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As promised, here is a list of suggested summer reading for teachers and 
librarians. Some beach reads, thrillers, inspirational reading, Sci-Fi, and 
interesting non-fiction. I have tried to include a wide range of literature and 
have avoided some of the more popular best-sellers, not because I don't think 
they're worth reading, but because by definition, best-sellers don't need to be on 
anyone's list--everyone already knows about them. I will copy and paste your 
suggestions, leaving out your names. Thank you all for your woonderful suggestions. 
Here goes:

Zorro, by Isabel Allende

a captivating, modern version of the famed legend. Bookmarks Magazine


Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, by Mark Haddon. This is about an 
autistic boy who writes of his experience while being held for murdering his 
neighbor’s dog. Everyone says it’s a good book, although my description makes it 
sound ghastly. 

 These is My Words, by Nancy Turner, and its sequel, Sarah’s Quilt.

 Fire Sale, by Sara Paretsky (I think this one is a thriller/mystery—haven’t read 


The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini 

America, by John Stewart, the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. I think 
this book falls into the category of satire.

 A Place to Call Home, by Deborah Smith 

The Stephanie Plum series of books, by Janet Evanovich—mystery/comedy

 The Number One Ladies Detective Agency series, by Alexander McCall—I have two of 
these books at home. Haven’t read them yet, but they look like good mystery stories.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon—this author is such 
a wonderful writer (we have his Summerland in the JH Library and it’s beautifully 
written), so although this novel is long, I think it would be a super summer read.


Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen. Everybody says this is a funny book. I noticed it for 
sale at the book fair but I don’t think it’s appropriate for middle schoolers (the 
kids pretty much ignored the book on the shelf—too many pages).

 The House on Beartown Road, by Elizabeth Cohen. I read this one. It was great! 
Read it! The author cares for her baby daughter and her dad, who has Alzheimer's 
Disease, after her husband abandons her in their country farmhouse. This 
description makes the book sound like a real downer, but trust me, it is an 
uplifting, compelling story that is very appealing. You will admire this strong 

An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, by Amy Rosenthal. This book is very much like 
The Know-it-all: One Man's Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, by A. 
J. Jacobs, the guy who read the entire Encyclopedia Brittannica cover to cover. But 
Amy Rosenthal's book is shorter and funnier. I'm still reading Know-it-All and it's 
fun but I sense that Jacobs lacks some of the self-confidence of Encyclopedia of an 
Ordinary Life. Anyway, read 'em both--you're bound to like at least one of them and 
you'll pick up some great trivia along the way.



Jan Birney, Library Media Specialist
Jockey Hollow Middle School
Monroe, Connecticut 06468
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