Ah, lazy summer days... when summer stretches out in front of you, full of possibility. Just the time to read The Fantastic Secret of Own Jester by Barbara O'Connor. An amazing secret has tumbled off a freight train into Carter, Georgia, and Owen Jester is the only person who knows about it. If he can simply manage to evade his grandfather’s snappish housekeeper, organize his two best friends, and keep his nosy neighbor, Viola, at bay, he just might be in for the summer of a lifetime.
A great read for any time of the year. If you liked The Secret Adventures of the Mad Scientists Club (I did!), you'll like this one!
Stuck on Earth by David Klass is identified as a middle school read, but I can see some intrepid C. P. Smith readers enjoying it. Here's the book description from the dust jacket:
Ketchvar III’s mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good health, above average intelligence. But it soon becomes apparent that Tom Filber may be a little too average—gawky, awkward, and utterly abhorred by his peers. An alien within an alien’s skin, Ketchvar quickly finds himself wrapped up in the daily drama of teenage life—infuriating family members, raging bullies, and undeniably beautiful next-door neighbors. And the more entangled Ketchvar becomes, the harder it is to answer the question he was sent to Earth to resolve: Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good? Or is it possible that Homo sapiens really are worth saving?
Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel. For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his mother brings home Zan -- an eight-day-old chimpanzee. Ben's father, a famous behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can learn to speak. Ben's parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees. But when Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment, his father disagrees. To him, Zan is only a specimen, no more, no less. A compelling read for mature readers- about what makes a family and what makes us human.