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20 Books Your Kids Won't Be Able to Put Down This Summer

by | Jun. 28, 2018

Mormon Life

Help your kids find a book that they won't be able to keep their nose out of this summer. From clean romance to mystery and fantasy these selections are sure to intrigue every young reader.

Ages 8-11

1. Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull

In the long-awaited sequel to In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, king of the dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power. As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge, as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities. How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

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2. Mysteries of Cove, Vol. 1 by J. Scott Savage

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, who died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity. Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlike anything they've ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives. .

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3. Adventurers Wanted, Book 1 by M.L. Forman

The sign is small, tucked into the corner of Mr. Clutter's bookshop window: “Adventurers Wanted. Apply Within.” No one but fifteen-year-old Alex Taylor even seems to notice it is there. And for Alex, who has wished for a change in his life, it is an irresistible invitation. Upon entering Mr. Clutter's shop, Alex is swept away on an incredible adventure to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves. Alex becomes the eighth man in a band of adventurers seeking the lair of Slathbog the Red — and evil dragon with a legendary treasure. Along the way, Alex and his new friends must battle dangerous trolls and bandits, face undead wraiths, and seek the wisdom of the Oracle in her White Tower. Alex's adventure takes him to distant and exotic lands where he learns about courage, integrity, honor, and, most importantly, friendship. .

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4. Janitors by Tyler Whitesides

No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tried to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he's not the only one who can see them. With the help of his new friends, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children's search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted - and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world? 

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5. Cragbridge Hall, Book 1 by Chad Morris

Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don't read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn't around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather's inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins must follow a mysterious trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall. Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather's greatest secret — a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality. 

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6. True Heroes by Jonathan Diaz, Various Authors

Twenty-one imaginative authors were paired up with twenty-one extraordinary kids. What makes these kids so special? They all have two things in common: They all have very big hopes and dreams, and they all have battled cancer. Photographer Jonathan Diaz asked each of these remarkable children, "If you could be anything, what would you be?" Their answers were the inspiration for this one-of-a-kind book. So turn the page and meet Korbyn the firefighter, Bre the dancer, Braelyn the superhero, William the dragon rider, Tristan the football star, and Rae the princess—and more— who were all photographed in full costume and digitally inserted into a background showing them as the hero of their own story. Then read the original short stories that were based on each child's specific dream.

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Ages 10 & up

1. Potion Masters, Book 1 by Frank L. Cole

Twelve-year-old Gordy Stitser is one of the few people who knows the truth about the secret society of potion masters, because not only is Gordy's mom on the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide (B.R.E.W.), but she has also been training Gordy in the art of potion-making. Gordy is a natural, and every day he sneaks down to the basement lab to invent new potions using exotic ingredients like fire ant eggs, porcupine quills, and Bosnian tickling juice. One afternoon, Gordy receives a mysterious package containing an extremely rare potion known as "The Eternity Elixir." In the right hands, the Elixir continues to protect society. But in the wrong hands, ti could destroy the world as we know it. Now, sinister potion masters are on the hunt to steal the Eternity Elixir. It's up to Gordy, his parents, and his best friends, Max and Adeline, to prevent an all-out potion war.

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2. The 13th Reality, Vol. 1 by James Dashner

Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is an average thirteen-year-old boy until the day a strange letter arrives in his mailbox. Postmarked from Alaska and cryptically signed with the initials “M.G.,” the letter informs Tick that dangerous — perhaps even deadly — events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. M.G. promises to send Tick twelve riddles that will reveal on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain place, something extraordinary will happen. Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues M.G. sends to him? Will he be able to solve the riddles in time? Will Tick discover the life he was meant to live? As M.G. warns Tick, Very frightening things are coming your way. 

