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What’s on YOUR list?


Katie Bircher and Elissa Gershowitz bring you our annual list of summer reading recommendations for kids. Strictly recreational, of course, and librarians are welcome to place a “COMMON-CORE FREE!” sticker on the PDF.

What about your own reading? I’m juggling audio editions of The Woman Upstairs and Inferno on my phone; The Oracle Glass and A Savage War of Peace on my Kindle, and Lonely Planet’s guide to Morocco on my bedside. We shall see which ones I finish. Claire Messud (The Woman Upstairs) is my current hero simply by virtue of the little digs she gets in at Burdick’s, a fashionable Cambridge dessert place whose legendary hot chocolate goes down like a big ol’ cup of infected mucus (my observation, not Messud’s).

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Guy Gavriel Kay’s latest, River of Stars; Ursula K. Le Guin’s two volumes of short fiction, The Unreal and The Real, hardcovers. My Rose the iPad has a whole bunch of samples on it (how I love samples!). Since I have been reviewing mostly picture books this year, I need to find some middle-grade and YA fiction.

  2. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    The appeal of Le Guin remains elusive to me, and i KNOW it’s me, like an allergy or something. GraceAnne, do you have authors like that, where you theoretically should like them (due to subject/point-of-view/friends who SWEAR you would be a fan, etc.) and just can’t?

  3. Just about everyone I know loves David Sedaris. I, er, do not. A lot. And then there is The Giver and the rest of Lois Lowry’s oeuvre. I know, it’s me, probably, but I just cannot go there.
    One of the largest truths I learned in teaching children’s and YA literature over twelve years is that there is simply no book, and no author, that everyone will love. Not one.

  4. Listening to The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, reading Doll Bones and The Wise Man’s Fear.

  5. Listening to Patrick Rothfuss’s THE WISE MAN’S FEAR. Next I’m considering THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI or perhaps the first of the DRESDEN FILES series.

  6. Ha — just noticed you are reading the same book I’m listening to (THE WISE MAN’S FEAR). I think it may work better to read rather than to listen.

  7. I really enjoyed the first two or three DRESDEN FILES, but then I got sort of bored, and did not continue. This happens to me with many series, I am afraid, I stopped reading Bartolemeus and the Thomas Flemalle after the first ones. Patrick Rothfuss’ NAME OF THE WIND I truly enjoyed, but I had pretty big problems with the second book. I will be very interested in what you think.

  8. GraceAnne (hi! you don’t know me, but I’ve been a “fan” of yours on child_lit for a while), I’d be interested to know what your problems with Rothfuss are. It took me a while to pick up The Wise Man’s Fear, because I was irritated about his treatment of women in the first book. I’m finding I have the same issue with the second.

  9. So far I’m fine with the way women are portrayed as it seems such a young man’s world and they well may have this sort of limited view. That Rothfuss makes his world a male-dominated one, stereotypically so doesn’t bother me. However, I’m not that far in the second one so perhaps there will be things that happen that will make me feel differently.

    I’d never of the DRESDEN FILES until a friend who was looking at my bookshelf and qwelling about Jasper Fforde mentioned that they were fun to listen to. So I thought I’d give the first a try. But I’ve a ways to go with the Rothfuss yet:)

  10. Maybe I’m just spoiled by George R.R. Martin (I never understand it when people call him misogynist – I think he has the most fantastic women characters).

  11. Rachael – I certainly agree on George R.R. Martin, and if you want to read an absolutely brilliant (and hilarious) take-down of The Wise Man’s Fear, take a look at Jacob’s (one star) review on Goodreads.

  12. I listened to the first of the Dresden Files this year and was not particularly impressed. I have been assured that the series improves with later books, but have not tried anymore of them yet. I found the gender depictions to be somewhat problematic.

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