“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”—Jeannette Walls
One of the most beautiful occurrences that develop when spring turns to summer and school days end and unstructured ones begin, is the sudden emergence of free time for which to partake in pleasurable pursuits of our own choosing. Come summer, some of us will sleep in more or stay up later, take on a hobby, or catch-up on movies and shows that we’ve missed. There are long pockets of time for playing board games, card matches, riding bikes, and being outside in the glorious sunshine. A nap in the hammock is quite the thrill, as is planting a garden and digging for worms. In my family, we do a combination of all these worthwhile pastimes, and more. By far, the most satisfying part of summer break is finding chunks of uninterrupted time for reading. This summer season, we frequented our local public library the most, but also made a few jaunts to Half Price Books and Barnes and Noble, and discovered a remarkable bookstore one rainy day during our annual vacation where we left with an overflowing bag of terrific literary discoveries.
Bookworm Girl’s summer favorites were: Mary Poppins, A Pumpkin Falls Mystery series, all of The Penderwicks novels, and she enjoyed a few of the original The Baby-Sitters Club books.
- The kids’ Nana gifted her original, beautiful copy of Mary Poppins to Bookworm Girl, and it was a special one to read. Though, she commented that Mary Poppins was much stricter in the book than her movie character!
- Of the Pumpkin Falls series, Bookworm Girl thought the stories were full of history and mystery. She noted, “the mystery was the good kind—not creepy!”
- I think Bookworm Girl may have let out a large “sigh” when she closed the cover of the last of The Penderwicks titles. Collectively, she thought all of the books in the series had great stories with their own, different adventures. She said she was “disappointed” when the series ended and wishes their stories could continue.
- Bookworm Girl’s favorite two Baby-Sitters Club books were Super Special #1 Baby-sitters on Board! and Kristy’s Great Idea.
- Bookworm Girl is starting off the third grade with Clementine for silent reading time. To read at home, she borrowed Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance (Book #6) from the school library. The Tail of Emily Windsnap is next in line to be read which she chose from Barnes and Noble. This fall, our mother-daughter book club is reading Ramona’s World.
The highlights of Bookworm Boy’s summer reading pile were: The Spy School series, the Lego Neighborhood book, and he’s just about finished with The Losers Club.
- The Spy School series was recommended to Bookworm Boy by a few of his friends. He was so glad he took their advice, and found the stories to be humorous, suspenseful, and included some pretty cool battles. Of the seven books in the series, Bookworm Boy’s favorites were Spy School and Evil Spy School. Though, he said it was so difficult to choose since all of them were great in their own right.
- It was a delight for Bookworm Boy to discover The LEGO Neighborhood Book: Build Your Own Town at the bookshop we happened upon in Holland, MI. He has been reading and building intricate Lego designs ever since purchasing the book for himself. (My husband and I bought him LEGO Neighborhood Book 2 a few weeks later for his birthday and it’s equally fascinating.) If you have a Lego enthusiast in the home, these books makes a perfect gift.
- Bookworm Boy is beginning sixth grade with Space Case for his silent reading time choice, and has Book Scavenger on deck, his selection from Barnes and Noble.
During the summer, Bookworm Babe stole some new selections for his reading pleasure from the bookcase in the room of his older brother and became quite attached to the first of the Roscoe Riley Rules stories. We currently have the next few on request from the library and he’s waiting (im)patiently for those to become available! He’s quite entertained by the Elephant & Piggie series, and was enthralled with a book about sharks for most of our vacation. Bookworm Boy is at that precious age where nonfiction books from the library—especially about animals, bugs, dinosaurs, and vehicles—are fascinating to his growing mind, and a joy to read.
As for me, the most memorable book I read this summer was The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell. If bookstores are some of your favorite places to visit, I can’t recommend this one enough.
“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.”
― Jen Campbell, The Bookshop Book
What books made your summer favorites list? We’d love to hear about the books that captivated and delighted you most. Please, share in the comments.
“Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.”—Charlaine Harris