Something for Everyone: 5 Top Summer Reads

Are you bored out of your mind this summer? Feel like spending the day watching movies or playing video games? Instead, give one of these books a try, and you’ll be instantly entertained.

huck1) Huck by Janet Elder

Huck is a true story that is not only for dog lovers but for anyone looking for a heartwarming read this summer. Huck, a toy poodle, is bought for Michael, a young boy, while his mother is going through breast cancer treatment. When Michael and his family go on vacation and leave Huck with family members, Huck runs away. The story line follows Michael and his family through their ups and downs, times of both joy and sorrow, as they search all over New Jersey for their beloved dog. Through the family’s searches, it is revealed how kind people can really be.

divergent_cover2) The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

The Divergent series is a great series for bringing on a long car or plane trip, or for just reading at home, as it can keep you easily entertained. Divergent takes place in a dystopia that is divided into four sections/clans as a result of a war, and follows a girl named Beatrice through her teenage years, first as she moves out of the clan in which she grew up; then as she becomes involved in another war that will wipe out two clans. Divergent and the rest of the books in the series can really make time go faster, and is nearly impossible to put down.

hokey_pokey_cover3) Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli

Everything about Hokey Pokey, Jerry Spinelli’s latest book, will remind you of summer. In a land where grownups don’t exist, boys and girls hate each other, there is no school and only playtime, every kid is under twelve, and the hokey pokey man (think snow cone in the shape of a cube) comes every day, live three friends; Jack, the “leader” of the hokey pokey land boys, and his two companions, Dusty and LaJo. Only there are a few small problems. Jack’s beloved bike has been stolen by a girl, and Jack is becoming too old for hokey pokey land. This book will bring out the inner kid in you, and you will be reading it over and over all summer.

captain_bluebear4) The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers

This is a book that is not very well known; however, the Washington Post accurately captured its essence when it deemed the book “Equal parts J.K Rowling and Shel Silverstein.” This book is perfect because it won’t take up a lot of room in a suitcase, but it will take up plenty of time on the plane ride during your summer vacation. The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear is about a blue bear named Bluebear (what else?) who goes on all kinds of adventures during his 13 1/2 lives and has a talking encyclopedia in his head. Bluebear begins his life in a nutshell in the sea with minipirates, and from there goes through all kinds of adventures, such as living on an island with every kind of food growing on it; think pizza plants and chocolate milk streams. The island later turns out to be a carnivorous monster. Bluebear also becomes a professional liar, along with many other things. This book is fun and playful, and is for all ages. Just like the rest of the books on this list, The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear is something to read over and over all summer.

eragon_cover5) The Eragon series by Christopher Paolini

The Eragon series has plenty of books to keep you entertained for a few weeks, and is a great series for fantasy lovers. Even if you have already read the Eragon series, it is great to reread. Eragon is a young boy who discovers a “magical stone” that turns out to be an egg holding Saphira, or dragon. Eragon then continues to learn to become a dragon rider and how to trust Saphira in order to defeat the evil king that rules Eragon’s kingdom. Like The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, the Eragon series is great for teens age 12 and up.

-Will R., 9th grade

Book Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

eragon_coverDragons, magic, elves, dwarfs, and war are all common elements of many stories. Eragon was one of the first I have read that has a dragon that is actually a main character not a main supporting character. Excellent read for anyone who likes the things I listed above.

Eragon is the first book of a currently four-book series called The Inheritance Cycle written by Christopher Paolini.

 The book is about a boy named Eragon. Eragon has always believed he was just a normal farm boy with a normal birth. He knows nothing of his mother nor nothing of this father. He was raised by an uncle of his and lived with his uncle and his uncle’s son on their farm. Eragon lived a kind of shelter life from most of the outside world since the valley that he lived him was rarely visited from the outside. One day he finds a polished blue stone. This stone would bring him out of his simple life and the valley in which he lived. This stone would bring a dragon into his life that will lead him to magic, elves, and a whole host of other creatures and humans.

Eragon is a very well-written story. The story is very well planned out and detailed– not in the way that bores people but holds their interest. Each character seems to have some sort of mystery behind them that makes the reader want to discover more. The main character, Eragon, still makes mistakes like a normal person and admits that he does them. This makes him feel more like the reader. Another thing that is interesting in this series is the diverse amount of species in the story. There are not only plenty of different sort of humans but there are also things like Urgals (Read the story to find out more about these creatures).

In the end, this book is amazing. Well, at least for me. It has plenty of adventure and excitement for both male and female readers. This book and the complete series itself, I personally would recommend it to older or more advanced readers. The reason is that some of the more emotional side of the story can be hard to understand and take in some of the time. This series also deals with a lot of fighting, war, betrayal, and other slightly more mature things. This review is only my opinion. Really it is up to you. Have Fun!

Extra Note: If you would like to learn more about the author of the Inheritance Cycle series, check out Phillip X.’s post about Christopher Paolini.

-Sarah J., 8th grade

Authors We Love: Christopher Paolini

eragon_coverChristopher Paolini is a very talented author, writing his first book at the young age of 15. He is most famous for the Inheritance Cycle, a thoroughly entertaining fantasy. Being homeschooled for most of his childhood, Christopher graduated highschool at an early age, so he decided to write his first book, Eragon, before going to college.

Eragon is a fantasy novel about, as you might have guessed, a teenage boy named Eragon. Under King Galbatorix’s cruel reign, he lives the harsh life of a farmer with his uncle and cousin. One day, a mysterious blue stone appears before him in the forest. Not surprisingly, Eragon is shocked when a dragon hatches out of it. So, he proceeds to take on the legacy of the Dragon Riders, the ancient guardians of the land, who were driven to extinction by Galbatorix. Throughout the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon journeys through the lands of elves and dwarves to meet his final destiny: confronting the evil king.

I think Christopher’s greatest talent is the meticulate detail he puts into every page. He paints a vivid image in your mind as you read, so that can really see the majesty of the great forests, mountains and cities. Also, the history and politics of the different races is very realistic. Another one of his talents is relating the readers to the characters. We are told the characters’ pasts, so we can understand their every motive and action.

Overall, I think Christopher Paolini is an excellent author, and is an inspiration to all aspiring writers. If he can write a book as a teenager, then we all can. I will be eagerly anticipating any prequels or sequels Christopher plans to write.

-Phillip X., 7th grade