Middle graders or teens that are looking for some amazing books this summer, look no further than the past couple years of NBA winners and finalists. These are beach reads that might make you forget the beach. Not usually light and fluffy, no, but often full of humor or mesmerizing plots—stories that will stick with you for decades. Most of the links below go to the paperback versions so they'll be nearly weightless in your beach tote or bike basket.
I just finished reading a 2007 finalist, "Touching Snow," and could not put it down. Part heartbreaking and part laugh out loud funny, a must read for all teens.
Some of the books below are even appropriate for younger readers or family read-alouds, like the 2005 winner "The Penderwicks."
You might find some outstanding illustrations in these books, too. The first ever NBA graphic novel finalist from 2006, "American Born Chinese," opened the gates for David Small's "Stitches," the heavily illustrated "Lips Touch" by Laini Taylor with art by Jim Di Bartolo, and Brian Selznick's "The Invention of Hugo Cabret."
Any of your favorites below you want to champion?
2005 Winner - "The Penderwicks" by Jeanne Birdsall
"Where I Want to Be" by Adele Griffin
"Inexcusable" by Chris Lynch
"Autobiography of My Dead Brother" by Walter Dean Myers, art by Christopher Myers
"Each Little Bird That Sings" by Deborah Wiles
2006 Winner - "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing" by M.T. Anderson
"Keturah and Lord Death" by Martine Leavitt
"Sold" by Patricia McCormick
"The Rules of Survival" by Nancy Werlin
"American Born Chinese" by Gene Luen Yang
2007 Winner - "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie
"Skin Hunger" by Kathleen Duey
"Touching Snow" by M. Sindy Felin
"The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick
"Story of a Girl" by Sara Zarr
2008 Winner - "What I Saw and How I Lied" by Judy Blundell
"Chains" by Laurie Halse Anderson
"The Underneath" by Kathi Appelt with art by David Small
"The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks" by E. Lockhart
"The Spectacular Now" by Tim Tharp