#STABSummerReading: June 2019

Top 10 Secluded Beaches to Visit

Happy summer!

Have you been following along with the #STABSummerReading fun on social media? If you haven’t heard, #STABSummerReading is a way for our reading community to stay connected and engaged during the summer months when we’re not together in the library. Research has found that students who do not read over their summer vacation can see a serious “summer reading loss” (also called the “summer slide”) which can impact their upcoming academic performance, test scores, and relationship with reading over all. In our library we talk about practicing a sport like swimming and basketball; if you run, practice, and participate every day or a few times a week, your muscles will stay strong and your skills will stay sharp. You won’t forget a thing! But what happens if you take three months off? When you come back, you’ll have a lot of catching up to do.

Ask your reader to share some of the ideas we brainstormed at the school year about where to get great new books to read during the summer months. (We talked about the public library, local bookstores, trading with friends, and scouting Little Free Libraries (like this one at the Virginia Discovery Museum), just to name a few!

Whatever you’re reading (and wherever you’re reading it), I hope you’ll share it with us!

We use #STABSummerReading to share our favorite reads and give recommendations, celebrate our summer travels and activities, and show our community that reading and learning are a major priority for us even in the summer months. This June, we’ve seen posts from all New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, and right here in Charlottesville (don’t be intimidated, my posts are all from my couch :)). Readers of all ages have shared stories with daughters and sons, dogs, cats, little brothers, neighbors, friends, nieces and nephews, and even tomato plants! Students, faculty, staff, parents, baby brothers and sisters, pets… we want to see it all. For more info on how to join the #STABSummerReading conversation, check out the #STABSummerReading launch post here.

Check out some of the highlights from June’s #STABSummerReading:

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Yaichi, a single dad in Japan, has never thought to question his beliefs on homosexuality and the challenges gay couples face. He’s never had a reason to… until his twin brother’s widower, Mike, shows up at his doorstep, mourning and desperate to learn more about Ryoji’s family and homeland. 🌟 Mike is a gentle giant from Canada with a twinkle in his eye, who is so grateful to be visiting Japan and learning more about his husband’s childhood home. As Yaichi watches his daughter Kana get to know “Uncle Mike”, and as they both grow to love their new family member, Yaichi is forced to reconsider what he has determined as right and wrong… as well as memories of his relationship with his twin brother. 🌟 It’s incredibly powerful as Yaichi suddenly starts noticing Japan’s intrinsic biases and prejudices against homosexuality and non-traditional families… and as he starts to question: Is staying silent and not expressing outright disapproval, as he’s always done, enough? 🌟 Simple black and white illustrations place the emphasis on characters’ facial expressions, which artist Gengoroh Tegame executes beautifully – the images tell almost more of the story than the captions do. My Brother’s Husband, a two-part set, moved me to tears more than once. The novels are for adults, but I didn’t spot anything inappropriate for younger readers (no sexuality, but some artfully censored nudity as characters contemplate things in the shower or visit ceremonial baths). These books are incredible – some of the best I’ve read this year. I’ve ordered both for my personal collection. #stabsummerreading #bookreview #graphicnovel #queerlit #weneeddiversebooks #loveislove #lgbtq #representationmatters #reader #bookstagram

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Shayla is doing her best to maneuver her 7th grade year without any trouble – just laying low, hanging out with her two best friends, and maybe finding herself a cute boyfriend. But life has other plans. Friends start changing, boys start acting crazy, and it feels like the whole world starts questioning whether Shayla is too Black, or not Black enough. And then the national trial of a police officer shooting an unarmed black man starts conversations – and conflicts – that Shayla isn’t ready for. But Shayla and her family don’t have the privilege of waiting until she’s ready to talk about race. Suddenly, being Black seems like a much bigger, scarier, heavier deal than it used to… and Shayla has to decide who she wants to grow up to be. . . . Author Lisa Moore Ramee does an excellent job bringing social justice terms and conversations to a middle grade audience. By buffering heavy topics with friend drama and young romance, she pushes the reader to think without scaring them away. And Shayla is so human and genuine, readers will be able to identify with her no matter where they fall on the political spectrum. . . . If you have a reader that’s right in the spot between Sharon Draper’s Blended (ages 8+) and The Hate U Give (ages 14+), then A Good Kind of Trouble might just be the perfect fit. Teachers, your readers need this book. Buy for your classrooms (I’d guess grades 4 and up, but know your readers) and watch as kids jump for it, trying to make sense who they are, where they fit, and what they hear on the news and around the dinner table. #bookreview #mgfiction #middlegradebooks #teachersread #weneeddiversebooks #socialjustice #representationmatters

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“On the island of By-the-Sea you could always smell two things: salt and magic.” 🌊 This magical, curious first line is the perfect opening to one of the most unique and poignant YA novels I’ve read this year. . . . By-the-Sea is an odd little island – home to erratic weather, the Fernweh family’s mysterious legacy, and the world renowned, 300-year-old Annabella bird, the only one of its kind. It’s also home to Mary and Georgina, twins that look and act nothing alike but share those curious Fernweh genes. Just as Mary and Georgina get ready to leave the island for the first time to head off to college, the Annabella bird, who draws birdwatchers from all over the world to the Fernweh’s Inn for her appearance each year, goes missing. And in the absence of those tiny, fluttering wings, By-the-Sea will never be the same again. . . . Summer of Salt was a beautiful, heart-wrenching book. How author @katrinalenobooks managed to create a novel starring a magical realist family of feminist witches that moves the reader to tears as it deals with coming of age, the loss of innocence, the fragility of the human body and spirit… I have no idea. It’s masterful. . . . It’s also the first LGBTQ+ magical realist novel I’ve ever encountered (and so blissfully, casually queer! Ain’t no thing on By-the-Sea, which felt like a breath of fresh air), one of the many things that makes it one of a kind. I’m happy to join the ranks of readers raving about this book, and I’ll definitely be purchasing this one for our 7/8 shelves. #stabsummerreading #bookreview #ireadya #youngadultbooks #queerlit #queerliteverymonth #pride #lgbtq #yalit

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I can’t wait to hear about what you’ve been reading! Jump on in and follow along with #STABSummerReading on:

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook


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