Whether you’re lying in a hammock in your back yard or lounging by the beach, summer is the perfect time to read a new book — especially one whose story takes place in summer. Begin the season with a heart-warming book that pays homage to the warming temperatures. Here is a selection of titles celebrating summer and all the romance, enlightenment and life lessons it brings.
“Call Me by Your Name”
A title made popular by the 2017 award-winning film adaptation starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name” by André Aciman earned a Lambda Literary Award, which honors LGBT literature. The main character, 17-year old Elio, becomes enraptured by Oliver, a doctoral student Elio’s family is hosting in their summer home in Italy. “Call Me by Your Name” depicts the sweet, exhilarating, and heartbreaking coming-of-age journey of a young man set in the summer of 1987.
“That Summer” is the first of over a dozen young adult fiction novels Sarah Dessen has written over the years. This book examines a season in the life of 15-year-old Haven, who’s struggling to come to terms with changes in her family, tension with her best friend and the shattered illusion of her perfect childhood. The story demonstrates how summer is a time of growth, as well as a transitional season of moving on from the past and embracing the future.
Step back in time to the summer of 1964, where racial tensions are as heated as the Charleston, South Carolina, temperatures. Bestselling author Susan Gabriel introduces you to Ida Trueluck in her book “Trueluck Summer.” A widow who just lost her husband of 40 years, Ida finds solace in her granddaughter Trudy, who aims to remove the Confederate flag from atop the state house. This heartwarming historical fiction set in the South demonstrates the power of love to reach across all divides.
“This One Summer”
The images of the season come alive in Mariko Tamaki’s Eisner Award-winning graphic novel “This One Summer.” Best friends Rose and Windy hang out every summer in the Canadian town of Awago. This particular year, they begin discovering their feelings for boys and realize the hardships that come with adulthood. Despite being set in the summertime, Jillian Tamaki's artwork is done in all shades of blue, which perfectly complements the novel’s contemplation of entering adolescence and facing adult issues.
“Secrets of the Cicada Summer”
A suspenseful, immersive adventure aimed at children ages 8-12, but enjoyable for anyone, Andrea Beaty’s “Secrets of the Cicada Summer” follows Nancy Drew-enthusiast, Lily. This summer, she’s suspicious of newcomer Tinny Bridges, who’s stirring up trouble around town. When Tinny goes missing, it’s up to Lily to find him. This delightful mystery pays homage to Nancy Drew and other classic sleuths.
“The House Takes a Vacation”
If you want a fun, summer-themed book to read to your children, you have plenty of options, and “The House Takes a Vacation” by Jacqueline Davies is one that many families enjoy. Families take vacations every summer, but the houses left behind never get to take vacations — except for this one. This charming picture book, filled with puns and wit that adults will appreciate too, tells the wacky tale of a house that decides to pick up and head on vacation, and what the family left behind has to learn as a lesson.
Summers are all about adventure, new romances, soul-searching and growing up. Begin your summer journey in the pages of any of these books, no matter your age.