Three books your preteen will want to read this summer

Keep the kids reading this summer with three books they will enjoy.

Make summer more fun for your ’tweens by offering them a chance to go climbing, an opportunity for silliness and a look at what may or may not happen in middle school by giving them a good book and, maybe, a hammock and some lemonade.

University of Houston-Clear Lake Center for Educational Programs Director Roberta Raymond and her colleague, Sam Houston State University Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant Monika Anderson, suggest three books that will give your preteen something fun to read this summer.

  • If you are looking for adventure, “Peak” by Roland Smith, is packed full of so much adventure, it’ll take your breath away! Peak is a teenage adrenaline junkie with climbing engrained in his DNA. When one of his illegal climbing escapades takes a wrong turn, Peak finds himself in court facing serious charges and possibly major jail time. In an effort to lower the profile of Peak’s media-addicted case, the judge agrees to “make it all just go away,” literally, and Peak is shipped to the other side of the world in the foreign, but intriguing land of Nepal. In Nepal, Peak’s challenges reach lung-swelling altitudes. From being reunited with his estranged father who he doesn’t know or trust, to more legal troubles, and the pressure to become the youngest person ever to summit Mount Everest, this book is guaranteed to take readers to new heights.
  • If you believe that anyone over 20 has “sprung a humor leak” or you are interested in learning about a secret society dedicated to all things related to pranks, then “Pickle” is the book for you.  Join Ben, Frank, Oliver and Bean as their club, The League of Pickle Makers. wreaks havoc at their school. The author, Kim Baker, will have you ROTGL (for parents: Rolling On The Ground Laughing) until your sides hurt as she details the adventures of The League of Pickle Makers.
  • If you’re making the leap from elementary school, join Rafe as he bumbles his way through middle school, which he lovingly refers to as prison in “Middle School – The Worst Years of My Life.”  His exploits to make his way through the school code of conduct breaking all of the rules will have you laughing out loud.  James Patterson and Chris Tebetts do an excellent job of intermingling text and pictures to make Rafe’s story come alive.

“According to Reading is Fundamental, ‘children lose one to three months of learning’ during the summer,” said Raymond. “In order to help combat the loss it is important for children to have the opportunity to read at least 20 minutes a day.

“A few ways to encourage your child to read: 1.) Let them have choices in their reading materials; 2.) Have books, magazines, newspapers, etc. available for them at all times; 3.) And, read with your child to model that you, too, value reading.”

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University of Houston-Clear Lake offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a doctoral program, from its four schools, which include the School of Business, School of Education, School of Human Sciences and Humanities, and School of Science and Computer Engineering. In 2011, the university gained approval from the state to add freshman- and sophomore-level courses to its roster and is currently planning for its first freshman class in fall 2014. For more information about the university, visit

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