We’re heading into August, and that means there is still half of the summer to enjoy! For families with tweens and young teens who have lost the adrenalin rush of camp and free time and town pools and sunshine, we have some books that may just help take the edge off the mid-summer ennui.
A teenager writing in her journal about a summer away from home is nothing new, but Eliza’s Journal, a story of a girl and her first summer job on a lush island far from home, has twists and turns that will surprise even the most jaded teen or tween. With hints of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, the tale adds just a dash of science fiction. Eliza’s Journal, by author Caelyn AB Williams, breaks the mold that “coming-of-age” stories have led us to expect.
This fun, informative book will appeal to tweens and young teens who enjoy the casual structure of journal writing. It has appeal for mystery-loving readers as well as those who enjoy light science-fiction. Because of the novel’s strong protagonist and supporting characters, I am confident that both girls and boys can relate to the story, especially those who grew up with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. There is some low-level cursing (damn), and there is some very mild physical intimacy (kissing).
Another summer-focused novel is Summer Sleep-Away by New Jersey author Ofer Aronskind. The story follows a first-time sleep away camp experience of twelve-year-old Mattie Kleinfeld. Mattie is a relatable and likable character who ends up having a lifetime’s worth of adventures packed into one summer. What starts out with Mattie crying himself to sleep his first night away, turns into solving an adventurous mystery, making wonderful new friends, and falling in love. There are lots of references to baseball heroes, camp traditions, and typical camp power plays and conflict management as the story continues. Despite the modern-day fairy tale ending for the main character, the novel has plenty of detail to hold interest. The sometimes awkward prose will probably not affect the story’s enjoyment for the typical tween or young teen.
Think these books might help offset the boredom in a young adult in your life? Thanks to the generosity of the publishers and authors of these books, we have one copy of each to giveaway!
To enter, tell us your favorite memory of a summer away from home (even if it just happened last year!).
Contest starts Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 10 am EST and ends Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 12 pm EST. One person who leaves a comment by August 4, 2013 at 12 pm EST will be chosen at random to receive Eliza’s Journal and Summer Sleep-Away.
You MUST leave a comment here to be entered and you may only comment once. Want another entry to up your chances of winning? We have a couple of ways:
- Follow us on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. Make sure to include @baristakids in your tweet.
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Parts of the “Eliza’s Journal” review appeared originally on VegBooks, a resource for parents and teachers who want to support the vegan and vegetarian kids in their lives.