Are you looking for good summer books to read? I've just looked over all of the reviews that I've done during the past school year and have come up with my best books for summer reading. This was tough, because I only try to review the best in the first place. But, as I looked over the books, I looked for books that captured my imagination, held my interest and made a lasting impression. Some of the fiction books are historical fiction which probably added to me remembering them. (These books stood out in my mind because of the fact that the events that took place in the stories actually happened!) For example, one of the books is a terrific mystery. I think great mysteries for children are the kind that aren't violent, but really have the child guessing as to the outcome. The one I've listed here has placed several red herrings. Plus, the author has written a series of these great mysteries. One book is about a great love of a dog and how this dog helps the child adapt to a new surrounding. Another book is a great up-dated folklore compilation. One book is quite funny and takes a look at life from the perspective of a child with special needs and three books are about children who are homeless. So, here is the list of the best fiction books for ages 9-14 years old:

The following 3 books are about homeless children:
"Homeless Bird" by Gloria Whelen
"King of Shadows" by Susan Cooper
"Miracle's Boys" by Jacqueline Woodson

This humorous book is about a child who has Attention Deficit Disorder and how he deals with it.
"Joey Pigza Loses Control" by Jack Ganto

These 3 books are based on facts about the applicable era:

"Through My Eyes" by Ruby Bridges
"When The Soldiers Were Gone" by Vera Propp
"Mr. Lincoln's Drummer" by G. Clifton Wisler

This compilation is a great modern day folklore book that would be perfect to read around a campfire:
"A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales" edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Here is one from a series of Ms. Van Draanen's mysteries:
"Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief" by Wendelin Van Draanen

A lovely story about a girl and her great devotion to her pet and the people around her:
"Because of Winn Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo

For my best picture books, I had the same criteria as the fiction books. Some of these books have such incredible pictures that you, most likely, would pick them up off a book shelf. All of them have a great story line and one has a compilation of stories that is most pertinent since Sept. 11th. Here, now, are my best of the best from the school year:

"The Water Hole" written and illustrated by Graeme Base
"Beatrice's Goat" by Page McBride and illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter
"The Disappearing Alphabet" by Richard Wilbur and illustrated by David Diaz
"Sector 7" by David Wiesner
"Jabuti the Tortoise, a Trickster Tale from the Amazon" written and illustrated by Gerald McDermott
"Sophie's Masterpiece" written and illustrated by Eileen Spinnelli
"The Quilt Maker's Gift" by Jeff Brumbeau
"Peace" edited by Ann Durell and Marily Sacher
"To Everything There is a Season" by Leo and Dianne Dillon
"Marsupial Sue" by John Lithgow and illustrated by Jack Davis

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