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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Summer Reads for Kids and Young Adults by Fran Joyce


The 5 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids: A daily journal to help kids celebrate the best part of their day with gratitude, kindness and love. by Wilder Thoughts and Wild Child Notebooks

Help your kids record their day by encouraging them to look at all the wonderful events that took place. They can draw a picture of their favorite event, list the fun they had with friends and find reasons to be grateful for simple pleasures and kindnesses. If the day goes bad, you can help them make plans for a better day. For children of all ages

Goodnight, Campsite: A children's Book on Camping Featuring RVs, Travel Trailers, Fifth-Wheels, Pop-UPs and Other Camper Options by Loretta Sponsler. Kids will love going along on this fun camping trip. This book is filled with colorful photos; they’ll delight in finding the squirrel hiding in the pages and settling into a comfy campsite at night. For infants to age 10

Summer Ice cream:  by Dee Smith - A summer rhyming picture book for kids about a visit to the ice cream shop on a hot summer day. For ages 2-5

Tomorrow Most Likely (Read Aloud Family Books, Mindfulness Books for Kids, Bedtime Books for Young Children, Bedtime Picture Books) by Dave Eggers (Author) and Lane Smith (Illustrator). A book of bedtime stories focusing on the wonderful things that can happen tomorrow. Kids will be excited to go to sleep so they can wake up and start new adventures. For ages 3-5

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean HalePrincess Margaret may seem like a proper princess dressed in pink with the perfect manners, but when something in her kingdom is threatened she becomes the Princess in black who is tough enough to catch any bad guy and save the day. Kids will enjoy the adventures of a princess who doubles as a super hero when her her subjects need her. This is an action packed chapter book series for kids from 5-8.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library  by Chris Grabenstein – imagine what a library would be like if it were designed by one of the world’s most famous video game makers, Luigi Lemoncello. Lemoncello builds a library in a small town which hasn’t had a library in 12 years. He holds an essay contest to pick 12 seventh graders who will spend the night in his new library and play a game – the search for a hidden exit. The winner will receive a fabulous prize. Kyle Kelley is one of the lucky winners who will navigate through literary references, the Dewey Decimal System while solving word puzzles. Who will be the first kid to find their way out? For ages 8-12

Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls – When 14 year old Jay Berry Lee discovers a tree full of monkeys on his family’s land in the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma, he learns they have escaped from a traveling circus. At first he wants to catch them for the reward because his family needs the money and Jay’s been saving up for a couple of special things, but as Jay interacts with these creatures, he comes to realize the value of freedom and what’s important for his family. There are some scenes with alcohol and and references to guns and hunting. For ages 8-14

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer - Twins Alex and Connor stumble upon a magic book that transports them into the fairy tales they’ve grown up reading. At first it’s exciting to battle witches, giants and goblins, but the boys begin to worry they will never find their way home. Book One of a six book series for ages 9-12

Beautiful: A girl's trip through the looking glass by Marie D'Abreo – Lily has frizzy hair and average looks, but this summer she wants to be beautiful and have what all beautiful girls have… popularity and a handsome boyfriend. Lily must learn to filter the inner and outer voices she hears about what makes someone beautiful. Along the way she learns something about the real importance of beauty. This is a graphic novel for ages 9 and up

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali – It’s an odd pairing… an angry and disillusioned girl tired of trying to understand the hate in this world and a boy forcing himself to be optimistic after the death of his mother in order to comfort his grieving family and experience the important things in life before his body is ravaged by an incurable disease.  When Zayneb, a Muslim teen fights back against anti-Muslim rants from her teacher, she gets suspended and her teacher retaliates by investigating her family. Zayneb and Adam meet after her family sends her to a relative in Qatar for an early start to spring break hoping everything will blow over. Can two young people overcome so many obstacles and find love? For Young Adults


Great Books to Read on Your Vacation or Staycation by Fran Joyce

Author Page: Where to Find Your Next Great Read