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What did you read on your summer vacation?
6 YA/MG books I read over break-- and please, tell me what you read!
Well, summer sure did fly by! As you know, I’m back in the library for a new school year.
But I thought I’d share the few YA and middle grade books that I enjoyed over the summer. Most of my reading was admittedly spent on rom coms, especially ones with a summer feel because I can never get enough summer romance stories. I read a lot more middle grade during the school year, and in the last year I’ve found myself reading above and below the YA category more than previous years… but I didn’t abandon these age categories completely. Here’s what I read.
Sisterhood of Sleuths by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman — my daughter and I listened to this together after loving Ms. Bertman’s Book Scavenger series, and this one did not disappoint. It’s truly an homage to Nancy Drew (who I loved as a young reader!), along with a great middle grade mystery in its own right, complete with family and friendship threads as well. It was so fun to learn more about the classic series (it was so well-researched!) while also enjoying the rest of this story. I love the note at the end discussing the history and what was true about the Nancy Drew books.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume :: I quickly re-read this book before we went to to see the movie on my daughter’s 12th birthday. (I actually reread my childhood copy!) It’s funny how much of this plot I didn’t remember from childhood (the religion theme, a main part of the plot, completely slipped my memory. It’s a great catalyst for conversation.) TBH, I think I only remembered “We must, we must…” 🤣 It’s a very simple read and a definite right-of-passage type book. My daughter (12) devoured it and I think it has a timelessness about it despite being dated. It was definitely fun to reread it before going to see the movie. (I liked the ending of the move better!)
It’s funny how short this book, and many from that era, is. There is a recent push in the middle grade market for shorter books (because so many these days are bigger and therefore more intimidating to some readers). Maybe that’s one reason why books like Judy Blume’s, Beverly Cleary’s and Roal Dahl’s have appealed to so many readers over the years— in addition to be fantastic, they’re quite accessible.
The Stolen Chapters (Story Thieves #2) by James Riley :: Another fun adventure that I listened to with my son (small caveat: this audiobook still contains lots of yelling like the first one 🤣). This volume had an interesting format, and I always love how on-the-nose and meta the author can be with his humor and within his own fantasy system.
4⭐️s for me and perfect for upper elementary readers who love fast-paced and exciting stories.
The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue (#3) by Karina Yan Glaser :: Three books in and I love this series and this family. The 7th and final book comes out in just over a week and my daughter can’t wait for it (I’m pre-ordering it from Books of Wonder to get the recipe book!). This 3rd volume is sure to delight any animal-loving readers particularly. The problems *really* stack up in this one for the kids— almost a bit much for me as a reader— but of course it all wraps up nicely in the end, leaving the reader ready and anxious to get right back to our beloved VBs in the next book.
Saint by Adrienne Young :: This book exceeded my expectations! I loved going back to the Narrows and getting to know some of the most mysterious characters from Fable’s world. This book really helped me understand and appreciate Saint more, and it provided so much depth and backstory that now I definitely want to reread Fable and Namesake (if you’re new to this series, for sure read those first even though Saint is a prequel).
For a extra spoilery thought, visit my StoryGraph review: My review of Saint
The Isles of the Gods by Amie Kaufman :: I really liked this book and the world AK has created. An older series she co-authored, The Illuminae Files is one of my all-time favorite YA series, and this one didn’t quite keep me as riveted. But AK is not afraid to take her readers on a wild ride of twists and turns and hijinx , so I’m really looking forward to seeing where the series goes. The magic system is interesting and I found myself every drawn to the main trio (I was annoyed anytime the POV shifted to those on “the other side”). One of AK’s strengths is her ability to write an ensemble cast and this one certainly has a variety of interesting characters!
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That’s a wrap on my MG/YA summer reading!
I’d really love to hear from you, dear readers. Let me know in the comments or an email if you (or your family members) have read any stellar middle grade or YA lately.
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