Summer time is almost here! It has been a long, long, long winter, but we finally have some sunny weather and (hopefully) some time off to enjoy it! I’ve been busy planting vegetables, enjoying homemade ice cream with friends, dreaming up camping trips and canoe floats, and getting excited to cook up the first tastes of the harvest.
One of the best things about summer is the chance to get away for a few days. I always like to travel to Lake Michigan and enjoy the beach and a picnic. Taking a bike ride along the Kal-Haven Trail is also a whirl. But if you don’t have access to a car or bike, you can easily rent a canoe in town or buy an inexpensive inner-tube and float down one of our very own three rivers! There’s a plethora of local lakes and hidden marshes to explore right in St. Joseph County.
If you have a hankering for grand adventures and explorations, you can always escape somewhere through a good read. Some of my favorite YA books explore travelling and visiting new places, as well as explorations of imaginary lands. These are a great way to explore to new places without leaving your house or spending a cent!
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. In this book, Rory Devereaux moves to London with her parents and has to attend an English boarding school that is totally different than her regular American high school. The first part of the book is all about the difficulties Rory has while trying to fit in and adapting to living in England. She has to learn how to play field hockey, eat new foods, and deal with the cold and damp weather. But then just as she’s getting used to everything, she becomes the target of a serial killer who is re-enacting the Jack the Ripper murders! This is both an exciting mystery and a great travel tale about the city of London.
Not primarily a travel story at all, but John Green’s The Fault in our Stars does involve travel! It is the story of Hazel Lancaster, a 16-year-old who meets Augustus Waters at a therapy session for cancer survivors. The two get close and fall in love and as they deal with the strong emotional issues. But Augustus does arrange for Hazel to travel to Amsterdam to meet her favorite author. It’s a great book that happens to have a bit of travel in it.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.
Jepp, Who Defied The Stars by Katherine Marsh.
Jepp, a teenage dwarf living in 16th century Europe, leaves home to seek his destiny. Fate: Is it written in the stars from the moment we are born? Or is it a bendable thing that we can shape with our own hands? Jepp of Astraveld needs to know.
by Jasper Fforde
In his witty first novel for young readers, the New York Times best-selling author introduces 15-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange. Jennifer runs Kazam, an agency for underemployed magicians in a world where magic is fading away, but when visions begin about the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer, Jennifer realizes that everything could change for Kazam — and herself — and that Big Magic is in store.
by Terry Pratchett
Surviving by his wits in an alternative-universe London ruled by a young Queen Victoria, the intrepid young Dodger inadvertently foils a murderous Sweeney Todd’s operation and encounters numerous fictional and historical characters, including Darwin, Disraeli and Dickens. By the award-winning author of A Hat Full of Sky.
by John Corey Whaley
Seventeen-year-old Cullen’s summer in Lily, Arkansas, is marked by his cousin’s death by overdose, an alleged spotting of a woodpecker thought to be extinct, failed romances, and his younger brother’s sudden disappearance.
by Elizabeth Wein
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.