Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Summer Reading

Of the books I read this summer, here are my favorites:

I came across WILDTHORN by Jane Eagland as I prepared for a talk I'm giving in Hayward, WI this Friday about including Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender books for young adults in your public/school library. A 17-year-old girl in Victorian England dreams of someday becoming a doctor, but finds herself imprisoned in an asylum for the insane instead. Slowly she discovers why she was sent there, and desperately plans an escape. Both harrowing, and eventually hopeful.

Another outstanding historical fiction book for young adults was Katherine Sturtevant's THE BROTHERS STORY. Set during the Great Frost of 1683, 15-year-old Kit escapes to London to find a better life for himself, even though it means leaving behind his simple-minded twin brother. It isn't a book I would have picked up on my own (the cover doesn't do it justice) but thankfully I was given it as a gift, and the rich details of the time period kept me fascinated as Kit discovers what is most meaningful to him.

Finally THE POPULARITY PAPERS by Amy Ignatow is a hilarious book describing two fifth grade girls' attempt to become popular. I found it a kinder and funnier DIARY OF A WIMPY KID-type book. As a side note, one of the girls just happens to live with two dads, which is dealt with very matter-of-factly. If you know any middle grade girls (or even middle-aged men), they will eat this up.


Stephanie said...

Those sound like great reads:) Have fun in Hayward. I remember when they were constructing that big muskie. My gramma lived right on Hwy 12 and we sat on her porch and watched it drive by in pieces.

Christy said...

David, interesting comment you made that the cover of THE BROTHERS STORY doesn't do the book justice. Even though I'm warned not to, I do judge books by their covers. All the books you've introduced SOUND like interesting reads, but the first one LOOKS the most intriguing to me. The cropped historic garment creates a mystery.

Laurie Miles said...

Thanks, David, for recommending WILDTHORN, which is now on my reading list. And I'm so glad you liked THE BROTHERS STORY. I'm now on to Katherine Sturtevant's SIGN OF THE STAR, set in the same historical time period. It makes all the stuff I learned of John Dryden and Aphra Behn in grad school actually mean something!

Lauren said...

David, Wild Thorn sounds like it's right up my alley- my reading list is getting very long thanks to you well-read potatoes! All three are going on my list! Thanks!

Mark said...

As Lauren said, our reading lists keep getting longer! I really enjoy learning about new books via recommendations from trusted sources, such as the One Potato...Ten gang. Thanks, David, and good luck with your talk, which I believe is happening (or has already happened) today!

Edie Hemingway said...

I hope your talk went well! I'm behind on reading the One Potato...Ten posts, as I've been away, celebrating my father's 90th birthday. Thanks for these recommendations!