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					                          Librarians’ Summer Reading List 2010
                               Master List – Alphabetical by Author

 Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls. Young Adult
Summary: A powerful YA novel dealing with anorexia. It is almost as if we are watching the main character,
Lia, disappear bit by bit as she refuses to eat. All food is measured in calories and how long it will take to
burn them off. Gives an insiders view of what it is like to suffer from anorexia. I have given this to a number
of girls to read who have also found the book very moving

Blum, Deborah. The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in
Jazz Age New York. Adult/Appropriate for YA
Summary: At the turn of the century, poison was the guaranteed way to commit the perfect crime. Hear the
cases and follow the under-funded researchers at Bellevue Hospital as they learn to detect nicotine, carbon
monoxide and the growing number of radioactive compounds. Will appeal to readers of Larson’s
Thunderstruck.

Bohjalian, Chris. Secrets of Eden. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: The Reverend Stephen Drew baptizes Alice Hayward in the pond in a well attended church
ceremony. Hours later she is found strangled to death by her abusive husband who is also dead by a
gunshot… an apparent murder-suicide. Knowing of the abuse, Stephen feels responsible… the police
suspect his responsibility as well. This is an absorbing whodunit told in several voices, you won’t know the
outcome until the very end!

Browne, Anthony. Little Beauty. Picture Book
Summary: Anthony Browne has a fascination for Gorillas and Koko (the gorilla who knows sign language) in
particular. This story is based on Koko. His art work is typically wonderful and the story delights. It would
be well pared with Koko's Kitten, Francine Patterson for second or third graders.

Bruni, Frank. Born Round. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: This memoir is for foodies and those who have had lifetime body-weight issues. Bruni, former
restaurant critic for the New York Times, is a memoirist who tells a humorous, yet poignant story that reads
like a novel--not unlike Augusten Burroughs.

Butcher, Jim. Codex Alera series. Adult/ Appropriate for older YA
Summary: Everyone in Alera has some type of magic, except for teenaged Tavi. While others pity Tavi, Tavi
develops strategic skills that bring him to the attention of the emperor. Over six books we see Tavi grow into
a military and political leader for his people. Fast paced, with historical military themes, this will appeal to
fantasy fans of Eddings, Goodkind and Jordon.

Cashore, Kristin. Graceling. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary; Katsa is one of the Graced, those individuals throughout the kingdom that have special "talents."
Through her journey with Prince Po to save Princess Bitterblue, she comes to realize she is more than just
her Grace.

 Cleave, Chris. Little Bee. Adult
Summary: This is one of the most compelling stories I've read in the last five years. The story begins with
Little Bee who is an illegal Nigerian immigrant in England. She has been housed in an immigration
detention center for women and has been released due to a paper work error. Cleave's writing is beautiful
and his characters are fascinating and complex. I couldn't put this down.

Conroy, Pat. South of Broad. Adult
Summary: A slice of life, a la the Big Chill, in Charleston, South Carolina in the 1960s and the present. Pat
Conroy never disappoints!

 = Titles with multiple recommendations
 = Titles which have appeared on previous lists
Crawford, Brent. Carter Finally Gets It A Novel. Young Adult
Summary: "One week and six days before the end of the year, and I finally feel like a fresh man." So says
Will Carter, freshman screw up, obsessed with, well, most everything, but especially sex. This is a very
funny look into the mind of a socially inept, stuttering, ADD freshman as he tries to find his way. This was
recommended by a male teacher who couldn't believe how well the author pegged the mind of an
adolescent boy. Yes, there is some mild profanity, and yes there is talk about sex and drinking, but Carter
stays on the straight and narrow (much to his dismay) and somehow finds what he's looking for. Loved it!

Dessen, Sarah. Along for the Ride. Young Adult
Summary: The main character, Auden, is the product of two highly self-absorbed parents who really have
never given her the time of day and in an effort to get their attention has always been to be the best child
possible. It is not until the summer before she is to attend college that she makes the decision to live a little.
In a spur of the moment decision she decides to live with her father, her bubbly stepmom and their new born
baby girl. It is a change Auden definitely needed.

Funke, Cornelia. Igraine the Brave. Middle Grades
Summary: Igraine is the daughter of Magicians but would really like to be a knight. She gets to test out her
skills when a neighbor’s nephew tries to take over her family’s castle.

