Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Reading List recommendations

I've been reading over the many summer reading lists from local schools today and thought I'd share my thoughts on some of the books on the list that I've read as well as some other interesting things you can check out in relation to the book.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

If you love the Lord of the Rings trilogy and haven't read this book....why not? It's the prequel to the Lord of the Rings tales and quite a good epic adventure book itself, telling the tale of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

They made The Hobbit into an animated movie in the late 70's and it's great. We have it at the library and I highly recommend you check it out: The Hobbit: The Animated Movie

We've also got The Hobbit on CD, presented by a full cast...haven't heard it yet but it sounds neat. The Hobbit: Full Cast Book on CD

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

A very interesting book that acts as a history lesson. It deals with the meatpacking industry in the early 1900's and the poor working conditions and poverty that employees faced as well as the corruption of the people higher up in the organization. Grim? A bit, but it presents a good look at how working conditions were 100 years ago.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair at the library

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Focusing on the happenings of the Wiggin family (specifically Ender Wiggin), this futuristic sci-fi book deals with Earth turning to Ender to save them from an alien race known as the buggers which threaten to invade and destroy Earth. This book focuses on Ender's training at battle school and his rise to leader against the buggers. My description of the book makes it sound like a bad sci fi adventure, but trust me it's not. It's a well written book that dives into the psychological aspects of the characters. Plus, if you like the book there's more in the series to read...always a plus for any reader.

Ender Wiggin Series
1. Ender's Game
2. Speaker for the Dead
3. Xenocide
4. Children of the Mind
5. A War of Gifts
6. Ender in Exile (coming soon!)

Shadow Saga
1. Ender's Shadow
2. Shadow of the Hegemon
3. Shadow Puppets
4. Shadow of the Giant

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Dealing with the life of Jerry Renault, this book focuses on Jerry's desire to not participate in the school benefit to sell chocolate and aid the school. In doing so, Jerry is rebelling against the headmaster of the school as well as the secret society known as The Vigils. At first, he finds himself a sort of hero, but over time becomes the target of many attackers who accuse him of being an enemy to the school. Once again, my description of the books fails to live up to the actual greatness of the book....but trust me on this one! I really enjoyed reading this book (which I actually read as part of my summer reading list in high school) and recommend it highly.

They made it into a movie which I've never seen before, but we have it here at the library: The Chocolate War on DVD

We've also got the book on CD: The Chocolate War Book on CD


Sophie said...

Yay for the jungle!!! It's the ultimate vegeterian-book! Plus it's a really encouraging example of how you can change the world with a pen ( or a typewriter or laptop for that matter ) : after rooosevelt read it, he made refirms in the meat industry. Read the jungle!!!

Justin The Teen Librarian said...

Yeah. It's quite a good book. I remember feeling quite empowered after I read it...