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May 29, 2009

Great Summer Reads

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy C.

School is ending, and with it homework, studying, and tests. Yes! Unfortunately, Teen Ink Magazine is taking its annual summer vacation, too. You won't see another print issue from us until September. Of course, you can go on our website, where we're constantly publishing new teen writing, art and photography. But if you're looking to hold something printed in your hands, don't fear: we've got some great summer reading recommendations for you right here at Extra Ink. Summer books shouldn't feel like school assignments, as we well know. These picks (sorted by appropriate age) will keep you entertained and engaged, just like an issue of Teen Ink!

Age 13-14:

To Kill a Mockingbird: This classic by Harper Lee has the sheer force and elegance to appeal to readers of all ages, but its themes of coming of age and acceptance will especially appeal to younger teens. Memorable characters, a drum-tight plot, and gorgeous prose will keep you reading all day long.

15-17:

Sloppy Firsts: A diary-format narrative from the perspective of a cynical, sarcastic New Jersey teen named Jess Darling. So many "teen" books aspire to be as funny as Sloppy Firsts, but this is the real deal. And if you finish all too soon, have no fear: there are four more books in this bestselling series from Megan McCafferty.

18-19:

World War Z: Whispers in the publishing world indicate that zombies are the next big paranormal trend (watch out, vampires!) If you ask me, there's no better introduction to the zombie novel than this "documentary-style" story by Max Brooks (son of legendary filmmaker Mel). As someone with no particular interest in zombies, I was still blown away by the taut storytelling and genre-busting prose quality in every page of this book.

All Ages:

Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul: Teen Ink partnered with the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" people to bring you funny, sweet and heartwarming stories straight from the pages of our magazine. If you like Teen Ink (and we know you do) you'll love this--it's the best of the best, hand picked from our print pages over the years.

And if you're looking for the right place to purchase one of these books, make sure to check out BetterWorldBooks.com. They sell new and used books cheap, donate proceeds to promote worldwide literacy, and last time I ordered from them, I got free tea and chocolate! You can't get much better than that.

Head out to the beach, the lake, the mountains, the city park, or your own backyard, and have fun this summer! With one of these books in your hand, a little fun is pretty much guaranteed.

Remember to check out FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, and Bebo to learn about this month's contest, or e-mail betsy@teenink.com.

Do you know what's up at teenink.com? We're getting ready to add some great new features. Make sure to check us out often!

FACEBOOK/MYSPACE GIVEAWAY Teen Ink Group Subscription raffle! Join our FaceBook group or friend us on MySpace and you'll be automatically entered to win a year's subscription to Teen Ink Magazine. Multiple winners each month! You can also use FaceBook and MySpace to ask us questions and participate in great writing and art contests.

Miss an Extra Ink? Go to TeenInk.com/ExtraInk for past e-newsletters.

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