February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

“What’s on Your Summer Reading List?” Authors Respond


Curious to know what books are on your favorite authors’ coffee tables and bedside stands? Here’s your chance to take a peek. Our annual query yielded lists of eagerly anticipated new titles, guilty pleasures, piles of ARCS scooped at ALA and BEA, inspirational reads (and rereads), and a few of those, ahem, edifying titles. Two authors­—Ame Dyckman and Guadalupe Garcia McCall—were inspired to respond in verse. Enjoy.

From Mark Teague, author and illustrator of The Pirate Jamboree (Orchard, 2016):

This summer I would like to finish reading Scott O’Dell’s Island Of The Blue Dolphins. I put the book down sometime during the spring of 1973, when I was in the fifth grade. My recollection of the plot is fuzzy. I remember there was a slow patch leading to an out-of-body experience in which I was some kind of dolphin myself, swimming through murky seas. Anyway, I’ve been assured that the book is excellent, and who am I to doubt it? On the other hand, it is summer and the living is, as they say, easy. Also, life is short. So maybe, instead, I’ll reread Jonathan Stroud’s “Bartimaeus” books, which are funny, and razor sharp, and which have nothing to do with islands or sea mammals of any kind.

From Leslye Walton, author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Candlewick, 2014):

Last summer, I got completely wrapped up in Laini Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke & Bone” trilogy, and now I’m looking forward to finding something else in which to lose myself this summer. The top contenders? Well, there’s Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, Anne-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers, not to mention Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun and The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle; all books I’ve had every intention of reading for ages. Then there’s The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel, and The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. I am completely enthralled by The Fox and The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith, which looks heart wrenching and beautiful.

I’m also looking forward to rereading The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry, which I absolutely adored, as well as Neal Shusterman’s Challenger Deep, which so deservingly won a National Book Award last year. The pictorial Hot Pink: The Life and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli by Susan Goldman Rubin sits on my coffee table and demands a reread every time I sit down. And of course, Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I think everyone should read at least once in their lives. If not twice.

From Meg Medina, author of Burn Baby Burn (Candlewick, 2016):

Sitting near the ocean with a book is about as close to my idea of heaven as you can get. So, pass the sunscreen. Here’s a tiny sliver of my bottomless to-be-read pile.

The Pura Belpré medal celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, so to honor that anniversary I’m trying to take in earlier winners that I haven’t read before, such as Under the Royal Palms by Alma Flor Ada and An Island Like You by Judith Ortiz Cofer. Latinos in KidLit has been doing a terrific recap of all the past winners, if you’d like to add more to your own list.

I also plan to dig into Jason Reynolds’s As Brave As You, eager to listen to his voice for younger readers this time.

Finally, I plan to revisit Tell Me Something Real, an August debut by Calla Devlin, which I saw as a galley a few months ago. I really admired this book, set in 1970s like my own recent novel, about three wild sisters discovering and living through their mother’s illness.

From Jennifer L. Holm, author of the forthcoming Full of Beans (Random House, August 2016):

I love nonfiction, and my late father was a physician, so medical nonfiction is a sweet spot for me. On my messy side table is Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, M.D., and T.J. Mitchell. (Although my 12-year-old son keeps sneaking it out of my room. Everyone wants to understand death!)

I’m also pretty obsessed with 1920s and 1930s Florida after doing research for Full of Beans, so I’m looking forward to reading For Sale American Paradise: How Our Nation Was Sold an Impossible Dream in Florida by Willie Drye.

From Melissa Sweet, author of the forthcoming Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White (HMH, October, 2016):

It shaping up to be a summer of nonfiction. I’ve begun the season by reading Andrea Wulf’s biography of Alexander Von Humboldt, The Invention of Nature. Next up is Barbara Elleman’s Virginia Lee Burton: A Life in Art, and then a biography of a favorite designer, Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham. If there’s more free time, I’ll keep up with The New Yorker, or be outside doing a whole lot of nothing. As E.B. White wrote, “Summertime is important. It’s like a shaft of sunlight.”

From Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of Star Wars: Jedi Academy: A New Class (Scholastic, July, 2016):

If you don’t like awesome books, don’t read The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. But I’m assuming that you do love awesome books . . . because why else would you be reading School Library Journal? I don’t have enough kind words to say about Peter Brown’s chapter-book debut. I read The Wild Robot out loud with my seven-year-old daughter in the evenings and I found myself continually keeping her up well pass her bedtime. We needed to know what would happen next! The chapters are short and fast, and the story is filled with heart, humor, and edge-of-your-seat action. Beautiful black-and-white artwork is sprinkled throughout and helped further endear us to Brown’s characters. Visuals aside, my daughter and I quickly fell in love with Roz, the stranded robot, and the fauna that inhabit the island that she crashes onto. This story feels like a classic, and I hope that it becomes just that. Fifty years from now kids should be picking up copies of The Wild Robot for their summer reading fix. But don’t you wait 50 years; share this book with your young readers this summer!

From Monica Brown, author of the “Marisol McDonald” series (Lee & Low): 

If my summer reading list had a theme, I suppose it would be magic. Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier described his writing as lo real maravilloso, the marvelous real, and that’s what I’m in search of under the sunshine, in my own writing and in that of others. I’m working on a new book for an older audience, so I plan to read a lot of middle grade and YA. I’m starting with Diana Lopez’s wonderful new book, Nothing Up My Sleeve, and then going back in time a little to read Meg Medina’s The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s Summer of the Mariposas. I’m also going to reread Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me. 

Finally, there are certain books and writers that never fail to inspire and renew me, and one of those authors is Gabriel García Márquez—I’ve read all his longer works and his biography, but I plan to read his collected short stories this summer—from the collections, Eyes of a Blue Dog and Big Mama’s Funeral.

From Neal Shusterman, author of the 2015 National Book Award winner in the Young People’s Literature category, Challenger Deep (HarperCollins, 2015):

I started my summer reading Carol Emshwiller’s The Mount–an extremely original science fiction novel, which a friend of mine is adapting into a film, and John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior, which was fantastic. For the longest time I’ve wanted to reread Doug Adams’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” books, which I quote all the time, but haven’t dipped into them since my college days. I’m hoping to get to them next.

From Andrea Beaty, author of the forthcoming Ada Twist, Scientist (Abrams, Sept., 2016):   

Summer reading is about travel. Books to enjoy while exploring someplace new and books to take me away when I’m back home again. I want to explore the world within (Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman, Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart, and Touched with Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison), and worlds far, far away (Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, perhaps some Tolkien). Then there is always Willa Cather and John Steinbeck and those stacks of surprising picture books and middle grades which sneaked by me this year. And poetry: Mary Oliver and Gwendolyn Brooks savored in the garden over morning coffee. Always, I will be on the hunt for prose so perfect, so powerful that it strikes like lightning and lingers long, long after the storm is past. Suggestions greatly appreciated! @AndreaBeaty

From Susin Nielsen, author of We Are All Made of Molecules (Random, 2015):

Ooh, how I love talking books. I read a lot of fiction, but as spring turns to summer I have some nonfiction titles in my pile. Just finished Sue Klebold’s riveting, painfully honest memoir, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. And I’m halfway through Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan–an absolute page-turner. I want more people I know to read Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, so we can discuss it, and then argue about it (I loved it for a while then became intensely angry and fed up). Sometimes I mourn having read everything by a certain author; I wish Donna Tartt had a new book coming out this summer (She writes one every 10 years or so; I have about seven years to go, I think). No one writes characters like she does. On the middle grade/YA front, I’m a big fan of Rebecca Stead’s writing and I’m about to read Goodbye Stranger. I recently finished Kenneth Oppel’s The Nest–it is so beautifully crafted, and truly frightening.

From Sara Cassidy, author of the forthcoming A Boy Named Queen (Groundwood, October, 2016):
I have towers of can’t-wait-to-read books throughout my house, but when I reach out, there are a few that I hope will meet my fingertips. They rise to the top of the cream. The Chantilly books.

I sent Jacqueline Kelly a fan letter after finishing The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. I wanted her to know that my diehard epic-fantasy-reading 12-year old, having finished George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” titles, gobbled up her intelligent and funny first novel, as I had. He read the follow-up, The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, and is now back to fantasy (wishing Patrick Rothfuss would get that third book out, already), so I will be sinking into a softened copy of Curious World. (Incidentally, Kelly graciously responded to my love letter.)

The Wolf Wilder, Katherine Rundell’s most recent novel, was beautiful, another richly imagined, hermetic world filled with transcendent, synesthetic imagery. But why did it move so slowly? I loved Rooftoppers, forgiving its periodic cloying. I wonder if Rundell’s Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, will actually be the wildest, with cracks for air.

