Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Reading, New Books

My new book was released last week and we celebrated with PS 87 by having a reading and book fair to raise money for the school. Peter Ackerman had already arranged to read his new book, The Lonely Phone Booth, and he kindly allowed me to share the stage. His book is hilarious and terribly clever.
My book is called Orangutans Are Ticklish: Fun Facts from An Animal Photographer--and it's really a beautiful book. The photographer is Steve Grubman, who takes studio shots of every animal imaginable. The book features his photos, and my job was to find facts to go with the photos. I learned so much about the most common animals in this process, and now I can actually walk around town discussing where various species of elephant come from and the fact that a tiger would beat a lion in a fight. The book is available anywhere, so if you buy it, I will be happy to sign it for you.

I have been wanting to start a good list for summer reading. Almost everyday, I am asked about this topic. What can my son read? What would my daughter like? I love to do this and yet it's not always easy to come up with an answer on the spot. One of my favorite ways to find the right book for a child is to pull something off the shelf and read the first line, or the first paragraph, or if you can do it--the first page. This has been my secret reading weapon with my older son. I pretend I am going to read him a novel, and after one chapter, I say I am going to bed and we'll continue tomorrow--but then --HA! I trick him and he takes the book and keeps reading!

Here are some perfectly brilliant books for the nine or ten year old! (Most of these authors also write for younger kids, too, so check out their Amazon pages!)

Realistic Fiction:

Swindled and Zoo Break by Gordon Korman
Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
Schooled by Gordon Korman

With a very slightly historical bent:

Al Capone Does My Shirts
and Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Jennifer Choldenko

With a British bent:

Skellig and Kit's Wilderness by David Almond

With superpowers and the internet:
A series in two forms: Hero.com and Villain.net by Andy Briggs

More for Girls:

Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen (three separate titles) by Lauren Myracle. She also has a series with titles such as TTYL

Sarah Dessen's books are sort of the Judy Blume books of today--friendship, family, romance...fun!

I will be back soon with lists for the younger ages--7-10!