Grunwald, Lisa. Irresistible Henry House. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: The Home Economics Department of Wilton College (circa 1946) has a ‘Practice House’ for
young women to learn how to run a household. In this ‘Practice House’ there is a ‘Practice Baby’ obtained
from the local orphanage. Henry House is this year's baby and the consequences of being raised by 7
different ‘practice mothers’ are evident in his personality as he grows up.

Helfer, Ralph. Modoc, The True Story of the Greatest Elephant that Ever Lived. Adult/
Appropriate for YA
Summary: This is the captivating, inspiring, heartwarming, true story of the intertwined lives of a boy and a
circus elephant set in the early part of the 1900's.

 Horan, Nancy. Loving Frank: a novel. Adult
Summary: This beautifully written novel tells of the love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah
Borthwick Cheney. Horan's well-researched book brings out little-known details of Wright's life, especially
the profound influence that Cheney had on his work. This is a fascinating and mesmerizing piece of
historical fiction.

Johnson, Steven. The Ghost Map. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: This is an adult book that will grab any high schooler interested in the history of disease,
medicine, and/or epidemiology. It is written in a breezy style, filled with mind-boggling facts and some
amazing coincidences. The reader cheers for John Snow, the quiet but determined anesthesiologist who set
about to prove that cholera was not caused by breathing bad air, but rather by contaminated water. Snow
had to battle against prevailing opinion that ‘Miasma’ somehow caused the epidemics that killed hundreds of
people in sudden violent bursts. This book reads like a detective novel. Great stuff!

Jordan, Hillary. Mudbound. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: This beautiful piece of historical fiction, set in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, won the 2006
Bellwether Prize, and has everything--love, prejudice, and cruelty.

Kennedy, Edward. True Compass. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: Ted Kennedy's memoir is a must read for anyone who has followed politics for the past fifty
years. This is history has he lived it. Would be interesting to read along side of another Ted Kennedy
biography.

 = Titles with multiple recommendations
 = Titles which have appeared on previous lists
Kwok, Jean. Girl in Translation. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: A strong debut novel by--as they say--’a writer to watch.’ Wonderfully written, this is the coming-
of-age story of a young Chinese immigrant, Ah-Kim, and her wretchedly poor widowed mother. The
twosome arrive in the States only to be cruelly manipulated by the mother's sister, who enslaves them in a
Chinese sweatshop, and with-holds the mother's wages. Ah-Kim--Kimberly--is soon recognized as a
remarkably bright student, and wins a scholarship to a prestigious school, but she lives a double-life,
struggling to reconcile two worlds. Romance and tension and touching family scenes all combine here to
form a memorable book. Great for girls in 8/9 grade and higher.

LaFevers, R.L. Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos. Young Adult
Summary: Twelve-year-old Theo uses arcane knowledge and her own special talent when she encounters
two secret societies, one sworn to protect the world from ancient Egyptian magic and one planning to
harness it to bring chaos to the world, both of which want a valuable artifact stolen from the London museum
for which her parents work. Book Three in the series just came out. A suggestion for kids who have read
and loved The Red Pyramid by Riordan.

Larsson, Steig. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: A satisfying conclusion to the 3 volume series which began with The Girl with the Dragon
Tattoo and continued with The Girl Who Played with Fire. Set primarily in Sweden, these books are filled
with suspense, government corruption, technology and compelling characters. Perfect for the beach.

Lester, Julius. Guardian. Young Adult
Summary: If you missed this when it came out 2 years ago, it's worth the read, especially if you teach at
grade levels dealing with civil rights in the U.S. Lester became interested in the topic of lynchings after
seeing the picnic atmosphere in photographs of families taken with dangling corpses after lynchings. Lester
convincingly adopts the point of view of the Caucasian teenage son of a family that must hide its revulsion,
even though it does not share the mob's enthusiasm for the noose.

Ness, Patrick. Knife of Never Letting Go. Young Adult
Summary: This takes place on a colonized planet in the future where Todd Hewitt is waiting to become 13 –
when he becomes a man. But is he truly ready for what that means? His town has no women and
unbelievably everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts. You would think that there would be no secrets
in Prentisstown – but Todd is soon going to find out how many things he does not know. A real nail biter.

O'Hara, Kevin. Last of the Donkey Pilgrims. Adult
Summary: The author's travels around the ring of Ireland in the 70's with just a donkey and cart. Wonderful
travelogue, as well as a view of "old" Ireland. Kevin O'Hara, first generation American, lives in Pittsfield.

Oliver, Lauren. Before I Fall. Young Adult
Summary: After dying in a car crash on the way home from a party, teenaged Samantha relives the day over
and over making small changes in her actions in an attempt to save herself. Hard to put down!!

