By Craig Graziano
Summer has arrived. Maybe it's the extra amount of natural light, maybe it's the vacations, but I particularly enjoy reading this time of year. Here are a few summer reading suggestions for parents.
Thanks to The Hunger Games and Divergent, the stigma of adults reading YA books is completely gone. If you've already blown through those series, I have a great romantic fantasy to offer. Shadow and Bone offers action and a splendid love triangle involving our brave heroine, her best friend, and her powerful mentor. I don't usually gravitate to this type of book, but I couldn't put this one down.
We've been hearing for decades about how comic books aren't just for kids anymore, but it's especially true now with great graphic novels like Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. Lucy Knisley explores her adolescence with a chef mother and a foodie father. The book is peppered with recipes in comic form, making for a great visual lesson on making sautéed mushrooms, huevos rancheros and even sushi!
Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones gives a splendid glimpse into the life of one of the greatest innovators of the twentieth century. Learn about how he got started in television by checking out books about puppetry from his local library, how he created Kermit the Frog, and how he changed entertainment.
The book covers all of Henson's work, so you can read about his forward-thinking techniques, and then enjoy episodes of The Muppet Show or Fraggle Rock with loved ones.
For history buffs, Assassination Vacation is a somewhat humorous take on darker corners in America's past. Sarah Vowell travels to learn more about the deaths of Presidents Lincoln, McKinley and Garfield. Her nephew tags along, commenting on one of the many graveyards they visit, "This is a nice Halloween park!"
Despite the subject matter, this is a breezy, fun read that would make a good accompaniment to any cross country trip. Also, boys love to hear these sorts of grisly details. If you drop even one fact from this book on them, you'll be the coolest parent on a hot summer day.