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One of the best parts of going back to school is hearing what books the kids read over the summer.  Of course, it’s great when a student discovers a book they loved, and it’s especially rewarding to hear “I would never have known about that book if it wasn’t on the list.”  Many of Inly’s middle school students are voracious readers and their “dispatches from the summer” are the best.  As a teacher, hearing their unvarnished book reviews is invaluable.  It’s those reports that determine a book’s fate for future lists!

Today, two reviews from one of Inly’s most enthusiastic readers…


Summer at Forsaken Lake by Michael Beil

This book is amazing!  It is absolutely incredible!  I love Charlie because she is this amazing tomboy of a girl who is also the best pitcher in town and can strike out any boy – or girl, for that matter. Haley and Hetty are so funny and annoying. I can relate to Nick being annoyed with them, but they are still super sweet. Nick is so ignorant and it’s really funny. As Haley and Hetty were saying, he has a crush on Charlie, but doesn’t even know it!  But he is also very brave, gullible and strange. I don’t know what to think of him, but I like him. The story is just fantastic with fun characters and a chilling mystery.


Swipe by Evan Angler

This book scared me. I knew that it would when I opened it, but I didn’t know how scary it would be until I started reading it at 10:00 p.m.. Then I had to finish it before I fell asleep or I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep even with the lights on and the door open. The style of the community in this book reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry, particularly in one way: something happens to you when you become a member of both societies. In The Giver, teenagers are given their jobs in the community, and in Swipe, teens are given the Mark which basically makes them free to do anything within the law. I think this is a well-written book, but it wasn’t really my type. Cliff hanger books are good, but this one was sometimes creepy!

One other thing, totally unrelated to books…..Check out this beautiful drink:


I went to a different coffee shop today, and this was my mocha.  By the time I took a drink it was kind of cold. I just couldn’t bring myself to mess up the design!  And a fun coincidence with the friend I was “coffee-ing” with.  “I just finished the most wonderful book,” she said.  “Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.”  I have 30 pages left to read and totally agree with her. A magic book and coffee moment!


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