Planning on spending the summer glued to your beach towel? Then you better bring a good book! Here are some titles that are sure to keep your attention.
This graphic novel captures what it's like to be an immigrant in a strange country. Told without words, "The Arrival" relates the immigrant experience by using an imaginary alphabet so readers can experience what it's like to be in an unfamiliar place.
This fantastical tale tells the story of Zanna and Deeba, who live in a housing project in London. One day, an umbrella leads the pair "down the rabbit hole" to Un Lun Dun, an alternate version of their city where trash cans and milk cartons come to life. Soon, Zanna finds out that the residents of Un Lun Dun believe her to be "the chosen one" who is prophesized to save their city from the evil Smog that threatens their city.
Matilda lives on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, where a rebellion is tearing apart the province. When Mr. Watts, the only white man on the island, becomes the new school teacher, he begins to read Charles Dickens' novel "Great Expectations" aloud to the class. As a result, Matilda falls in love with 19th century London and the novel's lead character, Pip. But, Matilda's religious mother is not happy with her daughter's passion for learning and soon takes action against Mr. Watts.
Hugo, an orphan, secretly lives in a Paris train station where he fixes clocks and steals to survive. But when he gets involved with a toymaker, who has a booth at the train station and his goddaughter, Hugo's secretive life is put into jeopardy and he becomes embroiled in a spellbinding mystery.
Set in Long Island, N.Y. during the 1960's, "The Wednesday Wars" follows the trials of tribulations of seventh grader Holling Hoodhood. While the rest of the students take religious classes, Holling must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher Mrs. Baker. Convinced at first that Mrs. Baker hates him because she makes him read Shakespeare plays during those afternoons, soon Holling realizes that Mrs. Baker isn't as bad as he had feared.
Eight-year-old Ling lives a privileged life in 1970's China, where both her parents are doctors. However, when an officer of the Communist Party moves into her family's apartment, Ling's life is turned upside down. Her neighbors start disappearing, her family is put in danger, and her peers torment her because her family is not part of the working class. But as Ling's world crumbles around her, she relies on hope and courage to help her survive her country's Cultural Revolution.
Set during World War II, "The Book Thief" follows nine-year-old Liesel, who starts stealing books after Death "steals" her little brother. Soon, the rest of Liesel's family is taken away from her as well, and she is put into foster care, but as she continues to steal books, she manages to make friends in her new home and resist the oppressive Nazi party in her own way.
15-year-old J.J. Liddy's small Irish village is usually brimming with traditional music. Lately, with the townspeople consumed by work, there is less and less time for music. On her birthday, J.J.'s mother jokingly asks for more time. In an effort to make his mother's wish come true, J.J. goes in search of time, a search that leads him to the magical land of eternal youth, where he discovers the truth about his family and the identity of the town's mysterious new policeman.
This mystery follows the story of Dutch resistance fighters during World War II. The tale is told by two narrators: a Dutch resistance fighter and 15-year-old Tamar, who is the granddaughter of one of the fighters. As the story jumps between 1940's Holland and 1990's England, Tamar tries to figure out why her grandfather has left her a box of war memorabilia.
14-year-old Peak has mountain climbing in his blood. So after he is arrested for scaling a skyscraper in New York City, his mother sends him to live with his mountain-climbing father in Thailand. Soon, Peak discovers that his father wants him to become the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest, and before he knows it he is training with a Sherpa and a Napelese teen named Sun-jo. But by the end of his dangerous adventure, Peak realizes that he has learned much more than how to scale a mountain.