Summer Reading List: Books for Reluctant Readers

Find yourself nagging your children to pick up a book? Try our reluctant reader series! Books with high-interest topics to catch the attention of those not so keen to be caught with their nose in a book.

Orca Currents and Orca Soundings offer readers contemporary themes:

On Cue by Cristy WatsonCristy Watson’s On Cue, is sure to catch the attention of your art-loving child. Randi wants to be an actress and is excited about practicing her craft in drama class. So she is devastated to learn the program has been cut. When her friends put together a successful proposal to have drama class taught as an extracurricular activity, Randi is thrilled. Until the reality sinks in. Extracurriculars are scheduled after school, and after school Randi is expected to take care of her special-needs brother. Can Randi find a way to make it all work out?Camp Disaster by Frieda Wishinsky

Frieda Wishinsky’s Camp Disaster shows the struggles of teen years when Charlotte Summers goes to a summer camp expecting disaster. And gets it. But it’s not as disastrous for her as it is for her counselor, Marla. Marla has no control over the girls in her charge. The control is held by the cabin’s mean girl. Charlotte realizes that she could tip the balance of power and unseat the bully, but does she have the courage to go for it?

Have a history buff in the family? Catch their attention with John Wilson’s Lost, as Sam and Annabel are Lost by John Wilsonselected to take a cruise to the Arctic. They’re thrilled when they learn that the cruise will take them past a site connected to the most famous mystery in Arctic history: the Franklin Expedition. But things on the cruise are not what they seem. When Sam and Annabel make a startling discovery on a small island close to where archaeologists are diving on the wreck of the Erebus, one of the Franklin’s ships, they are confronted by an old enemy. Isolated and outnumbered, how can they possibly save the priceless artifact that may hold the answer to the Franklin mystery.Leggings Revolt by Monique Polak

Or an activist in your midst? Monqiue Polak’s Leggings Revolt follows Eric when he and his buddies have left behind their all boys school to attend high school with girls. Eager to find his place in this exciting new world, Eric joins the student life committee, unaware that he is expected to enforce the school’s strict dress code. The dress code is particularly harsh on the girls he is keen to get to know. Eric finds this awkward, but it’s nothing compared to the position he finds himself in when the whole school revolts.

Delve into the complicated life of Franny in Robin Stevenson’s Under ThreatUnder Threat by Robin Stevenson: Franny is close to her parents, adores her horse and is head over heels in love with her girlfriend, Leah. But Franny’s parents are abortion providers at the local hospital, and an anonymous stranger is prepared to do whatever it takes to stop them. A stranger who phones at all hours. Who knows where they live. Who knows Franny’s name. When Leah’s older brother, Jake, refers to her parents as baby killers, Franny starts to wonder if perhaps the threats aren’t coming from a stranger at all. If she tells the police Scam by Lesley Choyceabout her suspicions, she could lose her girlfriend. But if she doesn’t—and if she’s right—she could lose her parents.

Catch your rebellious and independent child with Lesley Choyce’s Scam: Josh’s mother always had issues—with drugs and just getting by. And Josh has always been the one who kept them together. But when his mom dies, he really is on his own and must find a way to look after himself. On his way to his mother’s funeral he meets Lindsay, a cute girl who flirts with him but then steals his wallet. When he confronts her and tells her where he is going, she apologizes, returns his wallet and convinces Josh to let her accompany him to the funeral. So begins a complex relationship that changes both of their lives forever.

Orca Sports offer adventures with team sports:

Centerville by Jeff RudBasketball-crazy son or daughter? Then they’ll like basketball-crazy Jake Burnett in Centerville who is thrilled to be leaving home to attend prestigious Centerville Prep. It’s an opportunity to pursue his hoop dreams at the highest level. But things aren’t quite as advertised at his new school, and Jake soon finds himself struggling both on and off the court. At first, Jake is determined to play harder and ignore the warning signs. Until he discovers that his new head coach is a scam artist, putting kids at risk for his own gain. Now Jake has a difficult choice to make—advance his basketball career or do the right thing.

 

Orca Limelights focus on the performing arts:Breaking Big by Penny Draper

First up for the performing junkies, Penny Draper’s Breaking Big which follows Robin, the boy who’s got everything it takes to be a principal dancer: the body, the feet, the strength and the passion. But his devil-may-care attitude plays havoc with discipline at the Premier Dance School. One more prank may be one too many. That’s why everyone is shocked when he’s the only student dancer picked to understudy with the company, even though the choice makes sense—Robin is cast as Puck, the annoying trickster fairy in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Shock turns to horror when the principal dancer is injured and Robin has to perform instead. The other dancers don’t think he can pull it off, and even Robin wonders if it’s too much too soon. Will his big break kill his career before it even starts?

Stepping Out by Laura LangstonNext, comedy! Laughter is fifteen-year-old Paige Larsson’s currency in life in Laura Langston’s Stepping Out. It takes the sting out of life’s tough stuff. It eases the pain of nasty comments, agonizing moments in gym class and awkward pauses at parties. She likes it even more when others laugh with her, so she’s become a YouTube comedy vlogger. Now Paige is about to step out of her comfort zone and compete—live and onstage—in the prestigious International Teens in Comedy festival. Winning will give her the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in comedy. It’ll also mean $10,000 for her school’s performing-arts department. But Paige has always used her humor to mask the pain of a disability, and in the world of stand-up comedy, that won’t cut it anymore.Upstaged by Patricia McCowan

Upstaged by Patricia McCowan follows Ellie, who is used to getting leading roles in her small-town school’s musicals, but her place at center stage disappears when her dad becomes the host of a breakfast TV show and they have to move to the big city. When Ellie auditions for—and lands—a spot with the Youth Works Theater Company, she comes up against a tight-knit group of talented, experienced and competitive triple-threat performers. Not only does she not get a lead, but she has to share a role with Marissa, a company veteran who seems determined to do all she can to outshine Ellie. Out of her depth and far from all that she’s known, Ellie wonders just what she has to do to stop feeling upstaged by everyone around her.

 

Entice your reluctant reader with a new book (that new book smell! An un-cracked spine! Never-read-before words!) and some chocolate chip cookies to accompany their summer read:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375*F.
  2. Mix the sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light the cookies’ edges are golden brown (the centers will be soft).

 

 

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