My Top 5 Summer Throw Down Books

Brian’s Note: This week marks the end of the second round of the #summerthrowdown challenge. To celebrate, 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 & RecommendsThe 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 Niki Ohs Barnes.

Or should it be called… “books that changed my life while I was trying to read the pants off a bunch of librarians”? What was I thinking? Hello!! Librarians read for a living! Have you looked at Mr. Schu’s book count lately on Goodreads? Lucky for me, he was not participating. But the teachers still lost the first round to the librarians. Did I mention librarians love to read? But then there was the second round and everything changed. Go Team Teacher! Anyway, here are 10 books that will change your life…and I’m not exaggerating just so you’ll read them. So what are you waiting for?! Open your Goodreads account or go the old fashioned route and grab a pencil and paper and write these bad boys down.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Okay, all you really need to know about this book I can tell you in five words: Better than The Hunger Games. I started off #summerthrowdown reading The Hunger Games and I loved it. In fact, I really felt bad for the book that would have to go after this series. I thought to myself -there is no one I will ever crush on harder than Peeta. I mean he is the boy with the bread for goodness sakes. Little did I know what was in store for me. And the ladies that have read Divergent know what I’m talking about. Divergent was my favorite YA series this summer. And I will give you one word why- Four. I think he is officially my first book boyfriend. We all picture different amazingly hunky boys in our head when we picture Four (mine was a blue eyed Adam Levine by the way). So I’m telling you- if you are a woman of any age- read this book just to meet Four. He will rekindle your inner teenager. Now in case for some odd reason you are not sold yet. This book has everything: people jumping from trains, amazing, pulse pounding action, factions (that remind me of the houses in Harry Potter) and a kick butt female lead character named Beatrice. Which makes me wonder, who do you think would win if Katniss and Beatrice took each other on?

I give Divergent 5 hunky stars out of 5 hunky stars.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Is this book going to make you cry? Yes! Is this book going to make you laugh? Yes! I did not read a more beautiful, heart wrenching and funny book than this one all summer. You will literally fall in love with the two main characters Hazel and Gus. And there is a lot of talk about the dreaded C word (cancer). You have been warned!

I give The Fault in Our Stars 5 boxes of Kleenex out of 5 boxes of Kleenex…you are going to need them.

3. One For The Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Apparently I love heart warming, tear inducing books about sassy, street smart main characters and the amazing people who love them. Who knew?  Karly is that funny, smart, and sassy character. She ends up with her foster family the Murphys after a brutal incident with her mother and father and law.  The Murphys are a sweet and caring family that Karly has a hard time embracing. The question is will she stay with the Murphys or go back with the mom who betrayed her. Well, you will just have to read the book to find out. So what are you waiting for? Add it to your “Books to Read” list now!

I give One For The Murphys 5 sassy, street smart stars out of 5 sassy, street smart stars!

4. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

I could just quote this book all day. Every line is my favorite and it begs to be reread along with Hate That Cat. If you ask really nicely- Mr. Schu might just read you a line or two to get you hooked. Unless you are living under a children’s lit rock then you have probably heard of Sharon Creech. Oops. I was the one living under that rock. I finally just read her books this summer. If it’s not too late for me…than it’s not too late for you. Run out and get this book now. Read it silently to yourself then rush out to read it to a group of children. I don’t care if you are a teacher or not. Find a random group of children and read it to them. They will love you for it.

I give Love That Dog 5 loud passionate barks out of 5 loud passionate barks.

5. Gregor The Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Yes. It is that Suzanne Collins. I really had no choice after I didn’t pick The Hunger Games as one of my top 5 books, now did I? I loved this fantasy gem that you must read especially if you love Harry Potter. Gregor is a boy who can perform magic, is mean with a wand and fights off other evil wizards. Actually, NONE of that is true. But we are nearing the end of my post. So I wanted to make sure you were still paying attention. But Gregor is brave like Harry Potter. And you should see what he can do with a can of Root Beer. I don’t think even the great Harry Potter is that ingenious. If you love damp, dark places with lots of rats, spiders and cockroaches then this is the book for you. You mean you don’t love creepy crawly creatures? Me neither. But I still loved this book.

I give Gregor The Overlander 5 creepy crawly creatures out of 5 creepy crawly creatures.

Just one more thing: GET ON TWITTER! I mean it. It is not just a place for celebrities to Tweet about themselves and for you to pretend you care. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has changed me as a reader and a teacher. It is an amazing community of wonderful educators, authors and librarians. If you love to read…you will love Twitter. So look me up @NikiOhsBarnes and I will tell you who to follow to be a part of such awesome groups as the Summer Throw Down and Nerdy Book Club. Happy Reading!

Niki Ohs Barnes is a 2nd grade teacher in Michigan. She is also a proud (library) card carrying member of the Nerdy Book Club.


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