During the summer, I love to read books that transport me to another time, place or life experience. The following young adult (YA) books are sure to do the same for you or your favorite teens.
“Time Travel for Love and Profit” by Sarah Lariviere
This is YA contemporary fiction/science fiction. It will transport you to your first year of high school again and again.
When Nephele’s friend, Vera, gets up from their lunch table, walks over to another table and sits with the girls there, Nephele loses her only friend. The rest of ninth grade is a nightmare. Some of her classmates make up jokes about her, while others completely ignore her.
She decides to spend her summer hiding in her parents’ bookstore, talking with a black and white photograph titled “Chicago.” When her dad asks her to look through a sci-fi/self-help book and decide if they should stock it in the store, Nephele discovers the solution to her unpopularity: time travel!
She works all summer creating an app that will allow her to go back in time. She will return to the first day of ninth grade and get a do-over of the first year of high school, where she will be a new Nephele: one with friends.
All does not go to plan. Nephele’s app transports her to the first day of ninth grade, but everyone else has aged a year. She’s not only repeating ninth grade, she is doing it with a whole new group of classmates.
Can Nephele work out the bugs in her app and return to her first “first day” of high school? That’s what she tries to do. Along the way, she learns about herself and technology. She’ll also change her views of everything.
“Splinters of Scarlet” by Emily Bain Murphy
This is YA historical fantasy with a bit of a mystery. It takes its reader to Denmark in the year 1866.
Marit has just aged out of a home for orphan girls, and has left her only friend, Eve, behind. Marit is working as a seamstress for little other than room and board.
Marit is keeping a secret from Eve. She has magical abilities that she has hidden to keep Eve from worrying about her. Those with magic can develop “the Firn,” a condition that comes from using too much magic at any one time, and can lead to death.
Then Eve is adopted by Helene, and Marit uses magic to repair Helene’s torn coat. Helene hires Marit as dressmaker on the spot and Marit is able to be near Eve.
Helene is co-owner of limestone mines with her brother-in-law, Philipp – the very mines where Marit’s father worked and died in a tragic accident. Something is not right about the accident and the jewels that are taken from the mine, and Marit is determined to figure out what that is.
These books not only transport you; you will learn about yourself as you live with the characters portrayed.
Mary Schwartz works in the Park Rapids Area Library’s young adult section, ordering books and creating programming. On the Literary Mary channel on YouTube, her videos explore books, STEM, creativity and family history research. She also enjoys hiking and exploring the woods with her camera and her husband, Kevin.