Recently I watched a YouTube video about summer breaks and how as we get older or become increasingly busy, the 3 month hiatus from school becomes a thing of the past. In our teen years, summer is usually met with excitement and possibilities; possibilities of growing up and trying new things. One of the great ways to accomplish any and everything that you want to do for the summer is a Bucket List or Dream List or Wish List or whatever you want to call it. Some folks call it The Buried Life.
“Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Words to live by, I think. Why? It’s daring. It’s fearless! (It’s Eleanor Roosevelt! She knows loads about being fearless- learn more about her.) It’s getting out in the world and making mistakes and getting messy, basically living life– and summer can help you get started, whether or not you have a summer vacation planned. So why not get started with a book, to you know, and get your ideas flowing.
Too soon? Not ready for the book recommendation? You want ideas first on having an awesome time during the summer? No problem.
- Go camping (In the wilderness or in the park or even your backyard. If it’s raining, stay inside, still counts in my opinion)
- Throw a big water park party in the park (You can have a water fight or even a carnival! Cools you off and you get to meet new people)
- Try a new sport (I heard bubble soccer is huge)
- Try a photograph challenge (You can try this or this)
- Make a movie (Like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
- Take a road trip with friends (Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour or Paper Towns)
- Create a Summer Scavenger Hunt for your friends (Since You’ve Been Bone)
- Summer festival
- Sit under the night sky
Now that we have ideas, how about those book recommendations?
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
Amy Curry isn’t a fan of driving or even ready to get behind the wheel of car since her father’s car accident. However, her mother, ready for a change of scenery has decided to move the family across the country and now Amy is saddled with the responsibility of getting their car from California to Connecticut. That’s where Roger comes in, an old family friend, who joins in on her road trip venturing into unknown territory and unknown past feelings for Amy.
Paper Towns by John Green
If you’ve been away or completely out of the loop, John Green’s book Paper Towns has been made into a movie. The book details Quentin Jacobsen’s mission to find Margo, the only girl he has ever loved his entire life, who happens to live next door. She reappears in his life asking him to come out for revenge settling fun night, only to disappear the next night leading Quentin to begin a search with help of his friends and little clues she has left.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Emily’s summer isn’t starting how she originally thought it would be. Her best friend, the bubbly and energetic Sloane, is nowhere to be found and all of their summer plans are now at a standstill. Or are they? Emily receives a list of adventures that Sloane had planned for them and each of them must be completed. Emily sees this as her way of finding out what happened to her mysterious friend and embarks on tackling the long list of challenges that involve apple picking, starting a new job, and meeting new people. Throughout the summer she makes leaps in her introverted nature and starts to learn more about herself and her friends and family.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Greg only has one friend- well, a co-worker as he prefers to call him, Earl. Together Greg and Earl make movies based off cult classics of their choosing and also playing video games to pass the time. That all changes when Greg is forced to befriend Rachel; she has leukemia. Together, Greg, Earl, and Rachel form an odd friendship that will be needed during the toughest time in their lives.
Here are some other awesome books for motivation on jump starting your summer adventure!
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden
- The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
Summer is awesome, but it is a great time to start fresh and reinvent yourself or even discover the world in your backyard. Start a blog. Write in a journal. Take pictures. You can even vlog about it to remember what is sure to be an amazing summer. Have fun and stay cool out there!
-Markita Dawson, currently reading Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (*A real page turner this book