After devouring Laura Marx Fitzgerald’s longstockingesque Under the Egg, I can barely wait to read The Gallery. Darren Groth’s Are You Seeing Me?, which features an autistic protagonist, won Canada’s top literary honor last year. And, would someone please give me the fox-focused Pax by Sara Pennypacker, author of the sublime contemporary-vintage “Clementine” series?

From John Claude Bemis, author of The Wooden Prince: Book One in Out of Abaton (2016) and the forthcoming Lord of Monsters: Book Two in Out of Abaton (Disney-Hyperion, March 2017):

As a Potter completist, I’ll, of course, be reading J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This will be particularly fun since my nine-year-old daughter was too young to have experienced the original pandemonium. Time for her to get a taste of what it’s like to deck out in Gryffindor colors and line up at midnight.

I live in the biggest little literary town in the South, Hillsborough, NC, and our newest author Michael Oechsle has a book, The Lost Cipher, which my daughter and I are reading together. Wilderness adventures, treasure hunts, and brain-busting puzzles. Yes, please!

I’m a sucker for books with wonder, weirdness, and loads of heart so count me in for Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot as well as Ollie’s Odyssey by one of my favorite authors, William Joyce. Last year, I devoured the first two of Jonathan Stroud’s amazing “Lockwood & Co” books, but confess I needed some time to clear the blood-soaked walls out of my dreams before tackling the third. So I’ll be off to my local bookstore soon to pick up The Hollow Boy. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts! (Gulp.)

From Jo Knowles, author of Still a Work In Progress (Candlewick, August 2016):

Summer is my time for catching up on all the reading I’ve been meaning to do during the year. To get started, I spend a week on the beach in Maine with my family with a stack of books that we often end up sharing around, convincing each other which one to read next. Titles on my dream list include:

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet!)
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung
Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman (I read a very early draft and can’t wait to read the final!)
Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick (if I can get my hands on an ARC)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (another I can’t believe I haven’t read yet)
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (I’ve heard Chinelo read many chapters—they are stunning—but I haven’t read the complete book yet)

I could go on and on, and this is why I have an entire bookcase filled with “to-be-read” books. Happy summer reading, everyone!

From Rahul Kanakia, author of Enter Title Here (a debut publishing with Disney-Hyperion, August 2016):

The book I’m most excited about reading is Peggy Orenstein’s recently published book, Girls & Sex, which is based on 70 interviews Orenstein conducted with teenagers. This is probably a deeply uncool thing for a YA author to reveal, but I sometimes read ethnographic or sociological studies about high school kids, just so I’ll know what their lives are like nowadays. Orenstein’s book feels like it’ll complete a substantial gap in my education. (I went to an all-boy’s high school, so learned most of what I know about teenage girls from YA novels and sometimes wonder if they are the most accurate sources of information.)

I’m also excited to read Rumaam Alam’s book Rich and Pretty, which falls into my favorite literary genre: best friends who’re trying to make it in the city. I’ve read so many books like this, most recently Emma Jane Unsworth’s Animals and Emily Gould’s Friendship, and never seem to tire of them.

From Aaron Becker, author of the forthcoming Return (Candlewick, August, 2016), the final volume in his wordless trilogy, following Journey and Quest:

Some kids may be happy to know that there’s an author out there who is also a reluctant reader (me!). My six-year-old daughter, on the other hand, is not. At bedtime, we’ve been reading Kate DiCamillo’s “Mercy Watson” series and her “Bink & Gollie” titles that she co-wrote with Alison McGhee. On my own list is Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot and Pax by Sara Pennypacker, as well as several picture books I’ve been waiting to get my hands on, namely Amy Novesky’s Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault and Susan Verde’s I am Yoga, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Truth be told, seeing as it is summer, you’ll most likely find me on the hammock taking a nap with several of these books waiting patiently by my side. Call me reluctant, or just a tired dad!

From Kiersten White, author of And I Darken (Delacorte, 2016):

I can’t wait to curl up in the shade and read You Know Me Well, the new book from David Levithan and Nina LaCour. They are two of my favorite contemporary writers—both excel at graceful, honest, empathetic characterizations—and I’m so excited to read the story they built together!

