'Tis a most splendid thing that summer reading has begun! We travelled back in time for A Midsummer Knight's Read for our 2011 Summer Reading Program. You may not have your own set of knight's armor or any ball gowns stashed in your basement, and you won't find too many jousters on the streets of Morton these days; but, if you'd like to be transported to the medieval days of royalty, peasants, round tables, and other grand adventures (and perhaps encounter some magic and enchantment along the way), check out these young adult reads:
- Cabot, Meg. Avalon High. YA CAB. After starting a new high school, Elaine, the daughter of medieval scholars, is accused of being a reincarnation of a medieval maid in this clever and quick novel.
- Cashore, Kristin. Graceling. YA CAS. Katsa has been born with a unique Grace--she has a talent for killing. As she comes to terms with her skill and seeks to use it for good, Katsa takes part on an epic journey with romance and adventure in this book suited for mature readers.
- Cushman, Karen. Catherine, Called Birdy. YA CUS. Written as rebellious Catherine's diary, this novel recounts vivid details of medieval life for a 13-year-old, from daily household activities to her adventures in avoiding an arranged marriage.
- Flanagan, John. The Ruins of Gorlan. YA FLA. Although he wants to be a knight, Will is chosen to be a student of the mysterious Ranger Halt. In the first action-filled book of the Ranger's Apprentice series, Will must learn the skills he needs to help save his kingdom.
- George, Jessica Day. Princess of the Midnight Ball. YA GEO. Twelve princesses are forced to dance against their will. Filled with magic knitting, an exciting escape, romance, and evil, this is an interesting twisted take on a classic fairy tale.
- Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days. YA HAL. While Dashti, a peasant girl with special powers, is locked in a tower for seven years, she journals about the visitors that come and events that take place. This bright fairy tale is fast paced with a hint of romance.
- Hale, Shannon. Princess Academy. YA HAL. After leaving her village quarry, Miri enters Princess Academy with other village girls, all hoping to be the prince's wife. Miri faces trials and learns life lessons that readers will find insightful and enjoyable.
- Lewis, C.S. Prince Caspian: the Return to Narnia. YA LEW. A year after they stepped through the wardrobe, the four children must help free Narnia from evil reign in this installment of the classic series.
- Marchetta, Melina. Finnikin of the Rock. YA MAR. Ten years after the royal family dies, Finnikin returns to his kingdom (partly out of devious persuasion) to restore order. This tale is exciting and suspenseful, and is suitable for mature readers.
- McKinley, Robin. Spindle's End. YA MCK. This enchanting novel takes Sleeping Beauty a few steps further, following Princess Rosie as she grows into a powerful heroine.
- Morris, Gerald. The Quest of the Fair Unknown. New YA MOR. Setting out on an epic quest, Beaufils travels to Camelot, intent on joining the Knights of the Round Table and discovering the true identify of his father. This Arthurian legend is a witty addition to Morris's Squires Tales series.
- Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. SCI FI PAO. After finding a blue stone, Eragon starts his adventure as a Dragon Rider. In this first installment of the Inheritance series, Eragon begins a journey in which he encounters magic, tragedy, and action-packed battles.
Teens can sign up for the summer reading program at the adult Help Desk. Let us know what you're looking forward to reading this summer, or ask if you need some recommendations. Fare-thee-well!