Here are some great books for your child’s summer reading list from the ALA’s YALSA List of Top Ten Books for young adult readers. This is the same list our sophomore class has for their student picks, and I think all of our students will enjoy them. These books have a wide variety of characters and plotlines, sure to appeal to any reader.
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
In mid-thirteenth century Provence, Dolssa de Stigata is a fervently religious girl who feels the call to preach, condemned by the Inquisition as an “unnatural woman,” and hunted by the Dominican Friar Lucien who fears a resurgence of the Albigensian heresy; Botille is a matchmaker trying to protect her sisters from being branded as gypsies or witches–but when she finds the hunted Dolssa dying on a hillside, she feels compelled to protect her, a decision that may cost her everything.
The Reader by Traci Chee
Sefia knows what it means to survive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book–a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed–and punish the people responsible.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy–a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men–but inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist a mystery: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. And when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, she knows that he was murdered. In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. But while the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, it could also lure his murderer directly to Faith.
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not anyone. As her senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting a collision course that will change their lives forever.
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous New York summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam who shoots young women on the streets. Nora’s family life isn’t going so well either: her bullying brother, Hector, is growing more threatening by the day, her mother is helpless and falling behind on the rent, and her father calls only on holidays. All Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing theirs.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys
World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ( gleaned ) by professional reapers ( scythes ). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe s apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do. Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe s apprentice.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store–for both of us.
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Dill isn’t the most popular kid at his rural Tennessee high school. After his father fell from grace in a public scandal that reverberated throughout their small town, Dill became a target. Fortunately, his two fellow misfits and best friends, Travis and Lydia, have his back. But as they begin their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. His only escapes are music and his secret feelings for Lydia–neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending–one that will rock his life to the core.
Academy at the Lakes is a PreK3 – 12th Grade independent school located in North Tampa. We celebrate the love of learning and the joy in the journey.