From Elizabeth Eulberg, author of the forthcoming The Great Shelby Holmes (Bloomsbury, Sept., 2016):  

Over the years, my reading pile has morphed from a teetering stack on my nightstand to its own overstuffed shelf that constantly taunts me when I’m on deadline. This summer, I’m all about looking toward the fall–as in, reading the ARCs that I shamelessly begged for after BEA: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, and Adam Silvera’s History Is All You Left Me (his debut, More Happy Than Not, was one of my favorite books last year). As a Jane Austen fan, I’m excited to dive back into the world of the Bennet family with Natasha’s Farrant’s The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet. No summer reading list is complete without a purely fun and delicious beach read, which is why I can’t wait to delve into Jen Calonita’s VIP: Battle of the Bands, whose main character, Mac, is basically 12-year old me, boy band obsession and all (New Kids 4eva). And those are only the books that I plan to read this month! As a wise woman once wrote, “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” May your summer also be filled with lots of good books!

From Eileen Cook, author of With Malice (HMH, 2016):

Summer is perfect—longer days mean more daylight for reading.

I enjoy nonfiction and will read anything that Mary Roach writes. Her new book, Grunt, tackles what you might not know about the military. I’m looking forward to getting answers to pressing questions such as: Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks?

Stephanie Kuehn is one of my favorite writers for her ability to create complex, flawed, but fascinating, characters. In The Smaller Evil the main character deals with anxiety and chronic illness, but the self-help center he visits to has secrets of its own.

This summer I’ll be re-reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I love a good boarding school story and this is one of my favorite books of all time. A small group of students fall under the sway of an eccentric teacher. He’s teaching them a new way to approach life and they discover what they’re capable of—including murder.

From Wendy Mass, author of the forthcoming The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase (Little, Brown, August, 2016):

I’ll be spending most of the summer on the road in an RV, so for me it’s all about audiobooks. I get very attached to my favorite narrators and my plan is to seek out new titles they are reading. I loved Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and John Scalzi’s Agent to the Stars, both narrated by Wil Weaton, so I’ve now downloaded Armada and Redshirts. I also have Eoin Colfer’s last title in the “Artemis Fowl” series lined up (narrated by Nathaniel Parker). Finty Williams did an awesome job with M.R. Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts, so bring on Carey’s newest, Fellside!

I’m lucky in that two of my favorite narrators have also narrated some of my own books. I’m excited to give my son the audiobook for Pi in the Sky, narrated by Mark Turetsky, and my daughter will bring Thirteen Gifts from my “Willow Falls” series, narrated by Kathleen McInerney.  For the hands-on reading experience, I am itching to start The Wander Society and How to Be an Explorer of the World, both by Keri Smith. They seem like a perfect fit for outdoor adventures on the road and a great way to remind me to keep my eyes and ears open while out in the world (and fill up with new story ideas!).

From Gitty Daneshvari, author of the “The League of Unexceptional Children” series (Little, Brown, 2016):

I shall begin my summer, as I have for the past two years, by reading the first half of Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. I will feel invigorated, inspired—I might even scream “yes!” out loud, overwhelmed by the insight of particular passages. I will sanctimoniously tell strangers at parties, on the subway, and waiting on the corner, that they must read this book! Then just as I can see my behavior shifting for the better, I will stop reading it (history has taught me this happens approximately half way through the book). Why? I have no idea. Probably the same inexplicable reason I stop antibiotics at the first sign of getting better.

In the wake of near self-improvement, I will dive into the following books:
-Eleven Kinds of Loneliness by Richard Yates (his Easter Parade and Revolutionary Road are two of my favorite books), since this title reminds me of the summer I spent at Girl’s Scout Camp as the only non-Girl Scout (“I can’t believe Gitty doesn’t know how to make a fire out of lint and a magnifying glass…what a loser.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.)
-Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. If I were ever to join a cult, it would be a Harry Potter themed one.
-I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson. Having spent the last three years abroad, I am intrigued by this memoir about a man returning to the states after 20 years in the United Kingdom.
Missoula by Jon Krakauer. In the aftermath of the Stanford rape case, this feels like a must read.
Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret. A humorous collection of short stories sounds like the perfect end to the summer.

From Guadalupe Garcia McCall, author of the forthcoming Shame the Stars (Lee & Low, Sept., 2016):

by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Ah, summertime—time to read,
to sink into a book. Like a caterpillar,
I’ll bury my nose in its creases,
nestle between pages, rest my
cheek upon its words, hear them
giggle, tickle my ears, unfurl
like tiny leaves, crawl around
me, wrap me up, cocoon me,
nourish my mind, give me time
to weave these wings, while
I munch on old time favorites.

This summer, I plan to nibble
on Dickens with Great Expectations,
spend One Hundred Years of Solitude
feasting on Gabito’s magical words,
and just because she understands
I am “A Fuzzy Fellow Without Feet,”
I will take tea with Emily Dickinson
as a very special treat.

