Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: What I’m Reading This Summer





Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is my summer t0-be-read pile. Here are ten books that I’m hoping to finish before the end of September.















What I’m Reading This Summer










The Tale of Despereaux – Kate DiCamillo


Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives.
























Kira-Kira – Cynthia Kadohata



Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason and so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare, and it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow, but when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering—kira-kira—in the future.




















The War That Saved My Life – Kimberly Braubaker Bradley


Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. 

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
















The Wonder – Emma Donoghue


An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story.

Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, The Wonder—inspired by numerous European and North American cases of “fasting girls” between the sixteenth century and the twentieth—is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. 




















Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys


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. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.




















Wolf Hollow – Lauren Wolk


Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.




















As Brave As You – Jason Reynolds


When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires—literally. 

Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck and—being a curious kid—Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans). 

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house—as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into—a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out—he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all. 

Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It’s his fourteenth birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie’s reluctance, Genie is left to wonder—is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won’t do?















Mongrels – Stephen Graham Jones


He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his Aunt Libby and Uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixedblood, neither this nor that. The boy at the center of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks. 

For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late-night exits and close calls—always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law. But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will know if their nephew is like them or not. And the close calls they’ve been running from for so long are catching up fast, now. Everything is about to change.
















We Are the Ants – Shaun David Hutchinson


Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year. 

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button. 

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind. 

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.
















When the Moon was Ours – Anna-Marie McLemore


To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.












Have you read any of these? What did you think?
















73 comments:

  1. I’ve read and loved Despereaux and Kira-Kira. I’ve had Salt to the Sea on my reading list for a long time, but I haven’t read it yet. I love the sound of Ants, Moon, and, of course, anything Jason Reynolds.

    Enjoy your reading this summer!


    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2018/06/books-to-read-by-pool-or-at-beach.html

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    1. Can you believe I haven’t read a Jason Reynolds book? I feel like an awful children’s lit lover. I’ll hopefully get to my first one in the next few weeks.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I love The Tale of Despereaux! And pretty much anything by Kate DiCamillo.
    When the Moon Was Ours looks really interesting, but I haven't read it.

    –KB @ thissideofstoryland.blogspot.com

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    1. Everyone seems to love the mouse book. I’m looking forward to it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I've not read nor heard of any of these books! Thanks for sharing! I'll go check them out. :)

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  4. I love Despereaux and Wolf Hollow. I have to admit that I hated Kira-Kira - I hope it's a better reading experience for you! Here's my TTT: http://www.readathomemom.com/2018/06/arcs-on-my-tbr-for-summer-2018.html

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    1. I’ve seen mixed reviews for Kira-Kira. This is going to sound shallow, but I mostly want to read it because my dog’s name is Kiera. I had no idea what the book was about before I picked it up.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. I loved We Are the Ants so I hope you do too! I really love the author in general. I read THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX in a Children's Lit class and highly enjoyed that one too. :) I still need to read Salt to the Sea.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. We Are The Ants sounds like a book I’d love. I have no idea why it’s taking me so long to read it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. Great list!! I loved Salt to the Sea, so I really hope you enjoy it! The Wonder also looks really good!

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  7. I read Salt To The Sea last year and really enjoyed it, though I preferred her first book Between Shades of Grey.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/top-ten-tuesday-164/

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    1. I loved Between Shades of Gray. I hope I like this one just as much.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. Salt to the Sea was so good. I need to get We Are the Ants. Hope you get to and enjoy these!

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  9. Hope you enjoy your summer reading!

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  10. I LOVE The War that Saved My Life and Salt to the Sea. I also liked We Are the Ants and Wolf Hollow. I still haven't read Desperaux (I think I would have loved it as a kid, but I'm kind of over talking animal stories), When the Moon Was Ours, or Brave As You, even though they are all in my classroom library. And Mongrels and The Wonder both sound interesting too. Happy reading!

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    1. I’m really excited for all the middlegrade books on my shelf. I feel like I have a lot of good ones. I’m also nervous about talking animal stories, but I liked the gorilla one that I read for grad school. The One and Only Ivan? I think that’s what it’s called.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. These look like awesome summer reads. I'd like to read a lot of these myself! The Wonder is one that I've always been particularly interested in. Have a great summer of reading!

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    1. I’ve seen mixed reviews of The Wonder. I love historical fiction, and this one sounds too weird to skip.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. Ooh, I hope you enjoy The Wonder - I love slightly gothic historical fiction! :)

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  13. Some of these sound really interesting and unique! Kira-Kira, The War That Saved my Life and Salt to the Sea all sound really good but like they might be sad. The Wonder has me really curious and I don't know what to make of When the Moon was Ours-it sounds bizarre!

