It's hard to believe half of my summer vacation is over. We visited my son at sleep away camp yesterday and my daughter leaves for her month at camp tomorrow. I'm sad to see her go but she can't wait to see her friends and I'm looking forward to the time it will give me for learning new curriculum for the upcoming school year and having more time for reading and writing.
A note: I still meet adults who turn their noses up when they hear about a popular graphic novels or when they see kids choosing graphic novels exclusively. Before discounting this book format, I would urge adults to read them. While some are just cute and fun, more are complex, thoughtful stories. That is true of the two I read this week.
I picked up this ARC at Book Expo America and it was immediately the most popular book on my shelves since many had read Sunny Side Up. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I loved the book for its cultural references. Among old tv shows is a family drama as Sunny has to find a way to cope with change when her older brother is sent to military school. Sunny misses him and wants him home, but his anger towards his parents makes his time at home disappointing. Fortunately Sunny has some good friends and Gramps to help her through this difficult time. The book comes out in September.
I was expecting this story to be funny or silly since it's about a girl whose parents work at Renaissance Faire and wants to be a squire. But when Imogene also decides to leave home schooling and go to a public middle school, the book becomes very serious. Learning to fit in at Imogene's middle school is no easy task and Imogene quickly starts to change herself to be accepted by her peers. The book takes on family relationships, friendship, bullies, and self-discovery. It also brings up crushes and thoughts about relationships, so I would recommend it for a more mature middle reader. This book also comes out in September.
High-fantasy lovers will enjoy The Bone Witch. When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from his grave, she becomes one of the most feared and revered people in the kingdom. She must immediately leave her family and be trained for her new position, a training that is difficult physically and mentally as Tea needs to navigate a completely new world of social and political challenge. Told in flashbacks, the only thing I disliked about The Bone Witch is you never find out the reason that Tea has been exiled and is raising an army. That will hopefully come in book 2.