G. Bianco, 2019
Hi everyone! Today is my youngest sister’s birthday (Shoutout to her! Welcome to teenage-hood!) so I asked her to put together a stack of some of her favorite books for a fun little #birthdaystack ! She's not a big reader, but she's definitely read some good books and then told me to read them! Almost all of these are middle grade books so if you have kids or relatives between 10 and 14, these would all be good picks for them! Here’s what she recommends and why:
🔹Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Summary: Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don't stand out--under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes--for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body. But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl's arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her. In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity--and the thrill and inspiration of first love.
Why should you read it? It's a good book that shows how people can be quirky and different but can still capture the hearts of others.
🔹Cloudy with a Chance of Boys by Megan McDonald
Summary: As the middle sister in a family with three girls, Stevie Reel doesn’t know much about boys, and that’s always been just fine with her. But lately, things have been changing: kids at school are starting to pair up, and Owen, the new boy in her Earth Science class, seems to have his sights set on her.
The trouble is, Stevie doesn’t want a boyfriend—she’s not even sure that she’s ready to have a boy friend. And her sisters, who know exactly where they stand on the issue of boys, are no help: Alex is too busy trying to orchestrate a perfect, Romeo-and-Juliet-style first kiss from her crush, Scott Towel, while Joey can’t understand why anyone would prefer a boy over a frog, anyway. If only figuring out boys were as easy as predicting the weather!
Why should you read it? It's funny and shows sisterhood.
🔹The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Summary: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse - Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena - Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
Why should you read it? If you like Mythology you; definitely like this book. It's a good book because it has a lot of adventure and mystery to it.
🔹Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Summary: Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day — until a plane struck the World Trade Center. But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves. Will’s father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling. Nadira has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she’s getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears. Amy is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business. These four don’t know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined. Award-winning author Nora Raleigh Baskin weaves together their stories into an unforgettable novel about that seemingly perfect September day — the day our world changed forever.
Why should you read it? It's a good book because it shows different peoples lives and how they all are similar an dhow one event impacts them all.
🔹Lost in Rome by Cindy Callaghan
Summary: Lucia "Lucy" Rossi thought she was going to be a camp counselor for the summer, but, thanks to a very fortunate twist, she ends up in Rome, Italy, helping out at her aunt's restaurant, Amore Pizzeria. Lucy can't wait to see some ruins, eat all the gelato she can, and maybe say a few buongiornos to some cute Italian boys. But Lucy arrives to Italian trouble. Her aunt is in danger of losing her business, thanks to a flashy new pizzeria down the road that is all style, but no substance. In order to try and save the shop, Lucy decides to employ a very unique version of matchmaking—making matches based on customer's pizza preferences. Soon, word of the American matchmaker gets out, and it looks like the business might be saved! Or so she thinks—until someone decides to try and sabotage the newfound success of Amore pizza. Can Lucy figure out who might be behind everything? Or will her family be saying ciao to Amore Pizzeria for good?
Why should you read it? This was a good book because they were trying to save the aunt's restaurant and it shows friendship and how people can work together.
🔹Saving Marty by Paul Griffin
Summary: Eleven-year-old Lorenzo Ventura knows heroes are rare--like his father, who died in the war, or his friend Paloma Lee, who fearlessly pursues her dream of being a famous musician. Renzo would never describe himself as a hero, but his chance comes when he adopts Marty, a runt piglet. Marty is extraordinary--he thinks he's a dog and acts like one too--and his bond with Renzo is truly one of a kind. At first, the family farm seems like the perfect home for Marty, but as he approaches 350 pounds, it becomes harder for Renzo to convince his mom that a giant pig makes a good pet. So when Marty causes a dangerous (and expensive) accident, Renzo knows Marty's time is up. He'd do anything and everything for his best friend, but will everything be enough to save Marty?
Why should you read it? It's kind of a feel-good story and shows how pets can help their owners and owners show such gratitude towards their pets.
🔹The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Summary: The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.
Why should you read it? It's just a classic in my opinion and it shows brotherhood (because the Greasers are like brothers) and how you can be different from the rest
🔹The Ghosts of Raynham Hall by SG Taylor
Summary: There’s been talk about a ghostly boy appearing in the Long Island town of Oyster Bay. When two brothers and their two cousins go searching for the ghost at the historic Raynham Hall, they stumble upon not one but two apparitions. They also find something even more unbelievable—a portal to the past. The brothers approach Grandpa George, who reveals his knowledge of the otherworldly beings. This starts a chain reaction of supernatural events unfolding. Grandpa George explains about a battle through time fought between malevolent forces that want to alter history and those who aim to protect it. With the advice of Grandpa George, the children vow to save history from being changed for the worse. They step back in time, to embark on an adventure during the days of the Revolutionary War. As they familiarize themselves with a whole other way of life, they are put to the test. While on their journey, the children encounter dangerous characters and situations, but they also meet new friends who help in their quest. As time runs out, it is solely up to them to protect the past to keep life in the present intact.
Why should you read it? It's a good mystery and it's historical and action-packed!
🔹This Is the Day by Tim Tebow
Summary: Beyond Tim Tebow's exploits as a Heisman-winning football player, he is widely known and respected for his exemplary character and personal excellence, which have made him a role model for millions. When Tim interacts with the public, he often encounters people who feel "stuck"--unable to take action on matters ranging from daily life to pursuing lifelong dreams. In response, Tim often identifies a crippling fear or lack of courage, to which he advises: "now is the time to take some risks, to quiet the voices of defeat, to step forward and make a mark, because this is the day." In this inspiring, motivational book, readers will receive the advice and encouragement to daily move from "pause" to "play" in finding deeper meaning and success. Tim illustrates the book's themes with stories from his personal life that will delight all readers, including his an update on his dream pursuit of a baseball career.
Why should you read it? It's inspiring and Tim Tebow is one of my favorite athletes, which makes it even better!
These recommendations were all direct quotes so pardon the brevity! I hope like these recs and maybe find a new book to add to your summer reading list! And who knows, if enough people like this, maybe I can convince her to write a full review for me in the future...
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!