Pfeffer, Susan Beth. This World We Live In. Young Adult
Summary: The sequel to Life As We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone, main characters Miranda and
Alex, respectively, meet and continue to try to survive the dire world-wide conditions after tidal waves have
decimated the land and their people.

Pink, Daniel. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Adult/ Appropriate for
YA
Summary: The topic of motivation continues to stimulate conversations in the Staff Lunchroom. Read Daniel
Pink's discussion of the research-based factors that influence personal motivation of people in general, and
consider how "type x" and "type i" impacts your classroom.


 = Titles with multiple recommendations
 = Titles which have appeared on previous lists
Scott, Michael. The Necromancer. Middle Grades (YA appeal)
Summary: The fourth book in The Immortal Secrets of Nicholas Flamel, the adventure continues with the
twins who have encountered evil in the hopes that they will save the world with their twin gold and silver
auras.

 See, Lisa. Shanghai Girls. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: Two sisters have a grand life in Shanghai China, an international city where wealth and beauty
and the arts abound. They speak perfect English and have jobs as ‘Beautiful Girls’ posing for an artist who
creates popular calendars used as wall art. When their father loses all his money to a ganglord from
gambling, he sells them as wives to the sons of a Chinese Entrepreneur in China Town in Los Angeles.
Their lives change drastically as they try to assimilate in a nation that clearly does not want them. Author of
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love..

Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: The sub-title says it all: ‘Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died. They
launched a medical revolution and a multi-million dollar industry. More than twenty years later, her children
found out. Their lives would never be the same.’ This is a well-written, gripping story of science ignoring its
poor (and in this case, African-American) subjects. For any high-school student interested in ethics and
research and the human side of science.

Smith, Jeff. Bone. Middle Grades
Summary: Comic book written about a ‘living Bone’ and his different adventures.

Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. Young Adult
Summary: Stargirl arrives at Mica Area High School and immediately stands out with her ukulele and
different way of dressing. At first, she is rejected, but then is slowly accepted into the high school. Narrator
Leo finds himself falling in love with her around the time she is shunned by the entire school for petty
reasons. Leo is tormented between his love for Stargirl and his desire to fit in. This is a wonderful story
about having the courage to be unique in a high school where everyone strives to be the same. As soon as
I finished this book, I wanted to buy copies for all of my friends and mail them to them!

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. Middle Grades
Summary: Twelve year old Miranda lives in 1978 NYC with her mother. She starts receiving some very
puzzling notes with details about her life. This Newbery winner is a mystery with elements of fantasy, sci fi
and great middle school dynamics.

 Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: Grace is in love with Sam-- but Sam is a wolf who shifts in human form only when the weather
gets hot-- as does their romance when they're together. Trying to figure out the mysteries of this shift and
why Grace herself has never shifted after being bitten many years ago. The sequel, Linger, will be out July
2010.

 Stockett, Kathryn. The Help. Adult/ Appropriate for YA
Summary: This book reminded me strongly of To Kill a Mockingbird as I became more immersed in the
picture of what it was like for "colored" maids to work for the privileged families of Jackson, Mississippi as
the Civil Rights Era began and Jim Crow Laws were still in effect. If you haven't read it yet, it's a must for the
summer. (Also recommended as an audiobook.)

Stork, Francisco X. Marcelo in the Real World. Adult/ Appropriate for YA.
Summary: Marcelo is on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. At 17, his father feels he needs to
learn about the real world and get out of his comfort zone so he arranges for him to work in his law office for
the summer. Marcelo learns about some "real world" conflicts in this coming-of-age story.



 = Titles with multiple recommendations
 = Titles which have appeared on previous lists
Weeks, Sarah. Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth. Picture Book
Summary: Sophie Peterman is an expert on younger siblings, and she offers a step-by-step guide to dealing
with the little terrors. Her smart, sassy, and surprisingly sweet story is certain to strike a chord with
exasperated big brothers and sisters everywhere. Love, love this three starred reviews book! My second
graders loved it.

Wood, Maryrose. The Incorrigible Children of Aston Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling.
Middle Grades.
Summary: Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is on
the way to her first position as a governess. While her head holds great plans for her future charges, she is
instead greeted with three feral children. She soon realizes that Latin may have to wait until she breaks them
of the habit of chasing squirrels. Funny for middle grades, adults will see the satire of Brontë and the genre.




 = Titles with multiple recommendations
 = Titles which have appeared on previous lists

				
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