Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Reading: Chapter Books

Ah, summertime! When we were kids, while my brother and sisters were off water skiing, swimming, riding bikes in the driveway, I could always be found in the hammock or under a tree or (gasp!) inside the house with a book. Summer to them meant go-karts and sunburns and outdoor voices. Summer to me meant uninterrupted, uninhibited hour after hour of reading. We all agreed: summer was heaven!

So I'm putting together a small box of summer reading for two of my nieces. I hope they run around and get some sunshine and fresh air in their bones this summer, but I also hope they find some time to get swept up in a good story, just for fun. Here are some of the chapter books I'm sending over.

If they were *your* nieces, what would you include?

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel: because my niece love-love-LOVES cats. And because it's hilarious. I love the note left in the bathroom: "Dear Family, I am going to give Kitty a bath. Do not cry for me. I have lived a long, happy life. Instead, remember me for my bravery and courage..."

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell: Magical rodents, a nanny mystery, and a potion that makes you fart when you lie? What's not to like?

Savvy by Ingrid Law: There's a reason this book got a Newbery Honor. It's stunning. My husband walked into the room when I was only about ten pages in and I shushed him. Seriously. It's that good.

Rules by Cynthia Lord: A funny, poignant, honest story from the point of view of a girl with an autistic younger brother. A must read. (My 2007 review)

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban: Still one of my favorite middle grade novels of the past few years. 10-year old Zoe would give anything to play piano in an elegant, glamorous recital hall. Instead, she gets lessons on a "wood-grained, vinyl-seated, wheeze-bag organ." Hilarious and sweet.

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