School is out and Summer is in!

As parents we all hope that our kids will continue to read as much over the summer as the did during the school year. It tends to be that boys at this age have a harder time finding books that engage them, and this is the time that kids in general begin reading less. There are several ways to fight this slide: continue reading aloud to your older child, ask your older child to read aloud to a sibling, model reading in your home, and of course find great books that your child enjoys!

John David Anderson is one of my favorite middle grades authors. It is not often you find an author able to speak so well to this specific age group. Anderson’s latest novel Posted, is no exception. What would happen if your middle school banned cell phones? Frost and his tribe of misfit friends are about to find out. The friends create an alternative way of communicating with one another that spreads like wild-fire through the rest of the school. Eventually some of the “postings” turn nasty, and Frost and his friends have to fight to keep their friendships in tact while learning to stand up for one another. Middle schoolers every where can connect with this story, and they might just learn a lesson about the power of their words along the way.  Also check out John David Anderson’s other middle grade books: Sidekicked, Minion, and Ms. Bixby’s Last Day.

I am a sucker for a good mystery, and The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson was that and so much more. Thompson’s debut novel takes a boy with OCD and makes an unlikely hero out of him. When a little boy on Matthew’s street goes missing, he realizes that he is in a unique position to help the police solve the disappearance. Because he is afraid to go outside, Matthew spends most of his day watching the neighbors from the upstairs window. His condition requires him to make notes of all the comings and goings on the street, and these notes just might reveal a clue as to who took little Teddy. This story is full of heart with characters learning to forgive themselves and others, as well as learning to accept others exactly the way they are.