These days television and the Internet compete with books for kids' attention, but "Good Morning America" parenting contributor Ann Pleshette Murphy has some must-reads that are sure to turn your couch potatoes into bookworms.
These selections are divided into four categories -- supernatural, how-to, growing pains and books+ -- and are perfect for tweens and teens as they enjoy their summer vacations.
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Books about the trials and tribulations of growing up are staples of summer literature.
Callie lives in rural Texas in 1899 with her six brothers. She's a real rebel, preferring to explore nature with her granddaddy to darning socks.
Writing for older girls, Sarah Dessen presents a first-person account of a slightly awkward girl named Auden, who spends her summer before college at a small beach town with her dad and stepmom and their new colicky baby.
In this coming of age story told over four consecutive summers, the narrator, Luke, goes from caring about fishing and skipping stones to checking out the girls in their bikinis to writing pretentious poetry.
Hector faces an unlikely bully: a talking brain tumor. It's a know-it-all, too, and insists on coaching Hector even as it threatens his life.
Ten-year-old Tammy is lonely and angry when she begins to bully the new kid Douglas, who just moved into a foster home down the street. She ridicules him for his outlandish lies: His uncle is Neil Armstrong, he's training for the Olympics and others. Slowly readers begin to understand what's behind her harsh attacks.
Fifth-grader Harper Lee Morgan has a lot of family angst. Her father with his drinking problem has gone, and her mom is late with the rent. Harper wants to enter her poetry in a school contest, but her hopes dim after her mom loses her job and she's forced to stay home with her younger brother.
The supernatural category is a hugely popular subgenre of young adult fiction. Beyond vampires, there are aliens, ghosts and more. If your teens have read all the vampire books, there are lots of other supernatural forces for them to read about.
James Patterson has jumped into the young adult arena with a series that includes superpowered alien Daniel X, who battles an array of vile enemies. It's a little like Harry Potter meets X Men.
This sequel to Melissa Marr's best-seller,"Wicked Lovely," covers the typical aspects of teen romances: love triangles, longing and lust. The twist in this story: The relationships are between mortals and fairies.
The heroine discovers she is the heir to a vampire throne and betrothed to a bloodsucker, who happens to be a pompous, yet drop-dead gorgeous vampire prince.
The how-to genre keeps kids learning in the summer, but these are topics you won't have to force them to study.