June Book Highlights

June was a wonderful month of stories! Now that the world is opening up post-COVID, I'm finding I'm spending more time with people again. How about you? Even though it's great seeing friends and family, digging into a good book is just as delightful. So many lovely stories have found their way to me this month! Below, you'll find the books separated by target age group and alphabetized within that segmentation. I hope you'll find your next great read in this list!


Also, if you aren't already, make sure you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, which goes out on the 15th of each month. These emails are a digest of great stories and include tidbits about reading and books for young people.


And now, on to the highlights!


Kids (Picture Books and Early Readers)





Illegal Beagle

By: Sandra Ourique Gonsalves

(NetGalley) - Picture Book


This is a really silly story about a dog who laments when his owner leaves him alone. Written in rhyme, it is especially accessible as a storytime favorite. I loved the illustrations and how they blend so nicely with the text! Please see my full review here.








My Mother’s Delightful Deaths

By: Carla Hoslbauer

(NetGalley) - Picture Book


This story was very familiar to me having grown up in a performing household. I was attending plays my dad produced at our nearby high school before I could walk, and I participated in many performances myself long after graduating. This story uses an illustrative style that depicts the opera-singer mother as comically disproportionate to her children, making her seem larger-than-life in their eyes. Short text and word bubbles make this story well-suited to even young readers who will appreciate the dynamic illustrations as the plot progresses. Please see my full review here.





Piki Goes to College

By: Joan M. Hellquist

(Reedsy) - Picture Book


This loving story tells the tale of Piki, a little dog who is rescued from a shelter in New Mexico. Once she learns how to behave at home, she begins more detailed training to become a Service Dog. Beginning as a narrative and transitioning into a non-fiction guide for readers of all ages, this book helps readers understand the important role of service animals from a dog’s perspective. Please see my full review here.






Wish, Miracle, Me!

By: Lindsey Coad

(Independent Request) - Picture Book


This is the first book I can remember reading that focuses on the life of a donor-conceived child. It is written based on the author’s own experience raising her own donor-conceived child, and it educates readers of all backgrounds about the many elements that must come together to make this dream a reality. Dramatic, free verse poems carry the story while images depict the protagonist Harvey at several stages of her life. I enjoyed the feel of the text and images together, as they blend well and showcase the myriad possibilities available no matter how one is conceived. This is a heartfelt celebration of donor-conceived children of all ages. Please see my full written review here. And my video review here.



Tweens (Middle Grade)



Goblin Pitcher

By: Paul Lonardo

(Independent Request) - Middle Grade


Just in time for summer, this book epitomizes the world of baseball alongside a fantastic world filled with goblins. Eleven-year-old Jake Lupo has traveled extensively as his father worked his way around the minor league baseball circuit in the United States. Their newest home is in Pine Barrows, a small town that is filled with unexpected characters who love baseball as much as Jake and his dad do. This unique story is enjoyably presented and is especially entertaining for middle grade readers with a love of baseball. Please see my full review here.






My Name is Layla

By: Reyna Marder Gentin

(Independent Request) - Middle Grade


This delightful story kept me engaged from beginning to end as I learned about Layla, her family, and her struggles both inside and outside of school. She is certainly not infallible, but as she makes mistakes and learns from them, Layla begins to recognize that she does not have to always be who she has been. Inspired by a poem assigned to her by her English teacher, Mr. McCarthy, Layla begins to come into her own and embrace the brilliance within. Just as she faces learning challenges at school, this book is well-designed for middle grade children who may be slower readers, themselves. Please see my full review here.






Taizibrook Toothfairy: Trouble in Tootyville

By: Tessa Rosso

(Independent Request) - Middle Grade


Have you ever wondered who the real tooth fairies are that collect teeth at night? Well, this story will give you an idea of exactly the kinds of challenges these creatures face when collecting human teeth. Incorporating many unusual words and phrases, this story can be a bit challenging to adapt to at first, but the premise is entertaining. It is open to a sequel, so there are lots of ways the fairies in this book can continue to delight middle grade readers. And it doesn’t hurt that the book encourages good oral hygiene, as well! Please see my full review here.



Teens (Young Adult)




The Ghost of Five Mile Creek

By: Payne Schanski

(Independent Request) - Young Adult


This book was not what I was expecting when I set out to read it. Though many of the conversations revolve around a town legend known as the Ghost of Five Mile Creek, the story is much more about relationships and righting past wrongs. I loved the writing, as its direct, first person approach is easy to connect with. JB, the main character, has made several mistakes leading up to his freshman year of high school, and readers will learn alongside him how to right those wrongs. This is an accessible young adult book for those transitioning to the genre, especially those who are navigating the relationship challenges inherent to adolescence. Please see my full review here.








He’ll Be Waiting

By: Liz Alterman

(Independent Request) - Young Adult


I absolutely couldn’t put this book down. Stunningly written, this is the story of Tess Porter, whose life changes dramatically one winter night before the Christmas holidays. Even though she is in a hospital bed with countless injuries, she has no memory of what brought her to that moment. A psychological thriller filled with family drama and coming-of-age teen experiences, this book blends The Girl on the Train with John Green’s iconic writing style. Young adults with an interest in gripping thrillers with heart will love this story. Please see my full review here.









A Killer, Revisited

By: Sheri Chapman

(Independent Request) - Young Adult


This gripping tale kept me involved from the very beginning. It is the story of a top secret military operation that is creating soldiers with superhuman abilities. The first iteration is called Wylie, and he is infused with an added component that is intended to enhance his skills. However, this feature comes with unexpected side effects, and it is up to two detectives to investigate what is happening in their city without becoming victims, themselves. Please see my full review here.







Street Sweeper

By: Paul Drewitt

(Independent Request) -

Young Adult/Adult (Explicit)


While this is not a book I would typically read, it is certainly one that left me pondering the realities of what people go through when living with drug addiction. This story begins with Joanne, a fresh med school graduate with a desire to end the opioid epidemic ravaging both England and the United States. Harvard grants her funding to pursue a study she proposed, but it requires her to become a Street Sweeper herself, using the same drugs she is attempting to supersede. Gritty and intense, readers get a glimpse inside the mind of someone affected by drug addiction and how quickly it can take over their life. Please see my full review here.




Tok: A Magick Tale

By: Pablo Reig Mendoza

(Independent Request) - Adult


The world is filled with mystery, as has been a reality since the dawn of time. Even as humans have endeavored to reveal the myriad truths hidden beneath the surface, more have appeared, preventing us from really arriving at a resolution. From religion to science, we’re always looking for answers that make sense about our present world and what lies beyond. In this complex and thought-provoking book, readers will encounter a depth of writing and allegory similar to Paulo Coelho with a plot reminiscent of Dan Brown; it is a book that will leave you pondering long after it ends. Please see my full review here.







What’s the Matter with Maria?

By: Mona Kristensen

(Independent Request) - Young Adult/Adult


As an introvert myself, I recognized many of Maria’s struggles during the course of this story. Though a bit slow at times, Maria’s transformation from a six-year-old to a budding teenager takes readers through several of the difficulties faced by children who are extremely sensitive but are afraid to display their emotions. Poetic language and a profound message of self-acceptance make this a story that fellow empaths will appreciate as they reflect back on their own childhood experiences. Please see my full review here.




45 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All