Recommended Summer Holiday Reading Books
We can no longer use the excuse that we don’t have the time to read a book.
The summer break is probably the best time of year to read. You can sunbathe or curl up in a hammock, and escape for hours immersed in your new book, with no work or school to worry about. And a summer in Bali? Double the fun!
We’ve rounded up the most anticipated beach reads of summer 2021. From an unblinking examination of history, to a magical story that leaves you with warm and fuzzy feelings. These books are available at Bali Island School- the most established IB school in Bali- and will be your best companions to help you through this holiday season. Go get them before they are checked out by other avid readers.
Front Desk- Kelly Yang
Loosely based on Kelly Yang’s experience growing up as an immigrant in America, Front Desk won the Asia-Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature. It’s the kind of book you know you will love after turning the first page. An even better way to appreciate it is to read it with your child (if you are a parent), or with your parent (if you are a student).
It explores challenging social issues in a way that children understand better; poverty, racism, and how people of colour are treated differently. These topics are brilliantly dealt with in the story, making it compelling material for family dinner discussions.
Tree of Dreams- Laura Resau
Spoiler alert. You may want to rethink your chocolate and other snack purchases after reading this. As fairy tale-like as it sounds and the front cover looks, Tree of Dreams has nothing to do with magical creatures in the forest or gnomes. It is a story about environmental activism and fighting for what you believe in.
Coco, a 13-year-old who knows her chocolates, helps her mother run an upscale chocolate shop called El Corazon, which buys fair trade cocoa. However, business is bad. Coco will do anything to help keep the shop afloat. She has a dream about a tree in the Amazon rainforest with a treasure below, so off she goes, using her prize from a dessert-making competition.
In the forest, Coco and her friend Leo witness the terrible environmental impact of logging, oil extraction, as well as the problems indigenous peoples are facing, and deforestation. That’s where the real work begins.
This Earth of Mankind – Pramoedya Ananta Toer
As the first of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s Buru Quartet series, This Earth of Mandkind was once banned. To this day, it has been translated into 33 languages. George Orwell fans may be reminded of Burmese Days, another Southeast Asian classic page-turner.
It tells the story of Minke, a sharp, smart Javanese boy of royal heritage who is permitted to attend a Dutch school. Through a friend he meets and falls in love with the daughter of a Dutchman and his concubine. He leaves his boarding house and moves into their home; the drama of the family’s dynamic, partly fuelled by his presence, forms the heart of the novel.
Not merely a love story, This Earth of Mankind talks bluntly about colonialism, racism and sexism, woven through a coming-of-age tale — perhaps a metaphor for the birth of the Indonesian nation, as it throws off the shackles of Dutch rule.
Woman at point zero- Nawal el Saadawi
The Egyptian author, physician, and activist Nawal El Saadawi’s recent death has brought her writing back into the public eye. Her book on feminist ideology was ahead of its time.
Woman at Point Zero begins with Nawal’s attempt at interviewing a convict in a prison cell awaiting her death sentence. The infamous psychiatrist writes how desperate she became to interview her after having heard so much about her presence from the authorities of the prison. After several attempts with Firdaus (the prisoner) testing the patience of the author, the prisoner finally gives in.
Free? – Amnesty International
An outstanding anthology with a collection of short stories, poetry, and even a play, Free? is inspired by different human rights, and published in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The stories, written especially for young people aged 10-15 years old, demonstrate why human rights are crucial issues in education, law, and education (or, the lack thereof).
From a riveting tale of the search to find drinking water after Hurricane Katrina, to a a future where microchips can track every citizen’s every move reminding us a lot of the Black Mirror series, and a story about a Ghanaian boy with a passion for playing marbles. Free? can really twist one’s melon, alright.