South Kingstown Public Library Teens

Summer Reading Help

I know many don’t want to think about it…but in just a few short weeks, summer will be over and it will be time to go back to school.

How’s the required summer reading going? Finished already? No? Haven’t started? Not a problem. We can help. If you have specific titles you need to read, stop in, we can order them for you. Need suggestions on mysteries, science fiction, autobiographies or short stories? Try some of these:

Mysteries

The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael Beil
Catholic-schooled seventh-graders Sophie, Margaret, Rebecca, and Leigh Ann help an elderly neighbor solve a puzzle her father left for her estranged daughter twenty years ago.

Scat by Carl Hiaasen
Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.

Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer
Twelve-year-old private investigator Fletcher Moon, nicknamed “Half Moon” because of his shortness, must track down a conspiracy or be framed for a crime he did not commit.

Science Fiction

Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve
In the distant future, when cities move about and consume smaller towns, a fifteen-year-old apprentice is pushed out of London by the man he most admires and must seek answers in the perilous Out-Country, aided by one girl and the memory of another.

Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Thirteen-year-old Bethany’s parents have always been overprotective, but when they suddenly drop out of sight with no explanation, leaving her with an aunt she never knew existed, Bethany uncovers shocking secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Fourth World by Kate Thompson
Fifteen-year-old Christie and his older stepbrother, Danny, travel to the home and mysterious laboratory of the elder boy’s scientist mother, where they learn a shocking truth about the nature of her experiments.

Autobiographies

Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah
When her mother dies giving birth to her, Adeline is considered bad luck by her family, thus when her father’s new wife begins to treat her poorly while spoiling the others, Adeline can turn to no one for comfort and must endure the difficult times on her own, in a dramatic true story of bravery and triumph over adversity.

How Angel Peterson got his name : and other outrageous tales about extreme sports by Gary Paulsen
Author Gary Paulsen relates tales from his youth in a small town in northwestern Minnesota in the late 1940s and early 1950s, such as skiing behind a souped-up car and imitating daredevil Evel Knievel.

The abracadabra kid: a writer’s life by Sid Fleischman
The autobiography of the Newbery award-winning children’s author who set out from childhood to be a magician.

Short Stories

Sideshow: Ten original tales of freaks, illusionists, and other matters odd and magical edited by Deborah Noyes
Ten original tales by modern-day masters of the bizarre. Meet mediums and mummies, spinsters and bearded ladies, circus freaks and monsters of every sort!

Geektastic: Stories from the nerd herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
From Trekkers to science geeks, Buffy fanatics to Dungeon Masters, nerds of all persuasions are sure to find themselves in the pages of this anthology.

Free? Stories celebrating human rights edited by Amnesty International
An anthology of fourteen stories by young adult authors from around the world, on such themes as asylum, law, education, and faith, compiled in honor of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

These are just a few suggestions, be sure to check out other titles on the Teen Booklist Page of the South Kingstown Library website.

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Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists and Other Matters Odd and Magical

sideshow

Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists and Other Matters Odd and Magical edited by Deborah Noyes

In Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists and Other Matters Odd and Magical popular authors such as Vivian Vande Velde, David Almond, Margo Lanagan, Cynthia Leitich Smith and others explore the strange and varied spectrum of “freaks and marvels” that originally gained popularity through traveling circuses and carnivals (Noyes does address in the introduction how these exhibits have shifted from being popular to being seen as “cruel and exploitive”). There are stories that you would expect to be in a collection like this, ones of a Bearded Lady, a dwarf, a psychic and a swami, but there were also ones that delved a little deeper into the odd side of things. Cecil Castellucci tells a story about learning to keep alive a feisty family heirloom. Annette Curtis Klause melds together carnivals and Egyptian history in “The Mummy’s Daughter.”

While all of these stories were enjoyable, I think my favorite part was the inclusion in the collection of several comic style stories, most notably Matt Phelan’s story of a Jargo* act gone wrong.

This is a great collection for anyone with an interest in the culture of carnivals or who likes their stories a little odd and creepy.

*A Jargo act was one where two men dressed as either a horse or giraffe.

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