about the lesson being taught, yet makes the learning of it a joy." (Quill & Quire, starred review )

We loved it.

And now:

Product Details
The Water Castle by Megan Blakemore

Here are the reviews:
"Weaving legacy and myth into science and magic, old into new and enemies into friends, Blakemore creates an exquisite mystery ... With keen intelligence and bits of humor, the prose slips calmly between narrative perspectives, trusting readers to pick up a revelation that Ephraim and Mallory don't see--and it's a doozy. ... This one is special. (Fiction. 10-14)"
- Kirkus

Blakemore (Secrets of Truth and Beauty) skillfully explores the intersection of science and magic in this multifaceted story.
Publisher's Weekly 11/26/2012

"The Water Castle is full of ad­ven­ture and mystery, but mostly it's about the importance of family, friendship and home."
- Tracy Grant, The Washington Post 1/4/2013

"What [Mallory, Will, and Ephraim] discover has the power to upend their understanding of their own family histories, to reveal the point at which science meets magic."
- Meghan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal 1/18/2013

"What shines through ... is Blakemore's tender understanding of how these children -- and all children -- feel about their lives and the adults who control them. Just as Ephraim wishes the Fountain of Youth would turn back time and heal his father, Mallory wishes she could return to a time before her family fractured, and Will, most heartbreakingly of all, wishes his father could be . . . someone else."
- S.S. Taylor, The New York Times

We loved it.

And in case you didn't know, if your kids read eight books (of any sort) over the summer, they get a free book from Barnes and Noble. 

Here's the link to the form you need:

And here's a list of the books you can choose from (and your first grader does not have to pick a book from the first grade list... Some of these choices are not so hot, but there are a few great ones on here. AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, THE TAIL OF EMILY WINDSNAP, TUESDAYS AT THE CASTLE. All worth the trouble of writing down eight books and heading over to Barnes and Noble. 

GRADES 1 & 2
Calendar Mysteries Series #1: January Joker
DK Readers: Lego Legends of Chima: Tribes of Chima
Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth Jorge el curioso: El baile My Little Pony: Meet the Ponies of Ponyville National Geographic Readers Series: Dolphins Pete the Cat: Play Ball
The Adventures of Captain Underpants Ellray Jakes Walks the Plank How to Train Your Dragon Ramona Quimby, Age 8
Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery
Al Capone Does My Shirts
Books of Beginning Series #1: The Emerald Atlas
Esperanza renace
The Tail of Emily Windsnap
Tuesdays at the Castle
Wings of Fire Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy

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