From Minh Lê, author of Let Me Finish! (Disney-Hyperion, 2016):

I’m on a fiction kick right now, so when I come up for air from my sea of picture books, I’m reading What Is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi (I consider her a storytelling wizard) and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (robots!).

I’ve also been making a point to read more middle grade/YA, so I’ve started Melissa Sweet’s charming Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White and have my sights set on Heidi Heilig’s The Girl from Everywhere, Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper, and Mike Jung’s Unidentified Suburban Object.

And because I’m always scrambling to fill the many gaps in my reading background, some older titles are on my list: Thomas Wolfe’s Of Time and the River (his follow up to Look Homeward, Angel, an all-time favorite), Jean Toomer’s Cane, and Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy (maybe then I won’t have to hang my head in shame whenever I’m in kidlit circles).

From Chris Gall, author of the forthcoming NanoBots (Little Brown, August, 2016 ):

Summer, for me, has always been a time of new explorations. Despite the fact that I make my living writing fiction, I am more of a nonfiction reader. I find my inspiration from the world around me. My latest fascination involves two events from American history—the Apollo program and the Manhattan project. One momentous, one eternally controversial, both events share similar tales: they involved many brilliant people working together under tremendous time pressures to accomplish an improbable goal. This summer I’m rolling up my sleeves.

I’m already half-way through the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Not for the technologically squeamish, this 800+ page tome has taught me more about physics and chemistry than I ever learned in high school. Next up will be the sequel, Dark Sun, the Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, also by Rhodes. And since no history of the bomb would be complete without an in-depth look at one of the program’s most tragic characters, I’ll top it off with American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin Sherman.

As I turn to outer space, I’ve selected Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Gene Kranz. I’ve always wanted to know more about Kranz, probably the most recognizable mission director during the program. I’ve been interested ever since I got hooked on listening to mission tapes that are now readily available on the Internet. Then I think I’ll crack open Rocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center by Jonathan H. Ward. As an admitted engineering geek, I can’t wait to find out more about those incredible rockets.”

From Karen Romano Young, author of the forthcoming Hundred Percent (Chronicle, August, 2016):

In the summer my house empties out. For the past two years during the summer  I was aboard a research ship doing science, but this year I’m home and I’m working hard on making all that research, sketching, note-making, and wool-gathering (while looking at the sea— sigh!) into real live books. I’m working on various drafts of three novels in different stages and gearing up to forge ahead with an epic work of graphic nonfiction. (It’s all epic when it’s on the drawing board.)  I’m looking for both courage and inspiration—so the books I’m reading and rereading are brave books, written by creators who stuck their necks out the way I’m trying to do—and succeeded grandly, the way I pray I will.

Reading for the first time:
Local Girl Swept Away by Ellen Wittlinger
“The Neapolitan Novels” by Elena Ferrante
The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre
Nine, Ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
A Girl Called Vincent: The Life of Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay by Krystyna Goddu

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper

And always, once a year at least:
Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
The “Casson Family” books by Hilary McKay

And always, in summer:
Pinky Pye by Eleanor Estes

From Ame Dyckman, author of Horrible Bear! (Little, Brown, 2016):

The Horde and I were making breakfast when I got my Genius Summer Reading Idea.

“We’ll read our books,” I proposed, “where the books themselves take place!”

Everyone Leggo’d their Eggos. Even The Cat. (Don’t judge.)

“Cool!” said Husband Guy.

“Cool!” said The Kid.

The Cat didn’t say anything. (But that woulda been cool.)

“Deal!” I said. “Let’s see where we’re reading!”

I grabbed from the nearest Picture Books Mountain. (In the veggie bin. Don’t judge.)

“POOR LITTLE GUY by Elanna Allen!”

“Ocean,” said The Kid. “Soggy.”

THE LION INSIDE by Rachel Bright and Jim Field!”

“Veldt,” said Husband Guy. “Hot.”


I froze.

“BEACH, DON’T,” I finished.

Still scared of pelicans?” asked The Horde.

“DON’T JUDGE!” I cried.

I blindly grabbed from Classics Mountain in the punchbowl.


“No air,” said Husband Guy.

“No Eggos!” said The Kid.


Then it hit me. (Literally. Slid off Midgrade Mountain.)

“Peter Brown’s THE WILD ROBOT!”

The Horde blinked. “Island,” they said.

“We have shovels and a hose!” I replied. “Meet me outside!”



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Daryl Grabarek About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek dgrabarek@mediasourceinc.com is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.