Brave + Kind Bookshop offers summer reading recommendations for tweens, teens and young adults


As the school year comes to a close, “City Lights” has summer reading recommendations thanks to Bunnie Hilliard, the owner of Brave & Kind Bookshop in Decatur. The shop has a wide selection of children’s and young adult books, with some offerings for adults too.

In this interview, Hilliard spoke with “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes and shared her list of age-appropriate book recommendations.

Here are Hilliard’s Summer Reading List Recommendations:

Synopsis: As the son of Hades, Nico di Angelo has been through so much, from the premature deaths of his mother and sister to being outed against his will to losing his friend Jason during the trials of Apollo. But there is a ray of sunshine in his life–literally: his boyfriend, Will Solace, the son of Apollo. Together the two demigods can overcome any obstacle or foe. At least, that’s been the case so far…

Synopsis: It’s not easy being a Remarkable in the Unremarkable world. Some things are cool — like getting a pet hellhound for your 12th birthday. Others, not so much — like not being trusted to learn magic because you might use it to take revenge on an annoying neighbor. All Nic Blake wants is to be a powerful Manifestor like her dad. But before she has a chance to convince him to teach her the gift, a series of shocking revelations and terrifying events launch Nic and two friends on a hunt for a powerful magic tool she’s never heard of … to save her father from imprisonment for a crime she refuses to believe he committed.

Synopsis: From Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and book club founder Amerie, “You Will Do Great Things” is a lyrical, magical picture book about the great possibilities that lie ahead for our little ones, featuring illustrations by Raissa Figueroa. A young boy’s imagination takes off as he gazes at family photos, whisking him off on a fantastical journey. Along the way, the boy tries exciting and bold new things, ventures into unexplored worlds, and forms deep connections with his multicultural heritage and the ancestors who imbue him with the strength and courage to make a difference. Amerie has written a moving, sweeping, and deeply loving story that is inspired by her own family. It is a celebration of everything our little ones have yet to do: the great, the amazing, the strange, and the new. It’s also a lasting reminder that the loved ones in our lives will always be right there beside us — and in our hearts — cheering us on.

  •   “Big,” Vashti Harrison, Picture Book

Synopsis: The first picture book written and illustrated by award-winning creator Vashti Harrison traces a child’s journey to self-love and shows the power of words to both hurt and heal. With spare text and exquisite illustrations, this emotional exploration of being big in a world that prizes small is a tender portrayal of how you can stand out and feel invisible at the same time.

  •  “One Day” by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Faith Pray, Picture Book.

Synopsis: Her son will be courageous and kind, powerful and curious, and blaze his own trail. He will know that it is okay to cry, or be scared, or uncertain. Above all, he will know that he is more than enough exactly as he is. “One day, your hair will tumble across your head as you embark on adventures. Life will pull tears that roll like rivers over your cheeks. Let them roll, sweet boy. Softness is a sign of strength.”

Synopsis:  Welcome to Meadowlark, Long Island — expensive homes and good schools, ambition and loneliness. Meet Chase Ohara and Lia Vestiano: the driven overachiever and the impulsive wanderer, the future CEO and the free spirit. Best friends for years — weekend trips to Montauk, sleepovers on a yacht — and then, first love. True love. But when Lia disappears, Chase’s life turns into a series of grim snapshots. Anger. Grief. Running. Pink pills in an Altoids tin. A cheating ring at school. Heartbreak and lies. A catastrophic secret. And the shocking truth that will change everything about the way Chase sees Lia — and herself.

Synopsis: Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives — until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs.