Librarians and booksellers share their picks for satisfying summertime readingSummer is here and the time is right to find something to read. Finding a good book fit for a summer read can be daunting, whether you’re looking for a beach read or something for your kids.
By: John Lamb, INFORUM, Worthington Daily Globe
Summer is here and the time is right to find something to read.
Finding a good book fit for a summer read can be daunting, whether you’re looking for a beach read or something for your kids.
We asked a couple of librarians (Sandra Hannahs, director of the West Fargo Public Library, and Amber Emery, children’s coordinator at Fargo Public Library) and a couple of book sellers (Greg Danz of Zandbroz Variety and Dan Wolford and Tish Schnase from Barnes & Noble) for some summer suggestions for different ages and interests.
Kindergartners and younger
“Ladybug Girl at the Beach” by David Soman.
“It’s all about being brave and doing things, even if you’re a little nervous,” Schnase says. “It’s kind of about overcoming your fears and having fun at the same time.”
She adds that “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munroe Leaf has been popular since Sandra Bullock’s character read it in the film “The Blind Side,” even if the book was first published more than 50 years ago.
Danz suggests “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!” by Candace Fleming, about Mr. McGreely keeping bunnies out of his vegetable garden.
6 and 7
“Fancy Nancy” by Jane O’Connor.
“She tries to do everything the best she can, but she’s also very human and relatable,” Schnase says, adding “Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid” series by Megan McDonald is a good selection, too.
Everyone agrees that the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and the “Red Pyramid” series by Rick Riordan are still hits with kids.
“We can’t keep those on the shelves,” Emery says.
The same goes for the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.
“I read it and thought they were hysterical,” Emery says.
“Kathryn Lasky’s ‘Guardians of Ga’Hoole’ series (fantasy fiction with owls as the main characters) could also prove popular this summer, with a movie scheduled for release in September,” Hannahs points out.
“Twilight” still has some bite, and the release of Stephenie Meyer’s novella “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” on Saturday will start a new feeding frenzy, Hannah says.
Schnase says the futuristic “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins is the rare book popular with both boys and girls. The girls may also like mismatched romances like “Beastly” by Alex Flinn or “Perfect Chemistry” by Simone Elkeles.
“We’re Gonna Win Twins: 50 Years of Minnesota’s Hometown Team” by Doug Grow.
“Revel in the highs and lows of our favorite baseball team,” Danz says.
Wolford suggests another for Twins fans, “Carew,” an autobiography by former Twins hitter Rod Carew, with an intro by former Twins outfielder Torii Hunter.
Even those not into sports will enjoy “Sports From Hell” by Rick Reilly, the Sports Illustrated author’s look at goofy games around the world.
“I Am Ozzy” by Ozzy Osbourne.
Without question, I would recommend the new autobiography,” says Wolford. “This is very funny and extremely honest and open about all the things he did wrong … like he’s talking to you.”
He also recommends “Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen” by Jimmy McDonough or “Pops,” the Louis Armstrong biography by Terry Teachout and the new Carol Burnett Autobiography, “This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection.”
“My Fair Lazy” by Jen Lancaster.
“A humorous book about what it’s like to be an affluent, overweight, middle-aged white woman in America,” Wolford says.
For other page-turners, he suggests John Sanford’s “Storm Prey” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest,” Stieg Larsson’s finale to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy.
Danz likes “Driftless” by David Rhodes, “a captivating tale that weaves together diverse individuals living in Words, Wis. … Depicts the complexity and simplicity of small-town, Midwestern living in a way that leaves you saying, ‘one more page.’ "
Danz also recommends “To Kill a Mockingbird,” 50 years after it was published.
“Turn off the air conditioning and relive the experience,” he says about the classic about justice in the segregated South.
“War” by Sebastian Junger.
“It’s very good insight into the down and dirty on the front line,” Wolford says of the journalist’s experience embedded with American troops in Afghanistan.
He also recommends “They Were Ready,” Terry Shoptaugh’s account of North Dakota National Guard’s 164th Infantry Regiment’s role in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
On the softer side, Wolford suggests “Lift,” letters to her children by Kelly Corrigan, calling it, “small, poignant and the type of thing a mother would give to her adolescent daughter.”