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Last Minute Reads

July 23, 2019 - 1:27pm -- wendy
A Monster Calls book cover
The Agony of Bun O'Keefe book cover
Dear Martin book cover

It’s almost August?! How did that happen? Summer’s almost over, and whether you need something for a summer reading assignment or just don’t want to get bogged down in a 500-page novel, here are some quick reads that you can fit in before the end of summer break:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor is visited every night by a monster, but the monster in the story is not the one you expect. Spine-tingling imagery and creepy pen and ink drawings are riveting.  Not only will it give you the chills, it will give you a raging case of the feels. 

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith 

Life on the streets is a challenge when your only experience of the outside world is a year of kindergarten and a box of old VHS tapes. That’s where fourteen-year-old Bun ends up after her unstable, hoarder mother kicks her out.  This tough but warm story is packed with compelling characters, bucketloads of emotion and funky 1980’s nostalgia.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone 

Justyce is Ivy League-bound, but that doesn’t matter to the white police officer who sees him as just another black boy looking for trouble. Justyce’s journaled letters to Dr. Martin Luther King reveal his inner conflict as a racially profiled black teen trying to live by Dr. King’s words. Powerful and moving. Great for fans of The Hate U Give.

Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston 

After the death of her mother at the hands of the Black Helicopters, Valley’s father raises her to distrust Those People--distrust them enough to sacrifice herself to destroy them. This story slams into you in a rapid-fire staccato, yanking you back and forth in time and keeping you wondering what’s going to happen next.

Muchacho by Louanne Johnson 

No one expects Eddie to amount to much given his history of delinquent behavior and the rough neighborhood he comes from. But Eddie has a few things going for him that he tries to keep secret from his jaded friends.  Gritty and honest, this book lets you see the world through Eddie’s eyes. 

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 

Everyone's talking about the new girl at school. She carries a ukulele and her pet rat, sings happy birthday to people in the cafeteria and dresses like she lives in another universe. But being different is only good until it's not. A story about kindness, conformity and what it really means to be yourself.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang 

This graphic novel blends a Chinese fable, the story of an American-born Chinese boy and his immigrant best friend and the tale of a teenager with a horrifyingly stereotypical Chinese cousin. What brings the three stories together in the end will surprise you in this engaging and delightfully illustrated tale about race and fitting in. 

Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne Valente 

Ever wonder what happens to the women who are discarded so carelessly in the course of superheroes saving the world?  Hear some of their stories in the form of monologues from the afterlife. This slim volume packs a lot of punch when it comes to action.

Didn’t find something that appeals to you?  Try our Personalized Reading Lists and get a list of books curated especially for you. Now go find a hammock, grab a book and spend a little more time enjoying the summer!