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    1. I’m currently reading When The Moon Was Ours and can confirm that it is bizarre. I’ve read about 60 pages and am confused.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. I've recently read We Are the Ants and really enjoyed it, Kira Kira also sounds fantastic. Awesome selections!
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. I’m glad you liked it! I’m excited for it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. Ahhhh I remember The Tale of Despereaux - I loved it back in elementary school. I think there was a movie as well.

    Kira-Kira is amazing! I loved reading it, though I don't rmember it haha. It's been so long since I read it.

    These are some amazing picks - I hope you get to all of them! :)

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  16. I'll be interested to hear what you think of The Wonder! It did not work for me, but I hope it does for you!

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    1. I’ve seen so many mixed reviews! I’m curious to find out what I think.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. I haven't read any of them. Heard of Despereaux, but I think that's because it's a movie too.

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    1. I didn’t know it was a movie until I got the book and people started telling me how much they love the movie. If I like the book, I’ll have to see the movie.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  18. The Tale of despereaux looks like a lot of fun. I remember wanting to read that and never did. And Mongrels- just saw a positive review for that somewhere. Kinda has me wanting to pick it up...

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    1. Lots of people love Mongrels. Honestly, I was mostly drawn to the cover. I like the growly wolf on it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  19. I wasn't super crazy about The Wonder; I'd be interested to know what you think, though.

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    1. A lot of people don’t like that book. I’m interested to see what I think.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  20. I LOVE your TBR. I really need to read Mongrels this summer, too.

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  21. Great list! I've heard such good things about We Are the Ants. I may have to check it out this summer.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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    1. I’ve seen a lot of good things about it, too. I remember it being on a lot of “best of” lists a few years ago.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  22. We are the ants is a great book! And I've heard many great things about When the moon was ours. I hope you enjoy all these books :D

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    1. Thanks! I’m reading When The Moon Was Ours right now. It’s very weird. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  23. I really want to read Salt to the Sea! Have you any of her other books? They always leave me a mess on the floor. <3

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Yes! I’ve read Between Shades of Gray and loved it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  24. Happy to see We are the Ants on this list. That's been on my TBR for a little while now. :D

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    1. It seems to be on a lot of people’s TBRs.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  25. The cover for When the Moon Was Ours is really pretty! Once you read the description you can see the stuff mentioned in it on the cover. Definitely going on the TBR!

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    1. I’m reading it right now. The cover does fit the story perfectly.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  26. When The Moon Was Ours sounds so interesting!

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    1. I’m reading it right now. It’s very, very odd.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  27. Great choices! I love all the Middle Grade! Salt to the Sea and When the Moon Was Ours especially sound amazing. Enjoy your summer reading!

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    1. One of my goals this year was to read more middlegrade. I’ve discovered some really good books so far.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  28. I LOVED Kira Kira when I read it years ago. Enjoy all your summer reads!

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  29. Great list! Salt to the Sea sounds like something I'd really like. Hope you enjoy these summer reads! :)

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    1. Thanks! Salt to the Sea sounds like a book I’d adore. We’ll see.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  30. Despereaux is very sweet! Happy beach/pool reading :)

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  31. I haven't read any on the list, but I did read The Weight of Feathers by the author of When the Moon was Ours, and it was pretty good.

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    1. I’ve read The Weight of Feathers, too. So far, I like that one more than When the Moon Was Ours.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  32. salt to the sea has been on my TBR forever. hope you love all your reads.

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    1. Thanks! I hope you’re able to read it soon!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  33. The Tale of Despereaux looks so sweet. I should check my library for that one. I’ve been meaning to read Salt to the Sea for ages and it just hasn’t happened yet. I’ve heard amazing things about it, though.

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    1. I know! Salt to the Sea has been sitting on my TBR shelf since November. I keep telling myself that I’m going to read it, but it hasn’t happened yet.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  34. I'm planning to read The Salt to the Sea next! And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The War That Saved My Life. I just read the sequel and I cried so much but for the best possible reasons.

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  35. I'm so glad you are reading The Tale of Despereaux, I read it in middle school, and it really is a calssic.

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  36. Oh this is a great list! I haven't read any of these, but When The Moon was Ours is on my TBR, as well as this author's books, ALL of them. Somehow I know I'll love them all, haha. I hope you'll love all of these books :D

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  37. The Wonder is going on my TBR list, since that is a subject I find interesting.
    I picked up Salt to the Sea recently as well!

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  38. As Brave as You sounds wonderful. Thanks for the heads up about it. šŸŒž

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  39. The Tale of Despereaux is one my friend recommended to me for ages so hopefully I'll be able to get a copy of it sometime. I have read Salt to the Sea and it was brilliant for me. I also have We Are The Ants and want to read it. I hope you enjoy all of these this summer!

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  40. Salt to the Sea is on my tbr too and it sounds amazing. Here's hoping you end up loving that story when you pick it up this summer!
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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