For some of you, it may seem like summer is winding down. In terms of break time, that may be so, but legions of people are still flocking to the beach, the lake or the pool to soak up the remaining good times. Of course, swimming will get old. You might get sunburned beyond belief, much like I am at the time of this writing. Well, you can probably all guess my advice: what better way to spend your non-swimming hours than with more good books?
The Bean Trees- Barbara Kingsolver
Taylor Greer, a native of a tiny Kentucky town, has successfully managed to escape by saving her money, buying a car that has seen much better days, and driving. She attributes her success so far to “not getting pregnant” unlike most of her classmates.
However, parental responsibility quite literally falls into her lap when a Native American woman leaves a little girl with Taylor and disappears without much of an explanation. Taylor and the toddler, eventually named Turtle, set out on an adventure featuring awful fast food jobs, hypochondriacs, and Jesus is Lord Used Tires.
Rose Under Fire- Elizabeth Wein
18-year-old Rose Justice, along with having a name that sounds like it could belong to a female Captain America, has accomplished some admirable feats in her short life. She’s a pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary, and a gifted one at that.
Her time is divided between flights, dates with her boyfriend, attending funerals and weddings alike, and homesickness for Hershey, Pa. This changes when she is captured and imprisoned by the Germans in 1944. What follows is a tale of survival with a cast of incredibly realistic characters.
Coraline- Neil Gaiman
This short and easy read is nevertheless much, much creepier than its animated film adaptation. To its core audience (elementary and middle school students), it’s simply a little odd. To an adult, especially to parents or those who are reading it again after enjoying it as children, it’s heavily unsettling.
It tells the tale of Coraline Jones, who has moved into a large old house (which has since been converted into several apartments) with her mother and father. An only child, she soon grows bored and, upon her parents’ suggestion, goes exploring. She finds a strange little door with a keyhole, and soon discovers another world behind it: one where her “other” mother and father feed her sweets for dinner, listen to her with rapt attention, and have black buttons for eyes. And she can stay with them, too, for a price.
Hannah Barger is a recent Wilson Central High School graduate and plans to major in journalism in the fall at Tennessee Tech University.