Holy crackers! I read 30 books this summer! Granted, I didn’t reach the original 52-book goal, but I admit it was because I forgot how many headaches I actually get per month and the fact that I don’t read much on vacation. (Seriously, why don’t I read on vacation?) I also should have scheduled blog posts for specific days as if they were overdue homework, but what’s the point of being out of school if you have homework? Things happen, and I’m proud of what I did; my reading log for the past three months is full and I’ve discovered and reread some some great and not so great titles.

Here’s a list of topics and overall impressions of what I read.

Humor Gets Me Every Time
Dear Jane Yolen
Favorites from Robert Cormier
Summer (and Winter) Chillers
Childhood As I See It
Books That Made The Teacher Cry
Mortality in Children’s Fiction
Easy Fiction
Female Protagonists
Writing Fiction vs Journaling
Beezus and Henry, My First OTP
Historical Fiction is Tricky Business

At the beginning of the challenge, I made a note to myself: “You should make graphs of the authors and genres because you’re a nerd.” Well noted, past self. And here they are. The first is a food-pyramid of the genre portions I consumed because books are food. The second is just a list of the authors I read at least twice during this summer.

And finally, here’s a list of all the books I read. My inner librarian recommends all of these books for different reasons, but the ones I’d recommend to adults especially are in bold face.

1. Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie

3. I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. Children of the Wolf by Jane Yolen
6. Matilda by Roald Dahl

7. Summer of Fear by Louis Duncan
8. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
9. The BFG by Roald Dahl
10. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
11. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
12. Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar
13. Wayside School gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar
14. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

15. Nightmare by Willo Davis Roberts
16. Breath by Donna Jo Napoli
17. REM World by Rodman Philbrick
18. The White Dragon of Sharnu by Gilbert Morris
19. Emily the Strange: Dark Days by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner
20. Hostage by Willo Davis Roberts
21. Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan
22. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
23. Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
24. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
25. Montmorency by Eleanor Updale
26. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
27. The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo
28. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
29. Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams
30. Fire in the Hills by Donna Jo Napoli
31. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

I broke a few guidelines; I originally said stand-alone novels only, and inadvertently broke that when I didn’t remember the Wayside School books were a series. The Blue Sword (yet unfinished)is technically half of a book and connected to a well-known prequel as opposed to a series, and I’ll certainly remember the story for when I read The Hero and The Crown next year.

Yes! Next year, I’m going to read quite a few children’s series because I was pining for them so this summer. I don’t know yet what those will be, but I have a list of 20 that will do nicely. The biggest challenge there will be trying to decide which ones to read and which to read first.

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