It’s June – time for summer reading! The turning of pages poolside. Perhaps the clicking of the Kindle key lakeside.
The blue band of ocean over the top of a book, toes in the sand. And even if we’re stuck on a train or in an office during these summer months, these are the books that make us feel poolside, lakeside, beach bound.
The Hinky Pink by Megan McDonald, Illustrated by Brian Floca
This wonderful fairytale written by the author of the Judy Moody books is so much fun. It embodies all the whimsical spirit of a summer read – magical language, humorous side characters (see Mag, the nursemaid and grumpy princess Isabella Caramella Gorgonzola), a heroine we can root for – sweet Anabel who wishes she was named Anabella (an added perk for our family as my daughter is Anabella). Anabel, a mater seamstress, is called to the castle to make the princess a beautiful dress for the Butterfly Ball; however, when a Hinky-Pink gets involved, it makes for sleepless nights for poor Anabel – unless she can learn its secret!
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Nothing says summer reading like a beach holiday book. I loved them as a girl and I love them now, so right away Twenty Boy Summer just had that warm feeling of the summer holiday books that I’ve loved from my past. But what I enjoyed most about this sweet young adult novel is that it has so many layers (it deals with the painful arc of letting go of a loved one – and a secret) and Ockler provides such a much needed voice in young adult fiction. I don’t like to compare writers to other writers (because we are really just all our own voices) but I think readers of Deb Caletti and Ann Brashares would find a soul-mate in Sarah Ockler.
Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen
For summer reading, I tend to like an intimate story – a trip to a beachside home rented for decades by a family or a story of a woman suddenly changed by circumstance and forced to reflect on her life. Skipping a Beat is the latter type of story and such a great summer read. This book not only explores a marriage in a really interesting way but it has a fabulous premise that forces the reader to investigate her own relationship to materialism which really resonates in this kind of economy. It has an important theme – what does it mean to be successful? – without being too heavy. Ultimately, it will make you stop and think about some of your own choices without sinking your pool raft.
What are your favourite summer reads?