Pen’s Summer Reading List

(Since school summer reading lists are not to be trusted. *glares suspiciously at a summer reading list*)

Fantasy/Horror

Sunshine
By Robin McKinley
Type: vampire novel (I told you I read a few of these)
Short Summary: Rae “Sunshine” Seddon is a simple baker that gets up at four in the morning to make cinnamon rolls. Through a short and unfortunate happening, she meets a vampire called Constantine in a home-made prison. Though they both escape, Constantine’s captor, Bo, is now after them, and it’s an uphill battle to free themselves from Bo, not to mention Sunshine’s almost unknown heritage comes back to haunt her/

Swan Song
By Robert McCammon
Type: Post-Nuclear War
Short Summary: The story of different people as they survive in a post nuclear waste-land, most of all concerning a girl named Sue Wanda, or Swan. And the Man with the Scarlet Eye pursues her wherever she may be… but why? Maybe because Swan has the ability to heal the world again.

Neverwhere
By Neil Gaiman
Type: Urban Fantasy (I guess)
Short Summary: Once upon a time there was a man called Richard Mayhew. On a very important date with his fiancé, he finds a wounded girl in an alley, whom he later finds out is named Door. However, after rescuing her, he finds that people can no longer see him, his name does not register anywhere, and he has been basically wiped off the face of existence.
The only place he exists now is a place called London Below, and he journeys through it in a quest to return to London Above.

The Anansi Boys
By Neil Gaiman
Type: Humor Fantasy
Short Summary: Fat Charlie is a pretty normal guy living in England, having nothing really special except being able to sing well. (When he’s by himself anyway)
And then his father died. He goes to his father’s funeral and discovers he was Anansi, the trickster god, and that he has a half-god brother, Spider. And from there, everything goes downhill; his brother is a million times better at everything than him, intruding in his life, and he. Must. Go. Now. But the ends never justify the means, now do they…

The Blue Girl
By Charles De Lint
Type: Urban Fantasy
Short Summary: Imogene Yeck is an ex-gangster, cool-as-a-snow-cone-in-July that moves to a new town determined to get her life on the straight and narrow. She meets and makes friends with a studious, but likeable girl, Maxine. Along the way, she also meets Adrian, the ghost of a dead teenager that haunts her school, and through a myriad of circumstances and warnings from an old imaginary friend, Imogene finds herself with something very dangerous that hates the color blue.

Howl’s Moving Castle
By Diana Wynne Jones
Type: Wizard-Type Fantasy
Short Summary: Sophie hatter is the eldest of her sisters, and thus she dooms herself to never try anything, lest it go very wrong. But even without her trying anything, she ends up insulting the Witch of the Waste and is cursed to be a 90-year old woman.
Sophie becomes Wizard Howl’s cleaning lady, all the while making a deal with a fire demon, Calcifer, that should she find a way to break the spell on Calcifer and Howl, he would help her become young again. However, other things are brewing in the kingdom, such as Prince Justin’s disappearance.

Cry of the Icemark
By Stuart Hill
Type: Epic Fantasy
Short Summary: Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindensheild is the teenaged monarch of a country in the north, Icemark. When the terrible Scipio Bellorum, the power-hungry general of the Polypontian Empire sets its eyes on her country, her father goes to battle against the initial invading force. Though he is victorious, he dies in the battle, leaving Thirrin to rule her country and gather allies to oppose the Empire’s massive invasion force, befriending Oskan, a rare male witch, the Vampire King and Queen, the Werewolves, and many, many other such creatures of legends.

General Fiction

Freak the Mighty
By Rodman Philbrick
Type: Childhood Adventure
Short Summary: Maxwell Kane is big, slow, and rather shy. He lives in the basement of with his grandparents. Kevin “freak” Avery is short, witty and energetic. He lives with his mother, whom he calls “Fair Gwen”. Together, they make Freak the Mighty, and they’re nine feet tall don’t you know? What makes them different from everybody else makes them perfect together.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
By Mark Haddon
Type: Murder Mystery?
Short Summary: Christopher Boone is a 15-year old autistic boy that lives with his father. One night his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed with a garden fork. Determined to find the killer, Adrian begins his investigation, but things don’t go quite as planned.

Flowers for Algernon
By Daniel Keyes
Type: Life/Philosophy
Short Summary: Charlie Gordon is a 30-year old mentally retarded man that works in a bakery. He is offered to have an IQ-enhancing operation that has been successful in animals, mostly noted by a mouse called Algernon. As the procedure progresses, so does Charlie. However, when Algernon starts declining, Charlie fears the same will happen to him.

Younger Readers

Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians
By Brandon Sanderson
Type: Fantasy with a dose of sarcasm and wit
Short Summary: Alcatraz Smedry is certain his parents never loved him. Why? Because they gave him a name like Alcatraz and a bag of sand for his 13th birthday. However, it turns out that that bag of sand is very valuble to a certain group of evil librarians that are trying to kill him. After being rescued by a grandfather he never knew he had, he discovers that life as he knows it is a huge conspiracy concocted by the Order of Biblioden aka Evil Librarians, and that he has to get that bag of sand back no matter what. And that of course, would mean infiltrating the downtown library.

The Dark of the Woods: Fairy Tales for Modern Times
Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Type: Anthology
Short Summary: With stories contributed by some of the best children (and a few adult) novels, this anthology is a great read, some of the contributing authors being: Michael Cadnum, Bruce Coville, Nancy Farmer, Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Jane Yolen, Delia Sherman, Tanith Lee and many more.

The Name of this Book is Secret
By Pseudonymous Bosch
Type: Msytery/Sci-fi? Let’s leave it at mystery.
Short Summary: Why is the name of this book a secret? Because it concerns a secret. A secret that Cassandra (an 11-year old survivalist) and Max-Ernest (whose dual name reflects his dual life with his parents) discover is being guarded very carefully by a secret organization, the Terces society. What is the secret you say? Well, it wouldn’t be a secret if I told you, but I can say it involves alchemy and the key to immortality

Oldies but Goodies

The Phantom Tollbooth
By Norton Juster
Type: Secret World Discovery
Short Summary: Milo is a young boy that fails to see the point in anything. Pondering on this, he finds a box with instructions on how to contrast his very own Phantom Tollbooth. Having built the said tollbooth, he gets in his electric toy car and starts driving, where he finds himself in a place that is all too literal. On a whim (joined by a watchdog named Tock) he goes on a quest to find the sweet Rhyme and the pure Reason.

The Princess Bride: Abridged
By William Goldman
Type: Abridged Adventure/Romance
Short Summary: There are many ways to describe the Princess Bride. Chances are you’ve seen the movie, and thought it was awesome. If you haven’t, go watch it, then read the book. Then not only will you squee of the awesomeness of the movie, you can squeal over how much the book is better than the movie if only because there’s more wit and stuff.

Good Omens
By Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (Before they were THE Neil Gaiman and THE Terry Pratchett)
Type: Humor/Satire
Short Summary: Basically, its nearing the end of the world, and as both sides prepare for the ultimate showdown, a demon and an angel do their very best to stop the whole thing from happening since they actually kinda sorta like the world and dont want it to end. It helps that no one can find the Anti-Christ, since the satanic nun that was supposed to have done the switch botched the job.

(That’s all I have the energy for now… typing all this takes more effort than most people would think. T.T Will add more though)

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