One of our favorite ways to relax during the hot days of summer is to read. Our family of five likes to read in all different genres. Sometimes we read books out loud together and sometimes we read solo by the pool, in our bedrooms, on the airplane, or any place. The beauty of reading is that even if you can’t go on some exotic vacation or you only have 30 minutes to spare, you can enter into a different world through books!
- Mindy Kim and the Trip to Korea (chapter book) by Lyla Lee and illustrated by Dung Ho.
My girl has been eagerly awaiting the release of the next book in the Mindy Kim series. (She ordered it with her own money months ago.) Zayla has loved learning about Korean culture and going on adventures with Mindy Kim.
2. Any Day with You (middle grade) by Mae Respicio
Kaia and her family live near the beach in California, where the fun of moviemaking is all around them. Kaia loves playing with makeup and creating special effects, turning her friends into merfolk and other magical creatures. Zayla and I were both interested in this book because the author is Filipino-American and incorporates so many cultural details in the telling of this story.
3. Halfway to Harmony (middle grade) by Barbara O’Connor.
Walter Tipple is looking for adventure. The book unfolds the details of his summer of taking chances, becoming braver, and making friends. This one caught Giada’s eye because the main character seems to be working through his grief.
4. Path to Stars (middle grade memoir) by Sylvia Acevedo
Giada loves biographies and said she was attracted to this book because it’s about a girl scout who became a rocket scientist. This book is actually a memoir by a Latina author who endures much loss but eventually goes on to work for NASA. Perfect for my girl who loves all things space!
5. Rule of Wolves (YA fantasy) by Leigh Bardugo
This book Meilani chose this novel, which is part of a larger series that she loves called the Grishaverse. The place to begin is the Shadow & Bone trilogy. Meilani says these books are the perfect combination of mystery, adventure, romance, and fantasy in these books.
6. Percy Jackson and the Olympians (YA fantasy) by Rick Riordan
In book 5 of the series, the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing that the odds of victory are grim. Again, you might want to start with book one in the series. My girl says this one is appealing because it’s packed with adventure and you don’t want to put it down.
7. Win at All Costs: Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception (non-fiction) by Matt Hart
This is a behind-the-scenes look at the Nike Oregon Project and coach Alberto Salazar. Shawn was interested in this one because it’s a running scandal. Who wouldn’t be interested?!
8. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (memoir) by Haruki Murakami
This book is about the intersection of writing and running. While training for the New York City Marathon, Murakami decided to keep a journal of his progress. Shawn says this was appealing because it gives a little more of a philosophical view of running. (We quoted Murakami in our Walk Run Soar book published in September 2020.
9. Growing Slow (non-fiction) by Jennifer Dukes Lee
I’m a few chapters in and this book is helping me enter a simpler way of living by unhurrying my heart, embracing the relaxed rhythms of nature, and discovering the meaningful gift of growing slow. We long to make a break from the fast pace of life, but if we’re honest, we’re afraid of what we’ll miss if we do. I’m taking this book on my vacation and reading it slow so I can marinate on all the words. I especially like the space for writing reflections at the end of each chapter.
10. Becoming All Things (non-fiction) by Michelle Reyes
Many of us want to have diverse friends and are passionate about justice. But if we are serious about cross-cultural relationships, we need to be willing to change. This book gives us stories and practical ways we can become all things to all people as 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 talks about in the Bible. I actually read this book when it came out this Spring, but I’m reading through it again more slowly with a friend so we can discuss it.