Summer reading picks for teens and tweens
Whether students are reading over the summer for the sheer joy of it or just to keep the brain muscle in shape, here are a few recommendations. --SONJA BOLLE/Special to Newsday
"September Girls" by Bennett Madison (HarperTeen, $17.99, ages 14 and up): For guys who go around in a haze of female-induced confusion, Madison has a theory in his novel. The flock of hot girls in Sam's sleepy beach town are supernatural creatures, and he is right to suspect that all that blond-hair-flipping and lip-licking is hypnotizing him.
"The Cydonian Pyramid" by Pete Hautman (Candlewick Press, $16.99, ages 12 and up): Readers who didn't start the Klaatu Diskos series with "The Obsidian Blade" haven't missed out. Pete Hautman is a terrific writer, but the first book, set 500 years in the future, was slow off the blocks; it was only at the end that it took off -- and how! Now readers can dive straight from Book One into Book Two, "The Cydonian Pyramid."
"The Testing" by Joelle Charbonneau (Houghton Mifflin, $17.99, ages 12 and up): Another recommended thrill ride: Teens compete for training to rebuild the world after a great war in Joelle Charbonneau's "The Testing," the opener in a trilogy.
"Rush (The Game, Book 1)" by Eve Silver (Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, ages 14 and up): Miki is recruited for a kind of high-tech paintball game, with the survival of humanity at stake.
"Sylo" by D.J. MacHale (Razorbill, $17.99, ages 10 and up): A series that begins with the U.S. military conducting a secret mission on an island in Maine. (July 2013)
"Darius & Twig" by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad, $17.99, ages 13 and up): With his unerring eye for what's real and meaningful in life, Walter Dean Myers tells the story of "Darius & Twig" about two pals, a writer and a runner.
"Loki's Wolves" by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr (Little, Brown; $17, ages 8-12): For fans of Rick Riordan's books, M.A. Marr and K.L Armstrong have borrowed from Norse mythology in "Loki's Wolves," first in the Blackwell Pages trilogy.
"Catch Rider" by Jennifer H. Lyne (Clarion Books, $16.99, ages 12 and up): For many girls, it isn't truly summer without a great horse book -- Jennifer H. Lyne's "Catch Rider" fits that bill.
"The Moon and More" by Sarah Dessen (Viking, $21, ages 12 and up): The author is back in a beach town with a smart heroine headed for college in the fall. (Viking, June 2013)
"Crush" by Nicole Williams (HarperCollins, $9.99 each, ages 14 and up): Smart female characters are all very well, but sometimes a girl just wants a hot guy. Here are down 'n' dirty reads for those moods: Nicole Williams' series, "Clash," "Crash" and "Crush."
"The Kissing Booth" by Beth Reekles (Delacorte, $8.99, ages 12 and up): Smart female characters are all very well, but sometimes a girl just wants a hot guy. "The Kissing Booth" is another down 'n' dirty reads for those moods.
"P.S. Be Eleven" by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad, $16.99, ages 8-12): Middle readers will be happy to see some beloved characters:The three sisters who survived "One Crazy Summer" in Rita Williams-Garcia's Newbery Honor book set in 1960s Oakland, Calif., are back in "P.S. Be Eleven."
"The Wells Bequest" by Polly Shulman (Penguin, $16.99, ages 9 and up): Polly Shulman follows up "The Grimm Legacy" with "The Wells Bequest," a new adventure involving a New York institution that preserves and lends magical objects from literature. (Nancy Paulsen Books, June 2013)
"Odessa Again" by Dana Reinhardt (Wendy Lamb Books, $15.99, ages 8-12): A girl discovers she can do time-travel on a small scale -- a day at a time -- and uses it to try to fix her family's problems.
"After Iris" by Natasha Farrant (Dial Books, $16.99, ages 10 and up): The author gives a full, engaging portrait of a complicated family through the eyes of Blue Gadsby, surviving twin and aspiring filmmaker. (July 2013)
"Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" by Chris Grabenstein (Random House, $16.99, ages 8-12): The author immerses readers in a clever story that presents a puzzle.
"This Journal Belongs to Ratchet" by Nancy J. Cavanaugh (Sourcebooks, $12.99, ages 9 and up): Cavanaugh answers "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" with a home-schooler's thoughts in "This Journal Belongs to Ratchet."
"How to Read Literature Like a Professor: For Kids" by Thomas C. Foster (HarperCollins, $16.99, ages 8 and up): Foster argues that one of the pleasures of reading is making connections to other books you've read. Foster teaches readers to recognize, for example, when a character's trip to the store is actually a Quest.