Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian
Parents, are you trying to get your teens reading over the summer? Sign them up for the Teen Summer Reading Program where they can earn incentives for reading this summer, including restaurant coupons and a free book. Teens also have the chance to win the grand prize which is a Kindle Fire HD tablet, or a number of other raffle prizes such as gift cards to area businesses. Teens can sign up for the program on the library’s website: www.mhklibrary.org or by coming into the library. Here are a few book suggestions to get them started reading:
“I am Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)” by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick
This is the inspiring memoir of Malala Yousafzai, who is the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Malala recounts what it was like living in Pakistan as the Taliban began to take hold. Despite the constant danger, Malala’s family still allowed and encouraged her to attend school and publicly speak out about education. Because of this, at age 14, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way home from school. Miraculously, she survived and is now an international spokesperson for education.
“The Shadow Hero” by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
In this graphic novel, Yang creates a backstory for the Green Turtle, a little known comic book character who was likely the first Asian superhero. Hank Chu is a Chinese American teen growing up in 1930s Chinatown. Hank’s aspirations include being a grocer like his father. His mother, however, has other ideas for him. When she is rescued by one of the local superheroes, she decides that Hank should also become a superhero. She sews Hank a costume and tries to help him get superpowers by exposing him to toxic chemicals and other tried and true methods. All her efforts fail, but when tragedy strikes, Hank receives assistance from an unlikely source, and becomes a real hero.
“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart
Cadence Sinclair is the oldest grandchild of a wealthy family headed by her grandfather who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. The extended family vacations there each summer. Cadence hangs out with her two older cousins and friend Gat, who have all been inseparable since they were young. During her 15th summer, however, Cadence is involved in a mysterious accident where she sustains a blow to the head, and now suffers debilitating migraines and amnesia. She is only able to make it through most days with the help of painkillers. Two years after her accident, Cadence returns once again to the island, where she tries to piece together exactly what happened two years ago.
“How It Went Down” by Kekla Magoon
In an inner city neighborhood, an African American teen rushes out of the local market wearing a hoodie and carrying something in his arms. The owner shouts for him to come back. A car pulls up in the middle of the street. Someone shouts, “He has a gun!” That quickly, Tariq Johnson, 16-years-old, is on the ground, dead from gunshot wounds. The shooter, a white man, goes free after claiming self-defense, but no weapon is found on Tariq. Everyone has an opinion about what really happened, but the only person who knows for certain is dead. Seventeen different narrators tell this story, which is ripped from the headlines. Read this with your teens for a great discussion
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs
Sixteen year old Jacob is traumatized by his grandfather’s brutal murder. He decides to travel to Wales to find the orphanage where his grandfather was sent to live during World War II. When he arrives, he gets more than he bargained for. The children from his grandfather’s stories are still alive and living at the orphanage. What’s more, even though it is 70 years later, they are still kids. And now, the same monster that killed his grandfather is after these children. The story is enhanced by the inclusion of almost 50 vintage photographs appearing throughout the book. Read the book now before the movie comes out next year.
Find all these books and many more on display in the YA area throughout the summer. Also, be sure to check out the free teen events going on this summer at the library by visiting the library’s website: http://www.mhklibrary.org/