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3. Wizard for Hire by Obert Skye

What if you stumbled across a classified ad in your local newspaper that read, "Wizard for Hire. Call 555-SPEL"? Would you call? Fourteen-year-old Ozzy is desperate to find his parents, but he's not so sure about the ad....He's read about wizards in books like Harry Potter, but they couldn't actually exist in the world today, could they? Enter Labryinth, aka "Rin," who dresses the part. Sort of. His bathrobe and high-top tennis shoes seem unorthodox. At least Rin acts like a wizard, but Ozzy has his doubts. Do real wizards write notes on their shoes and eat breakfast for every meal? Most of all, Ozzy just wants to know if Rin can cast any magic spells. With the help of a robotic-talking raven invented by Ozzy's father, a kind and curious girl at school who decides to help Ozzy, and, of course, a self-proclaimed wizard who may or may not have a magical wand, Ozzy begins an unforgettable quest that will lead him closer to the answers he seeks about his missing parents. 

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4. Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye

Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps is no ordinary boy, but that's exactly what Sabine and his dark shadows want him to believe. The evil forces know the fate of the world and the dreams of all mankind can be saved by only one boy with a powerful gift — a gift he has yet to understand or control. Leven, a.k.a. “Lev,” lives a wretched life at the Rolling Greens Deluxe Mobile Home Park in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds — the real world and Foo, a place created at the beginning of time that makes it possible for mankind to dream and hope, aspire and imagine.But Foo is in chaos, and three transplants from that dream world have been sent to retrieve Lev — Clover, a mischievous, fuzzy, foot-high sidekick; Winter, an odd girl who can freeze things; and Geth, the rightful heir to the monarchy of Foo. Lev's mission: to destroy the hidden gateway before Sabine can find his way out of Foo and into the real world where he plans to reign supreme. Unfortunately, the gateway is on the other side of the world, time is running out, and reaching the gateway is only one of the ominous tasks. Destroying it will require an act of great courage and daring, something Lev is not at all certain he is up to. Can this unique band of travelers convince Lev to do what only he can do? Can Leven even find the gateway? Will belief overcome doubt? It's a race against time to save the world . . . if only fate would step in and help. 

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5. Pillagy by Obert Skye

When fifteen-year-old Beck Phillips travels by train to the secluded village of Kings plot to live with his wealthy but estranged uncle, Beck discovers some dark family secrets, including a buried basement, a forbidden wall, and an old book of family history with odd references to ... dragons? Beck's life is about to be changed forever in this suspenseful tale about the destructive nature of greed and the courage it takes to make things right. Pillage, Choke, and Ambush are filled with Mr. Skye's signature humor as well as some very intense moments that will keep readers young and old engrossed and entertained. 

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6. Silence by Deborah Lytton

Stella was born to sing. Someday Broadway. But everything changed when a tragic accident renders her deaf; she cannot hear, much less sing. Trapped in a strange new world of total silence, she must face not only the loss of her friends, her hopes, and her voice but also the loss of her identity and her life's purpose. Who is she is she's not a singer? Hayden is a quiet loner, an outcast, and the only person Stella can communicate with; his profound stutter makes him speak so slowly, she is able to easily read his lips. As they find new ways to communicate despite their disabilities, their friendship grows into an unexpected—but welcome—romance. But is it a romance that can last if Stella regains her hearing and resumes her former life? Alternating between Stella's and Hayden's points of view, Silence is a lyrical story of self-discovery, romance, and resilience, of two souls learning how to find their voices and break through the silence. 

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Young Adult

1. Remake by Ilima Todd

Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously. But Nine isn't like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day — her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose and what they'll be. When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will decide to be?

