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Summertime Reads

Elisabeth Padjen
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Summer reads

Elisabeth Padjen from Houston Public Library suggests books for kids and adults to enjoy this summer. 

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

July - the midpoint of summer. When the hours are long and the temperatures are high! I remember endless hours reading under the humming swamp cooler. I picked quite a few nostalgic reads for my recommendations as I thought of my own youthful extended summer days.

My first picture book recommendation is the imaginative and intricate pop-up books of David A. Carter. Especially all his whimsical “Bug” pop-up books. Illustrations are reminiscent of Tim Burton with their slightly eerie yet bright pop-ups. My second children’s book recommendation is I Am Bat by Morag Hood. This picture book is minimalist yet colorful. We follow the story of the somewhat temperamental Bat and his love of cherries and then his despair of finding his beloved cherries gone. Although not overly detailed or intricate each page is packed with emotion and humor. You and your child will never tire of lovable Bat’s story.

For young readers I first suggest Trial by Journal and the Regarding Series both by Kate Klise. She more recently published The 43 Old Cemetery Road Series. Both Trial by Journal and the Regarding Series are mysteries in a scrapbook format that include journal entries, letters and other miscellaneous clues. It will be a challenge if your child is accustomed to a traditional story format, however the format will show them how to find connections and deduce motives, they will be a true detective! Next I suggest another suspenseful tale I’m Not Who You Think I Am by Peg Kehret (one of my favorite children's authors). The book follows a typical young girl who suddenly finds herself being followed by a woman who is convinced she is her missing daughter. My little eleven year old self could hardly stand the suspense!

For adults, I suggest Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. This dark humor book is a semi-satire novel on the Scooby Doo Gang. A group of amatuer sleuths solve a local mystery unveiling a supposed monster and saving the day! However, years later the gang reunites to finally acknowledge it wasn’t just a kooky monster but something much more dark and sinister. My last recommendation is the cozy mysteries (they are my guilty pleasure) Flavia de Luce Series. Follow the eleven year old Flavia, a spunky and precocious chemist who solves murders in her sleepy 1950’s English village. The book covers are distinct with their vibrant and stark silhouettes and I’m sure lovely in any library but I highly recommend the audiobooks read by award winning Jayne Entwistle. Entwistle brings young Flavia to life with an animated and bold performance! You can download the Flavia audiobooks and many more on Overdrive, all accessed for free with your library card!

Enjoy those long sweltering hours while they last! Find a pool, some lemonade and a cool book to occupy yourself before the days shorten and school looms in view of the next week.

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