My Top Ten Summer Throw Down Reads

Brian’s Note: Today marks the end of the second round of the #summerthrowdown challenge. Each of the four organizers has invited 4 teachers and librarians to blog this week about their favorite reads from the summer. That’s a total of 16 guest posters! Be sure to check out their blogs to get the full effect: Heise Reads & Recommends, The Brain Lair, and Library Fanatic. Check back here throughout the week for more fun!

Today’s post here on Wyz Reads comes to us from Crys Hodgens.

This summer I was pleased to discover #SummerThrowDown. What a great way to inspire teachers and librarians to read during the summer. As if we don’t already. But still – it was a great way to inspire us to a friendly competition, cheer one another on, and share what we are reading.

When I joined I thought I would be about to sit in my big, comfy chair and read from dusk to dawn all summer. And it started out that way too. But life always has a way of intervening, so the reading time I thought I had was cut into about a fourth of what I wanted, even with my competitive streak screaming from inside. But, I read a lot of great books, and I am pleased to share a handful of my favorite reads.

Here are my Top Ten Summer Throw Down Reads (in no particular order):

1. A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
A typical Clements school tale that almost inspired me to take a camping trip. ALMOST. But I enjoyed taking the trip with Clements’ characters. He has a way of making readers feel as if they too are in the moment.

2. Once by Anna Carey
I am so in love with this series, and this sequel did NOT disappoint. Imagine if the plague came back. How would we survive – and how would we re-populate the world? I read this in two sittings, which is impressive with how busy my summer was.

3. Renegade Magic by Stephanie Burgis
I love witchy tales, and I thoroughly enjoyed Burgis’ sequel. I love the magical world she has created as well as Kat, who has quickly become one of my favorite witchy characters.

4. Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crystal
Loved every morsel of this book. I could not get enough of it – and if you teach Shakespeare or are thinking about it, you should add this to your reading pile ASAP. If you hate Shakespeare, you should add this to your reading pile. Really, everyone should add this to their reading pile. Period.

5. The Classroom by Robin Mellom
A clever idea for a novel, Mellom has a great cast of characters. This documentary-style novel was easy and fun to read. You will feel for the main character as he tries to muster through the first day of middle school sans his best friend, who has decided that they both must find a date for the dance before the end of the school day. A must-read for the “outcast” in your life.

6. The Grooming of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Oh Alice. I love her character, but I am starting to question her friendships. Of course, we pick our friends and love them no matter what, right? At least that’s true for Alice. This is one of my favorites from the series.

7. Alice on the Outside by P. R. Naylor
Another Alice book – Alice forever! Never thought of Alice on the outside of anything because she is always working hard at being herself. That’s why I adore her.

8. Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
Usually not my cup of tea, but I loved this book. My husband read it and loved it too. That means you should add it to your reading list because the hubby can be a hard sell for YA lit.

9. Bewitching by Alex Flinn
Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. One of my favorite reads this year! If you read Beastly, then you will recognize the main character, Kindra. Loved reading her story.

10. ParaNorman by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
What a cute zombie Pilgrim story. No really, I promise. Very reminiscent of The Zombie Chasers series. This is age-appropriate and has convinced me to see the movie.

Crys Hodgens is a high school English teacher, aspiring librarian, avid gum chewer and exerciser, and reader. When she is not doing these things she can be found in the floor playing with her puppies Katniss and Knightley, grading essays, plotting to take over the world, or rooting for #TeamTeacher. You can find her on Twitter @thehodgenator and on her blog at Book ‘Em!

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