Great books to kick off your summer break


LUCKY BROKEN GIRL by Ruth Behar “An unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative — based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s.” When young Ruthie just begins to adjust to her new home in New York City after arriving from Castro’s Cuba in the 1960’s, she is involved in an accident that leaves her bedridden and broken. As she tries to make up for the fact that she cannot move, her other senses are awakened and she learns so much about people and the world around her. Filled with culture, infused with love, Lucky Broken Girl is a message of perseverance, and hope. Books like this are magic.

HAMSTER PRINCESS GIANT TROUBLE by Ursula Vernon “A magical beanstalk leads to a GIANT surprise in book four of the series that’s chock-full of girl power” Giant fun in this latest Hamster Princess installment! These books just get better and better! This adventure filled adaption of Jack and the Beanstalk is utterly clever, perfectly witty, and wonderfully enchanting! I love Harriet Hamsterbone so much! I want more and more and more!

THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA by Pablo Cartaya “Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?” I have an EPIC love for Arturo Zamora! I don’t think I have loved a middle grade book much as this one in quite some time. Filled with food, family, culture, poetry, and a first crush, this story takes us on an epic journey to find one’s self. An excellent adventure about the power of words, the love of family, the value of friendship and the courage to fight for what’s right. We need more voices like Pablo Cartaya in children’s literature.

WELCOME TO WONDERLAND #2: BEACH PARTY SURF MONKEYS by Chris Grabenstein “A hilarious, fun-in-the-sun illustrated adventure series about all the wacky things that happen when you live in a motel!” Living in a motel IS all it’s cracked up to be! Especially if you live in a beach motel and the hottest teen idols in the world are filming a movie right near you! Now to convince Hollywood that your motel is the place to be for this beach movie setting! Fun in the sun, toes in the sand and a chance to be famous! What an awesome summer this is going to turn out to be for P.T. and Gloria! This book is summer reading at its best! It is engaging; fast paced and is sure to grab even the most reluctant reader. Add it to your child’s summer reading FUN list!

THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS by Emily Barr “It’s not a lie if you can’t remember the truth.” What if a tumor took your short term memory? What if your brain lacked the ability to make new memories? What if one day just ONE memory breaks this mold and you live it over and over again? The One Memory of Flora Banks was one emotional roller coaster ride! A true suspense story. An amazingly complex psychological thriller sure to please YA and adult readers alike. Unique in many ways, Flora’s journey of self-discovery is realistic, romantic and riveting. Pick this one up this summer!

ALWAYS AND FOREVER, Lara Jean by Jenny Han“When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?” It is finally Lara Jean’s senior year! To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is my favorite Jenny Han series, and Always and Forever, Lara Jean is my most FAVORITE of ALL! The best Jenny Han book EVER! Filled with pop culture, love, heartbreak and everything in between, this coming of age story will leave you charmed. Lara Jean & Peter will stay with you always and forever!

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon“When Dimple Met Rishi follows two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.” Oh I am in LOVE! In love with Dimple and Rishi! Dimple and Rishi know their parents would like them to marry, it’s been sort of arranged since they were babies. So when these two teens finally meet at a Tech Con after their high school graduation, they really aren’t sure they want their future planned for them. One likes tradition the other wants adventure, how do they make this all work, follow their hearts and not disappoint their families? A classic love story told in modern times giving us so much perspective about family, culture and friendship. A story told with heart, wit, and humor. This is one of my favorite YA books to date.

GIRLING UP by Mayim Bialik “Using scientific facts, personal anecdotes, and wisdom gained from the world around us, Mayim Bialik, the star of The Big Bang Theory, shares what she has learned from her life and her many years studying neuroscience to tell you how you grow from a girl to a woman biologically, psychologically and sociologically.” Mayim Bialik is a scientist, a Neuroscientist to be exact. All grown up is the girl many of us once knew as Blossom and as a fan of the show when I was a kid, I am so thrilled she wrote this book. Informational, inspirational and insightful, Girling Up is pretty much everything I wish someone would have told me when I was growing up. I thought this book was really fantastic and very empowering. Dr. Bialik is on point!

This is part of a periodic series in which Margie Longoria, a Mission High School librarian, recommends young adult novels.