All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Summer Fun

Summer is a time to relax a little, have some adventures, earn a little money, and, in the case of the characters in many of these titles, have a life-changing moment.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen

Age Level: 14-16

D.J. spends the summer helping her father with their farm work, while also getting coerced into training the rival football team's quarterback. D.J. is one of the best athletes in their small Wisconsin town, but her relationships — with her family, her best friend, and quarterback Brian — are making her life so complicated.

Surfing USA: An Illustrated History of the Coolest Sport of all Time

Surfing USA: An Illustrated History of the Coolest Sport of all Time

Age Level: 16-18

This book uses beautiful photographs to tell the history of this warm weather sport. While the pictures are beautiful, the writing is also strong.

Dunk

Dunk

Age Level: 12-14

Chad is a Jersey Shore native who decides that becoming a boardwalk dunk-tank bozo is the best way to release his stresses. Hilarity ensues, along with some poignant moments about the real man behind the bozo.

Different Seasons

Different Seasons

Age Level: 16-18

One of the four novellas in this King classic is The Body, which became the basis for the movie Stand by Me. Four young guys find out about a body on the train tracks and decide to go see it. Often cited as one of King's finest works, this story has that "things will never be the same after this summer" feel to it.

Soul Surfer: A Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board

Soul Surfer: A Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board

Age Level: 12-14

This is the true, inspirational story of a teenage girl who had her arm bitten off by a shark. While this could understandably ruin her life, her attitude and her faith bring this young girl through the tragedy.

My Almost Epic Summer

My Almost Epic Summer

Age Level: 12-14

All Irene wants to do is hair, but when she is fired by her mother during her summer job at a salon, her life becomes less glamorous… for a minute. While babysitting the neighborhood kids, she becomes "friends" with Starla, the mysterious lifeguard, and is drawn into an intriguing love triangle. No one does "mean girls" like Adele Griffin!

The Au-Pairs

The Au-Pairs

Age Level: 14-16

The first of the Au-Pairs series sets the stage for a hot summer in the Hamptons. Eliza, who used to be rich but now has to be a nanny; Mara, a "regular" girl who just wants to work hard, and lovelorn, Brazilian Jacqui all work together as au-pairs for a wealthy family, but try to have some fun in the Hamptons at the same time.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963

The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963

Age Level: 9-12

Fourth-grader Kenny goes with his older brother Byron and his parents on a road trip from Flint, Michigan to the South, where Byron will be spending the summer with his grandparents, away from the temptations of city life. Curtis mixes humor with the volatility of the South in the summer of 1963.

Hit the Road

Hit the Road

Age Level: 12-14

Sixteen-year old Brit is humiliated when her parents leave her with her grandmother Nannie, while they go on vacation to Alaska. But when Brit, who's only had her driver's license for 11 days, is enlisted to drive Nannie and her friends to their 65th annual college reunion, the adventure begins. Is she a kidnapper or a babysitter? This book brings up difficult issues about aging, but is also full of real humor and has a rollicking good ending.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Age Level: 14-16

The first of a four-volume series, the story tells of four friends who share a pair of "magical" jeans over the course of a summer. When the girls go to visit distant relatives, work a summer job, or attend a summer soccer camp, the jeans are there to play witness. Each of the books in the series spans a single summer, but a new reader really does need to start with the original volume.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy

Age Level: 9-12

Four young sisters spend their summer in the Berkshires in this humorous tale. Each of the sisters is well drawn and unique, as are the supporting characters. If you enjoy the first, the "autumn" sequel, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street is also available.

Summer Boys

Summer Boys

Age Level: 14-16

Three female cousins share a summer home with their family in Maine and each has a summer romance. This beach read may bring a tear to the eye, and will definitely bring some sequels.

We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro League Baseball

We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro League Baseball

Age Level: 9-12

An introduction by baseball great Hank Aaron opens this riveting look at the history of the Negro League. A large format supports revealing portraits of League players and an absorbing narration revealed in nine innings. Endnotes and further readings conclude this memorable and accessible history.