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2. Tripwire by Traci Hunter Abramson

Jane Napierski is back at work at the job she loves—being a personal assistant to her friend Sienna Blake, a rising star actress. The duo is on location in Virginia Beach to film Sienna's new TV series, along with costar Reed Forrester—the man with whom the world thinks Sienna is in love. Wrong. Sienna's heart actually belongs to her fiance, Craig, a Navy Seal with the Saint Squad. Craig must fly under the radar if he is to keep Sienna safe from this world of terrorists and toxic bombs. And Reed has no problem pretending to date his old friend Sienna simply because it means he can spend time learning more about Jane. Making a TV series is grueling work but not nearly as difficult as the treacherous adventure that is about to begin with a simple photo taken in the wrong place at the wrong time—an image worth killing for. When Craig returns to the United States to spend time with Sienna, he's not expecting to spend that time protecting her and Jane. Frightening incidents targeting the two women rapidly escalate, and as Craig and his Saint Squad investigate a tangled conspiracy, they find themselves tracking, here at home, the terrorists they have searched for across the globe. But can they shut the terrorists down in time to save Jane, Reed, and Sienna?

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3. Suspect by Clair M. Poulson

Detective Royce Fleming has dealt with the worst of the worst in his small Utah town. But even after years of dealing with criminals, he's shaken when a battered young woman enters his office. The victim of ruthless domestic abuse, Ellerie Pearson finally has the courage to share her painful secret history with the kind officer. For Royce, this information is just another piece in the puzzle he's working to solve—because unbeknownst to Ellerie, her husband's body has just been found. And she's the prime suspect in his murder. As he delves into the mystery surrounding Darien Pearson's death, Royce is inundated with suspects. Darien's calculated cruelty left him with no shortage of enemies, and Ellerie's involvement seems less likely by the day. But when his own past makes an unwelcome return, Royce finds himself torn between duty and the possibility that he may lose everything. 

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4. Check Me Out by Rebecca Wilhite

Greta loves her job as the assistant librarian. She loves her best friend, Will, the high school civics teacher and debate coach. She even loves her mother despite her obvious disappointment that Greta is still single. Then she meets Mac in the poetry section of the library, and she is smitten. Mac is heart-stoppingly gorgeous and showers her with affection, poetic text messages, and free hot chocolate at the local cafe where he works. The only problem is that he seems to be a different person in his texts that in his face-to-face conversation. When the Franklin Library is threatened with closure, Greta leaps into action. She arranges for a "battle of the bands" book jam, hosts a book signing by a famous author, and finally, stages a protest that raises more than a few eyebrows. Through it all, she slowly realizes that it is Will, not Mac, who she turns to for support and encouragement. Mac has the looks; Will has the heart. How can she choose between them? 

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5. Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke. 

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6. Miss Wilton's Waltz by Josi S. Kilpack

Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls boarding school. She is different in Bath more comfortable with herself and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there. When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine Lenora s newest and most troublesome student in the school is Mr. Asher's niece. Catherine is a difficult student, and Lenora works hard to make progress with the girl. When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything. Lenora closes her heart to him, and Aiden, caught between his obligation and his heart, must do what he can to make amends. And Lenora, after years of hiding from everyone and everything, faces a decision only she can make. 

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7. Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden

The life of an impoverished schoolteacher is not one Evangeline Blake would have chosen for herself. Torn from her home and her beloved sister and sent to work in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, Evangeline must prove herself to her grandfather, a man who values self-reliance above all else, before he will grant her access to her inheritance. Raised to be a lady of refinement, she hasn't any of the skills necessary to manage on her own nor does she have the first idea how to be a teacher. But failure means never being with her sister again. Alone and overwhelmed, she turns to the one person in town who seems to know how she feels—Dermot McCormick, an Irish brick mason who is as far from home and as out of place as she is. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot's tentative friendship deepens and grows. Her determination and compassion slowly earn her the faith and confidence of the skeptical residents of Smeatley, who become like the family she has lost. But when a secret from her past comes to light, Evangeline faces an impossible choice: seize the opportunity to reclaim her former life and rejoin her sister or fight for the new life she has struggled to build for herself—a life that includes Dermot. 

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8. All That Makes Life Bright by Josi S. Kilpack

When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet's sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do. Two months after her wedding Harriet discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Harriet is overwhelmed—being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman's life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Harriet begins to question her place in her husband's heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned. Struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Harriet works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations. Can their love endure, especially after "I do"? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage? 

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