the magicians

YA Bookalikes for Summer Reading

Not sure what to recommend next for your teen? These in-the-adult-section novels are great follow-ups to classic kid favorites and great YA books to read this summer.

Never Let Me Go
By Kazuo Ishiguro


CHECK OUT: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

There’s a reason utopia means “nowhere.” The perfect world always comes at a cost. Lowry’s starkly beautiful dystopia reads like a little sister to Ishiguro’s lyrical science-fiction novel about an idyllic English boarding school where special children are groomed for a bleak future. The same questions resonate through both books: Who decides how the truth is revealed? What does it mean to have free will? What makes a person alive? And in both books, the answers are complicated.


IF YOU LOVED: The Harry Potter series

CHECK OUT: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Just like the indomitable Mr. Potter, Brooklyn teen Quentin Coldwater finds himself enrolled in a school for magicians. But he quickly discovers Brakebills Academy is quite unlike Hogwarts and that being a magician isn’t a cure-all for dissatisfaction with everyday life. Quentin doesn't share Harry's likable heroism, which makes him a more complicated protagonist.


Sideways Stories from Wayside School
By Louis Sachar, Julie Brinckloe

IF YOU LOVED: Sideways Stories from Wayside School

CHECK OUT: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Heller takes a darker view of human nonsense in his World War II classic, but there’s plenty of similarity between characters like the major who never sees anyone in his office when he’s in his office and the teacher who sends herself home on the kindergarten bus for (temporarily) turning evil.


The Hunger Games (Book 1)
By Suzanne Collins
The Handmaid's Tale
By Margaret Atwood

IF YOU LOVED: The Hunger Games

CHECK OUT: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Panem is an equal opportunity dystopia—young men and women are equally at risk in the country’s annual ba􏰁ttle-to-the-death games. But in the republic of Gilead, a totalitarian Christian theocracy, women like Offred must play an even more dangerous game. Atwood’s dark imagined future is ripe for rebellion, but rising up against an entrenched government in The Handmaid’s Tale is not as easy — or dramatic — as taking on Panem’s President Snow.


We’re reprinting some of Amy’s summer reading series favorites from home/school/life magazine. This list appeared in our 2014 summer reading guide.

Stuff We Like :: 6.12.15

home|school|life's Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

We are busy-busy-busy wrapping up the summer issue and getting ready to launch our new website, but don’t worry: We’re still making plenty of time to hang out at the pool, catch up with old friends, and enjoy the pleasures of summer.

Around the Web

I wrote this piece on putting together your own homeschool retreat (a.k.a. homeschool conference for introverts) a few years ago, but I’m taking my own advice this summer.

Loved this blog post from Christina Kelly about losing your career identity as a parent. (We’re actually launching a new department in the summer issue that’s about just that.)

This genius 10-minute kids’ room cleanup method may solve our “at least clear a path to the bed” battles for good.

Here’s the reason I so seldom assign a reading level to the book reviews here on home/school/life: Kids know what they want to read.


On home/school/life

On Pinterest: Fill up your queue with Shelli’s favorite documentaries

On the blog: I’m so inspired by Idzie’s musings on the benefits of travel for life learning.

On the blog: Check out the first book in a great new series: Jackaby by William Ritter. (It’s a little bit Sherlock, a little bit Doctor Who, and a whole lot of fun.)



Casting on for another Sleeves in KnitPicks Gloss Lace. I love this pattern, which is basically a shawl with sleeves so it doesn’t require constant repositioning. (Maybe that’s just me?) I’m making a summer version in a lace-weight yarn to wear with sundresses and tank tops. - Ooh, and KnitPicks has all its Swish line (DK and worsted) on sale for $3.75/ball. I'm trying to justify stocking up!


At Home

I’m making my way through The Magicians again because Suzanne swears the last book in the trilogy makes it all worth it.

New glasses! I love how crisp and shiny everything looks. Have you guys tried Warby Parker? I love that they send you a selection to try on at home, so you can test out their stay-on-your-nose ability while knitting, building marble runs, or typing.

I am hooked on the podcast On Being. Are you a listener?

This broccoli-edamame-arugula salad is so good, I’ve had it for lunch two days in a row. (Keep scrolling to get the recipe at the end of the post.)