Usually I’m a big fan of those talented folks over at YA Highway but today I’m just annoyed. Today’s Road Trip Wednesday?

What is the best book you’ve read in June?

Gah…it’s like asking which kid I loved best this month. Not. Cool. But I’m going to do it anyway, largely because I wanted to blog about this book for Monday Book Love but lost track of time. (Fail).

So…my favorite book of June:

WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead

This was one of those books I had heard about for a while, but hadn’t actually read and wasn’t quite sure it was going to be for me, whatever that means. But my ten-year-old neighbor had a copy (LOVE that I get to borrow books from my neighbor), and he loaned it to me, warning, “It’s pretty good. Not as good as HATCHET [by Gary Paulson, which we had recently discussed] but still cool. It’s kind of weird.”

That’s always a good sign.  And the fact is, I’m not surprised that my Gary-Paulson-loving neighbor only liked it. It’s subtle, complex, beautifully written, mysterious, and, ultimately, slightly heartbreaking despite the happy ending. Not necessarily for an action-seeking ten-year-old.

Excellent factors:

 #1: Good single mom

  Kids books can be overly-full of terrible parents (or dead parents, as mentioned in my recent post). But WHEN YOU REACH ME has that rare and wonderful find; a realistic, imperfect, but wholly loving single mother. While we might roll our eyes along with Mira at her mom’s ridiculous tights or over-reliance on spaghetti, she comes through in the clutch. AND she refuses to buy grapes to protest the treatment of the pickers…fight the power!

Yes, this cover is seriously old-school and there is an updated one. But I still like this best.

#2: A Wrinkle in Time

Miranda is obsessed with this book, by Madeleine L’Engle. Some of the science fiction comes into play. If you haven’t read it…well. I don’t really know what to say. Go read it. Now.

#3: 20,000 Pyramid

If you grew up in the 70s and 80s you knew this game, and the dumb-as-a-stump “celebrities”  (and I use that term loosely, because really, what A-List star wants to be on daytime game shows?). Suffice it to say this game plays a substantial role in their lives.

So really, I don’t want to say any more about what happens in the book. But time travel, law school, sandwich making, 20,000 Pyramid, latchkey kids, and epilepsy all have their moments.

It’s a wonderful book. I absolutely loved it. Just don’t tell my other June reads that I picked a favorite.