Every summer the local library conducts a children's reading program. It always seems to be a load of fun and my traditional input is to request the same for the adult readers in the community. We have winter, with Cabin Fever - a joyful experience on its own but a summer program would be welcomed too. There doesn't have to be an end of the program potluck; we'd manage!
This year I've noticed a tendency in my own summer reading: there's always some sort of theme. One year, OK two or three years, it has been dogs and assorted other typically 4-legged creatures. When THE HELP was published I found myself reading it, along with several other southern novels, all which drew me to take a trip below the Mason Dixon line. 2012 finds me reading my second Young Adult novel! Mercy you say - aren't those easy reading?
They are not always easy reading if you choose carefully and I have chosen WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS and THE YEARLING. Both explore relationships with animals. Both have young people as main characters. Both include richness in dialogue, character development, and moral messages. Their appeal is not limited to the pre-teen or early teen group. I'm distanced from that age range by a good country mile.
So if you're hankering for some down-to-earth novels that every one of us should experience, check those two out. If you cried at OLD YELLER, if you are a friend of Flicka, if THE VELVETEEN RABBIT makes you feel real, if you punned your way thru THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH and found your way to the library then you'll love these books! Check it out. What a novel idea.