“The Summer Experiment,” by Cathie Pelletier (Sourcebooks): A pair of young girls from northern Maine plot to win the science fair by trying to contact aliens who might be invading Allagash. Pelletier, who lives in Allagash, is a favorite of ours, and this is her first novel for young readers.
“Out of Nowhere,” by Maria Padian (Knopf): Padian won an award from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and a Lupine Award from the Maine Library Association for this book. It’s about a high-school soccer star who learns about the struggles of Somali immigrants while tutoring at the community center.
“The Giver,” by Lois Lowry (Houghton Mifflin): The Maine writer’s 1993 book has become a classic, and a movie based on it will be released later this summer. Our young reader who advised us on these picks is telling her friends to read or reread this book before the film is out.
“Love Letters to the Dead,” Ava Dellaira (MacMillan): Dellaira’s debut novel is getting a lot of attention. A student fulfills a class assignment by writing a letter to a famous dead person, and in doing so comes to terms with the death of her sister.
“Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment,” James Patterson (Little, Brown): This is not a new book, but the first in a series of young-adult fantasies that has endured. It tells the story of a group of kids who escape from a lab facility. Our source calls it “pure summer beach candy reading.”
— Compiled by Bob Keyes, with help from young reader Elona Blue Bodwell