Summer reading is winding down for Trumbull students. Only 2 weeks left! If you haven’t done your required summer reading yet, don’t panic. There are plenty of books in the Teen Spot that are under 250 pages and still have a lot of meat and good storylines. I have assembled a good number for display for you to choose from. Here are a few that I suggest:
Gary Paulsen isn’t just for 4th and 5th graders. Two books geared towards middle and even high school readers are Nightjohn and Soldier’s Heart. Both are historical fiction. Nightjohn is a spare story that takes place in the 1850’s on a southern plantation. Nightjohn is a slave who risks everything to learn to read and teach other slaves to read. A mere 92 pages, this one is full of heart. Soldier’s Heart is a Civil War story about a little known volunteer infantry regiment of Union soldiers in Minnesota. It’s based on the true story of Charley Goddard, who was only 15 at the time of his enlistment. Only 102 pages! A little longer at 216 pages is John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, an incredibly moving story of the friendship between two boys at Auschwitz concentration camp. It’s a book that you will not want to put down.
Short stories are good to read at the beach or at the pool, or just before falling asleep at night. Two collections easily read in the two weeks left are Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales by Brian Jacques and Anne Frank’s Tales From the Secret Annex. Anne Frank’s stories (which she kept in a journal separate from the famous diary) are certainly more difficult to read, but will give those interested in this historical figure a better insight into her life in the attic. Brian Jacques is, of course, well known for his wildly popular Redwall series. This collection of stories reveals a darker, eerier side to the author. Both books are under 150 pages.
A couple of classic teen books under 150 pages are S.E. Hinton’s Rumblefish and Robert Cormier’s Heroes. If you read and liked The Outsiders by Hinton, you will enjoy Rumblefish as well. Heroes is a disturbing story of vengeance told by the author of The Chocolate War.
Sports lovers, pick up Crackback by John Coy. It’s a high school football story about the pressures of being the best and what one player is willing to do to get there. A little longer at 201 pages, this one also includes questions at the end to get you thinking about what you are reading.
There’s nothing like a novel in verse format for a quick read, and the late Walter Dean Myers’ Street Love is a short verse novel about star-crossed first love in an urban setting. Katherine Applegate's Home for the Brave is a bit longer, but in verse novel format it's a quick read about African refugee Kek's difficulties adjusting to life in Minnesota.
What the Sea Wants by Tracy Banghart is a sweet fairy tale that takes place on the coast of Maine. Get swept up in Victoria’s unearthly attraction to the sea in a spare 62 pages.
You’ve got two weeks left of summer, so come check out our “skinnies” display of shorter books perfect for kids who are not avid readers.