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Summer reads should be full of fun! Great characters with can’t-wait-to-see-what-happens-next adventures, and stories that stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Readers of any age will enjoy these books.

The Parker Inheritance

By Varian Johnson

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure The Parker Inheritance covershe should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.

With the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, Candice begins to decipher the clues. The challenge leads them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again? [Synopsis]

What makes this Story great

This story was quieter than I initially anticipated, but also deeper and thoroughly engaging.

  • The characters: Candice and Brandon could be the kids next door, who face real-life issues we can relate to. The parents and grandparents are a strong supporting cast, creating a tapestry of family history as the backdrop for the mystery.
  • The setting: Lambert, South Carolina is small-town USA. A town intertwined with histories from generations past, revealing its secrets to those who fall in love with its roots.
  • The mystery: It starts softly and gains momentum and voice as Candice and Brandon dig into the past to uncover one clue after another. The mystery spans generations, revealing dark injustices and heartwarming resolutions. I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns leading to the satisfying ending.

I’d recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good mystery,
as well as those who appreciate realistic portraits of history.


The Lost Books ~ The Scroll of the Kings

By Sarah Prineas

The Lost Books: The Scroll of the Kings, coverTurn the page…and beware!

For years, all the libraries in the kingdom have been locked up. Is it to keep the books safe from readers? Or…is it to keep the readers safe from the books?

Alex, an apprentice librarian, suspects the books have a secret, powerful history. When his elderly master dies under extremely suspicious circumstances, Alex impersonates the old man so he can take up the position as Royal Librarian—a job far more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.

The young queen, Kenneret, is pretty sure this scruffy, obnoxious boy is not who he claims to be, but she gives Alex time to prove himself—enough time for him to discover that books aren’t just powerful, they’re alive. Even worse, some of the books possess an ancient magic that kills librarians.

Alex and Kenneret must figure out who, or what, is controlling the books and their power, or all is lost. The fate of the kingdom lies in their hands. [Synopsis]

What makes this Story great

An edge-of-your-seat fantasy—refreshing fun that’s hard to put down.

The characters: Alex was mysteriously marked as a librarian, a caretaker of books, and he’s not even 16. The other librarians are ancient, and no one takes him seriously, especially not the queen. Alex is strong in character, as is the young queen. Sparks fly in a battle of wills, until they join together to save the kingdom.

The setting: A medieval setting with enormous castles, warring kingdoms, dusty libraries with magical pages, and forgotten books with mystical powers. The richly crafted world sets the stage for this rollicking adventure.

The mystery: What is a Lost Book and how are they infecting other books with evil magic? Two unlikely friends must figure out who, or what, is controlling the books and their power, and stop them—in spite of the ensuing mayhem—before it’s too late.

Swashbuckling swordplay, beastly books, a snarky hero, a fast-paced and engaging adventure. What’s not to love?