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Categories: ARTS & CULTURE, Celebrating - The Blog, June/July 2022

Summer must-reads with Middle Georgia Regional Library

Macon Magazine spoke to active readers in the Macon community so you and your student can have a list of books to begin with.
By Savannah Smith

On May 22, Middle Georgia Regional Library launched its Summer Reading Program. Through Aug. 7, this program challenges young readers to log 25 hours of reading either on a physical log or the Beanstack app. By engaging in this challenge, students can earn special reading prizes. Macon Magazine spoke to active readers in the Macon community so you and your student can have a list of books to begin with.

Suggestions were submitted by Thomas Winkelspecht, children’s coordinator at Washington Memorial Library; Julie McGaughey, children’s specialist at Riverside Library; Shane Adams, Shurling Library branch manager; Jon Smith, library assistant at Riverside Library; Suzy McCullough, Riverside branch librarian and Savannah Smith, Macon Magazine intern.

Picture books

Dear Dragon: This series by Margaret Hillert is very popular. Dear Dragon features short, easy sentences. Each book is full of sight words, with a list of ones used in the back of the book.

When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore: This is a sweet story about a little boy’s amazing dragon.

Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler and Raul the Third: An energetic, imaginative, bright, vibrant, and wonderful story about how an ordinary walk becomes extraordinary.

Beach Day by Patricia Lakin: Four alligator friends have a fun day at the beach.

Pirate’s Perfect Pet by Beth Ferry: Ahoy! Pirates, pets, and puns run amok as a swaggering, soft-hearted captain takes off on a mad search for the perfect animal sidekick.

Actual Size: Steve Jenkins explores the animal kingdom, highlighting the large and small.

Early chapter books

Danny and the Dinosaur and the Sand Castle Contest series by Syd Hoff: It’s the lovable dinosaur’s first time visiting the beach.

Carlos and Carmen: The Sandy Weekend series by Kirsten McDonald: The Garcia family is off to the beach for adventures.

Chicken on Vacation by Adam Lehrhaupt: A perfect beach day — will chicken and her friends find a treasure?

Ranger in Time: For fans of The Magic Tree House series, Kate Messner’s books revolve about a dog who travels back in time to historical events.

Middle Grade

Operation Orca by Ron Roy (part of the A to Z Mysteries series): On an Alaskan whale-watching adventure, three kids see a mother orca and her baby. Later the baby orca is missing. Can the kids help?

The Monster Missions by Laura Martin: This is a futuristic adventure under the sea with interesting creatures and survival.

The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess by Shannon Hale: Underwater story with heroes in disguise, hungry monsters, imperiled goats, and a mermaid princess. This is about learning how to speak up to help others. Be sure to check out the rest of the series, too!

For Teens and Young Adults

Suggestions from Shane Adams, Shurling Library Branch manager, and Jon Smith, library assistant at Riverside Library

Dead Endia by Hamish Steele: Welcome to Dead End, a haunted house within an amusement park. Barney and Norma are the lucky members assigned to work in this spooky attraction. It started out as an easy summer job but soon turned into a supernatural adventure as Barney and Norma start to unravel the mysteries that surround them.

The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Meet Squad 312, the team made of “losers and misfits” that might actually be the galaxy’s last hope. During their first mission, the squad found a girl in a cryo chamber floating out in place. What they thought would be an easy mission turned into a race against time as they find out more about the mysterious girl found in the middle of space.

Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp: The lines between reality and fantasy get blurred in this thriller as a group of friends race to solve and end a murder mystery before it ends them.

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini: Starting with Eragon, Paolini weaves an epic, high fantasy tale of elves, dwarves, dragons, and men and their desperate fight for freedom. If you like The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia, this series is for you.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan: Join Percy Jackson and his friends as a quest to retrieve a stolen relic of the Greek gods turns into a harrowing adventure to stop the end of the world! For people who enjoy Harry Potter and Greek mythology. He also has book series involving Egyptian and Norse mythology for those interested.

Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz: This exciting series stars Alex Rider, a teenage spy recruited by MI6 for a secret mission that is just the start of his adventures. With plenty of action and secret gadgets galore, this series is perfect for fans of Mission Impossible or 007.

The Selection by Kiera Cass: In this series set in a dystopian future, a group of girls compete for the chance to rise beyond the class they were born to, live in a palace, and win the heart of a prince. Packed with glamour, intrigue, and romance, if you enjoyed Divergent and reality TV is a guilty pleasure, this might be the series for you.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: This series is perfect if you enjoy your fairytales with a sci-fi twist. Each book takes on a different fairytale while continuing the overall story.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus: “Five walk into detention, only four come out alive.” A suspenseful murder mystery where everyone is a suspect, and no one knows who might be next.

For Adult Readers

Suggestions from Suzy McCullough, Riverside branch librarian; Shane Adams, Shurling Library branch manager; and Savannah Smith, Macon Magazine summer intern

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson: This sequel follows Honey Lovett, the daughter of the beloved Troublesome Creek book woman, who must fight for her own independence with the help of the women who guide her and the books that set her free. Set in rural Kentucky during the Depression, the “book woman” rides her horse up in the hollers of Kentucky to take books to the isolated people and creates relationships with them.

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hildebrand: The “queen of beach reads” returns with an intriguing story of a young woman who is named manager of a down-at-the-heels hotel that was once a Gilded Age gem of a hotel, in what appears to be a blissful paradise; but there’s a lot of drama behind closed doors.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles: From the author of A Gentleman in Moscow comes a story set in the American 50s about hope, friendship, and companionship. It follows four boys who set out to travel the country in search of a fresh start.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative, and a celebration of nature. This story takes place in the swamps of North Carolina and features a girl on her own. By January 2022, the book had sold 12 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. As of late February 2022, the book had spent 150 weeks on the bestseller list. A movie produced by Reese Witherspoon and starring Daisy Edgar Jones is in theaters now.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter: Based on the author’s family experiences, this novel illustrates the struggles of the Kurc family during World War II. The family is forced to separate to stay safe and find a way out of Poland. Follow the journey of each family member as they hardships and triumphs in their attempts to escape and find their family.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham: Chole Davis is a psychologist in Baton Rouge who was thrown into the world of suspense. For 20 years, Chole has been struggling to cope with the traumas of her past and is trying to cling to the happiness that she has found. Unfortunately for Chole, she will be forced to relive events of her past as teenage girls start to rapidly disappear. Will she succumb to her mind, or will she be able to unmask another killer?

Wake the Dragon series by Kevin J. Anderson: A history of violence and mistrust has fueled the war between the Three Kingdoms and Isharaare. When an ancient civilization reawakens and threatens the existence of both nations, the two are forced to find a way to set aside their differences to save their homes.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: Though its subject matters largely correspond with literary fiction, this pacey, unputdownable novel reads as addictively as a thriller. After Emira, a Black nanny, is accused of kidnapping the white child she watches, SAFA examines how Emira and her employer respond to the attention and pressures of this situation. In addition to highlighting complex characters, this book is ever timely in our current political climate.

The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel: This is a romance that challenges the boundaries of the genre by examining the impacts of trauma and culture on romantic relationships. Though it has heavier moments, Jay and Liya’s story is the sort of slow-burn, sexy, enemies-to-lovers that is sure to be a dreamy escape.

What do you think you’ll pick up? Tag @maconmagazine and @mgrlibraries so we can see what you’re reading!