Some Great Summer Reads

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a huge fan of children’s and young adult literature. This year, my family has embarked on a  50 book challenge wherein each of us is trying to read a total of 50 books over the course of the year. I have been reviewing my books on my kid lit blog. Unfortunately, I have fallen behind in the last few weeks. Not to worry, though, I have been reading some wonderful books lately. Here is a quick look:

Mirrors of Our Lives by Holly Pavlov. I have been rereading parts of this incredible book as part of my preparation for the bas mitzvah lessons I am doing with my daughter and nieces. Rebbetzin Pavlov shares her wisdom and knowledge by pulling out important themes and ideas from the lives of our biblical women. An informative and fascinating read.

The Fire Within by Chris D’Lacey. This is the first of the Last Dragon Chronicles. I just borrowed the sixth in the series from the library and wanted to reread this one before launching into the new one. I absolutely love this book. It speaks to all of my passions. The characters are fun, real people pursuing their passions and living their lives with meaning. There is a drop of mystery and magic, to keep the sparks flying, and an environmental edge that satisfies my save-the-world mentality. While the rest of the series gets more dangerous and the stakes are higher, The Fire Within is a light-hearted adventure that entertains while it enlightens.

Green by Laura Peyton Roberts. This was a silly but fun book. Lily is abducted by leprechauns on her thirteenth birthday only to discover that her past isn’t quite what she thought it was. There is more to Lily than meets the eye. Like many comingof-age stories, Lily finds inner strength as she travels through her adventures.

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones. Another magical and somewhat mysterious book. For some reason, I cannot recall the plot or characters. Not a good sign, I know, but I am convinced my memory was wiped as I closed the book – so that I would not be able to reveal the book’s secrets, of course;)

The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts. This series was pure escape! I NEVER read these kinds of books. This particular series was sitting in my house for many, many months. My mom sent it to me as she read them and I just glanced at them in disdain every time I passed by. Well, my neighbour started reading them and kept telling me how funny they were. She was borrowing them one after the other. I was looking for something light to read and thought I would give them a try – she seemed to enjoy them so much. Once I started, I couldn’t put them down. I read all four in about two weeks. I really loved the premise of the series. It is essentially the story of four friends who combined their passions into a thriving business. Imagine doing what you love and being paid for it! It is a dream come true for anyone. (These are adult books, and very girly-girl.)

Parking Lot Rules by Tom Sturgess. This is a non-fiction parenting book. I started it as it looked interesting and full of practical, common sense parenting ideas. I got about a quarter of the way through it and put it down though. While I did like some of the tips, like having your child squeeze your finger to indicate how much pain she is in, I wasn’t crazy about the tone of the book as a whole. I found Sturgess to be a little condescending and some of his advice a bit paranoia-inducing. Way too much hand washing, for example. I am all for hand washing but I do not think it is healthy for kids to become too reliant on it, like in an OCD kind of a way. I get a little nervous when people are completely unwilling to expose their kids to germs. They need some exposure in order to build up their immunities.

Lighting Their Fires by Rafe Esquith. Esquith is a veteran teacher who gives his whole heart to his students. He is innovative and enlightening. I blogged about him and his book a few weeks ago on a Friday post. One of the early chapters of the book speaks about punctuality, and its vital importance. This topic is still rolling around in my head – that is how powerful Esquith’s argument was.

Fire World by Chris D’Lacey. This is the latest installment of the Last Dragon Chronicles Series. I was worried I would have forgotten too much of the previous books to read this one but I took a chance (after rereading the first one, of course). This book took an entirely different path than its predecessors. It was truly fascinating. I don’t want to say too much because you REALLY have to read this one. It is magical, philosophical, intriguing and exciting all at once. I love this series and this book in particular. I would reccommend reading the series in order. I may go back and do that, reading this one again with the others fresh in my mind.

I hope you will enjoy a summer of wonderful books. Let me know which ones you liked so that I can read them too 🙂


About wottparenting

I am mother to 5 delightful human beings, and hold a B.A. in Literature, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Ph.D. in Listening and Agreeing. This blog invites you to join me as I continue my learning journey with my children.
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