Stacey Loscalzo

Jun 10

Filling My Summer Reading Baskets

by Stacey

kreadingThis Book Is Too Old for You really got me thinking. The author writes of her daughter who read but wasn’t necessarily a reader. Casale writes, “Real readers, I believe with every fiber of my being, read not to learn but just to read.”

I am a reader. I have at least one book going at all times and have to start a new book the second I turn a last page. The girls are similar but I see their passion ebb and flow. Caroline for example is in a serious re-reading phase. I’ve written before that Caroline reads comfort books in the way that a lot of people eat comfort food. When she is stressed or tired she goes right back to The Babysitters Club series and reads books she has read dozens of times before. Katherine is starting and stopping a lot of books, unable to find a groove.

When I read This Book is Too Old for You, I began to wonder if the girls are ready to take a leap. I have long thought that Caroline might be ready to read more adult books. She has dabbled in a few adult memoirs like Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Wait Till Next Year so maybe it’s time to find others. School Library Journal hosts a blog called Adult Books 4 Teens that I plan to explore. Katherine is a little bit trickier. I can’t quite put my finger on what will take her to the next step. I think she needs to find a series that she will love but I also wonder if she needs a new genre. She has been focused on realistic fiction for a long time now and maybe she needs to move on.

The girls have a week and two days until the end of school. That gives me a week and two days to fill baskets with summer reading and I’d love your help.

Please send along suggestions of adult books that are tween-friendly and early middle grade books that are not realistic fiction. I can’t wait to see your suggestions!


  1. Jules says:

    It’s been a long time since I read it, but re adult books for teens, how about Haven Kimmel’s A Girl Named Zippy? Also, check those ALA Alex Award lists, of course. Happy reading!

    • Stacey says:

      Great suggestion. Just requested. And I actually forgot about the Alex Award- thank you for reminding me. There are a bunch there that she and I could probably read together.

  2. Pamela says:

    When I was 11 I read “Me Me Me Not a Novel” by ME Kerr. It was a pretty innocent memoir by the author of many popular 80s young adult books. I was hooked on memoir after that. I am not sure if it’s still in print but it stuck with me. Also I spent one summer reading ALL of Madeleine L’engle’s young adult books. There are a ton and they are all interconnected. Another favorite were the cozy and scary books of John Bellairs. Happy Summer!!!

    • Stacey says:

      I love all these suggestions. They are all new to me! Me Me Me is not in print but I just reserved it at the library and I had no idea that Madeline L’Engle wrote young adult. I have reserved those as well. Fingers crossed. I will let you know how it goes. Hope you are enjoying your gorgeous new surroundings.

  3. Caroline says:

    Interesting that you bring this up. My daughters (16 and 18) and I were discussing the newest book in the much-beloved Penderwicks series just the other day. They were disappointed with it because it focuses on Batty and, at their age, they want to know about the older sisters who have gone off to college. We had a very interesting discussion about the merits of series like Anne of Green Gables, Mother-Daughter Book Club, and Harry Potter that age with the main characters, versus those in which the main characters remain the same age and are timeless. We concluded that both are worthy and that some authors may be more comfortable writing about a certain age/stage of life rather than the full lifespan. There is also the problem of age-appropriateness, as younger kids are ready for the first Harry Potter but not the seventh, and parents have to try to hold them back. Hannah is still thinking about writing to Jean Birdsall, though, and asking her for a young adult book about the older Penderwick sisters’ adventures!

    • Stacey says:

      A Penderwick’s young adult would be the absolute best thing ever! I wonder if she has thought of it? I do hope you all write to her!

  4. Dana says:

    I forget how old your girls are, but I love how you are keeping tabs on their reading habits and how to help them reach the next level. I remember feeling very frustrated as an early teenager, back when YA books were way more scarce, feeling ready for more adult books, but having NO idea where to turn. I think I read a few Alice Hoffmans as a jumping off point. 

    But I was also a comfort reader! I love that term 🙂 I used to have certain books, Judy Blume’s, Sally J Friedman As Herself, for example, and the Nancy Drew files, that I’d return to like old friends. 

    I’d love to hear what your girls are reading next! What fun to have two budding readers in your home 🙂

    • Stacey says:

      Nancy Drew was my comfort reading too! Judy Blume is coming to our area week after next and I am desperately hoping to get Caroline into her older books before then. We loved Super Fudge etc. but I really want her to read the others. Will look into Alice Hoffman- hadn’t thought of her… Thanks for all your thoughts!

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