The library is a lovely place in the summer. All those books you passed over during the school year are now begging to be read. Books are like mini-vacations; they can take you to faraway places and allow you to meet new characters. If a book is not available at your local library, you may place it on hold, and it will be delivered to whichever library you choose.
Call Me By My Name
by John Ed Bradley
School has just let out in the summer of 1969, where racism heats up a small Louisiana town worse than the hot afternoon sun. Twins Rodney and Angie are white kids who know the rules separating blacks and whites. But they don’t understand how anybody could see Tater Henry as a threat. When Tater proves to be an outstanding athlete, the rules of discrimination seem to melt around him.
Well, not all of the rules.
Author John Ed Bradley is the author of It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium, a memoir described by Sports Illustrated as the best sports book of the year [2007.] He can write about sports as poignantly as he can write about matters of the heart.
by Kevin Emerson
Also available in ebook format from Overdrive.
PopArts Academy at Mount Hope High is a young musician’s dream school. For starters, the Fall Kickoff concert takes place in the school’s stone amphitheater tricked out with state of the art light and sound systems. Everyone is in a band, or, like Summer Carlson, learning the management end of the music business. Summer starts her senior year feeling adrift, but on Day 1 she meets Caleb Daniels, a charismatic musician who could form the core of a new band.
Caleb does not come without baggage. To Summer’s astonishment, he turns out to be the son of a famous rock star, Eli White, who is now dead. But White left behind three lost songs, and Summer joins Caleb on a mission to track them down.
Music fans will love the Nirvana references and debates over musical styles. But be warned: Exile is the first in a trilogy. This volume ends a bit abruptly. Check out Kevin Emerson’s accompanying soundtrack below.
Exile Soundtrack Vol. 1 by Kevin Emerson
What I Thought Was True
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Gwen’s family lives on an island populated by wealthy people in elegant mansions, and the working folks who walk their dogs, prepare their food, and clean their houses. Gwen herself has landed a relatively cushy job as a companion to an elderly (and very rich) woman. But she is stunned to find Cass Summers, a gorgeous boy who knows Gwen’s dreadful secret, working on the island as a yard boy. Awkward!
Life can be easier when people fall into convenient stereotypes, such as rich and poor. Gwen finds many of her assumptions challenged, however, over the course of the summer. And maybe she realizes that love is more forgiving that she ever dreamed.
The Chapel Wars
by Lindsey Leavitt
Sixteen year-old Holly inherits the pride of her grandfather’s heart: His very traditional wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. She’s determined to uphold her grandfather’s elegant standards and not devolve into a tacky circus of a chapel like the one next door. Then handsome Dax Cranston moves in with his grandfather, and life gets all confusing for Holly.
The Las Vegas setting is fun and vibrant. If you’ve been there, you’ll love the references to the ever-present Elvises and tourist traps. If you haven’t been there in person, here’s the next best thing!
When I Was the Greatest
by Jason Reynolds
If you’re looking for an urban adventure, here’s a book that’s set in one of the grittier Brooklyn neighborhoods. Narrator Ali lives there with his mom and little sister, and their neighbors, Noodles and Needles, are as close as family. The love is strong, even if the neighborhood threatens constant danger.
Needles has Tourette syndrome, which causes him to blurt out words uncontrollably. As Ali explains, “Not regular words like ‘run’ or ‘yo’ but crazy words like ‘buttface’ and ‘fat ass.’” Not good, when the tiniest insult can trigger off a violent reaction.
For a story of love and loyalty, check out Jason Reynolds’ heartwarming debut novel.
In the Shadows
by Kiersten White, illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo
This unique book tells two connected stories. White’s textual narration introduces five teen characters. Arthur is a haunted, silent young man, who comes to stay at the Johnson’s boardinghouse after his mother dies. His past includes a terrible curse. Two Johnson daughters, coolly beautiful Cora and bright-eyed, adventurous Minnie, have no idea why Arthur is there, but he’s a guy, so…cool. Then brothers Thom and Charles show up. There is a mystery surrounding their father’s sudden decision to send them away, especially since Charles is dying.
Di Bartolo’s sequential art segments alternate with chapters of text. This story revolves around a young man who has a scar near his right eye (very helpful for spotting him) who seems to be both pursued and pursuing evil persons. The young man and the bad guys do not age. Both stories are satisfyingly eerie and suspenseful.