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Friday, July 12, 2013

Family Reunion Month

Summer vacation means perfect family reunion time, so July is National Family Reunion Month. What's better than being cooped up with all of your crazy relatives? I had a hard time finding a lot of books about actual family reunions, so many of these feature characters meeting long-lost relatives, for a different sort of reunion.

   

Family Reunion by Caroline B. Cooney. Shelley's mom is long-gone and her dad keeps remarrying, so she is dreading having to go to her family reunion with her perfect relatives. Only, once she gest there, she starts learning some family secrets...

Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson. While her grandmother is dying of cancer, Emily and her mother travel to see her in her desert home. There Emily and her mother must confront the pain and grief in their shared and seperate pasts.

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles. Amy's doesn't consider herself Jewish, but her father is. Her father also lives in Israel and really isn't in the picture, until he calls and says her grandmother's sick, so Amy needs to come visit. Suddenly gone are her summer vacation plans of hanging out at the mall-- she's off to spend 3 months in Israel with family she's never met. The first in a trilogy, follow it with How to Ruin My Teenage Life.

   

La Linea by Ann Jaramillo. Almost seven years ago, Miguel's parents left Mexico for the US. Now that Miguel's turning 15, he gets a note saying it's time to join them, but when his younger sister tags along, the two siblings are in for an adventure of survival and heartbreak.

Orchards by Holly Thompson. After a classmate's suicide, bi-racial Kana Goldberg (half-Japanese, half-Jewish) is sent to Japan to spend the summer helping in her grandparents' orchards. There she must struggle to fit into a new culture and a family that doesn't understand her (or the size of her Russian-Jewish butt.)

The Sweet Life by Rebecca Lim. After her mother dies, Janey jumps at the chance to go to Italy to reconnect with some relatives she's never met. Once there, she's living large with two admirers and great new clothes, but she also has an internet stalker, one that keeps leaving her threats that tie back to her family.

   

Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins. When her father goes to the US to find work, Asha and her family move from Delhi to their grandparent's house in Kolkota. In addition to leaving her home and friends, her grandparent's house is more conservative, and Asha misses her freedom. Her only release is escaping to the roof and writing in her journal.

Absolutely Maybe When her washup-up beauty queen mother's new boyfriend tries to rape her, Maybe finally runs away. She has friends in LA and an initial goal of finding the biological father she's never met.

Summer's End by Audrey Couloumbis. Grace's brother has burned his draft card, getting him kicked out of the house. To escape the tension Grace spends them summer with her grandmother, where she and her cousins all grapple with the effects of the war on their older brothers and in the community.

What books would you add?

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