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Telltale Signs of Summer

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

One of the telltale signs that summer is in full swing here in Frankenmuth—besides the

extraordinary display of annuals blooming in the flower beds, hanging baskets, and

window boxes on Main Street—are the various motorhomes and travel trailers

temporarily residing in driveways around town. If you’re anything like me, camping is

one of the highlights of your summer. We are the fanatics that log onto the Michigan

State Parks Reservation System at 8am exactly six months prior to the anticipated date

of arrival in hopes of getting a good site.

This is our first summer camping with two kids under two, so there’s not a whole lot of

free time for Mom and Dad, but when the boys go down for a nap or are tucked into bed

for the night, we throw a few logs onto the fire, grab a drink, and cozy into our camp

chairs with a good book. Bonus points if it’s a new release.

As part of my promise to read deeply and widely with you, I ventured into the “new

books” section of the tween wing this week and picked up The Swallowtail Legacy:

Wreck at Ada's Reef by Michael D. Beil—“a vibrant contemporary mystery with a

classical feel about grappling with grief, righting past wrongs, redefining family, and

finding yourself.” It’s the beginning of a riveting middle grade mystery series with book

two slated for release in February 2023, and I can hardy wait!

The story follows the protagonist, 12-year-old Lark Heron-Finch, as she spends her

summer tracking down clues linked to a tragic boating accident just off the coast of

Swallowtail Island on Lake Erie. Lark is sassy, stubborn, and extremely bright, and she’s

one of those characters that sticks with you long after you’ve finished the book. The

Swallowtail Legacy is intended for ages 8-12, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult and

my husband is sailing through the final chapters as I write. If Lark were here, she’d say

it’s good for the whole “fam damily!” This book is perfect for fans of The Parker

Inheritance, Holes, The Westing Game, and anyone looking for a satisfying puzzle

spanning multiple generations.

If you’re looking for another new mystery in the tween section, check out Treasure

Hunters: The Ultimate Quest by James Patterson. Or, for or a spine-tingling campfire

read, check out Monsters in the Mist by Juliana Brandt. In the young adult section, a few

new noteworthy titles are The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson (mystery),

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart (suspense) and Wakers by Orson Scott Card (sci-fi


In the children’s wing there’s a new non-fiction book that needs to be read in the dark!

The title is Glow Down Deep by Lisa Regan. It highlights all of the amazing sea

creatures that light up or are biofluorescent! Other seasonal children’s books are: A

Mouthful of Minnows by John Hare, A Day for Sandcastles by JonArno Lawson, The

Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky by Jihyun Kim, and Sun in My Tummy by

Laura Alary. Finally, be sure to check out Hot Dog by Doug Salati, a summery picture

book about a stressed out and overheated dog that finds peace and calm in the sun,

sea, and sand. I can relate to that one!

Hopefully one or more of these books have sparked your interest, and if not, be sure to

head to the library and browse the shelves for yourself. There are dedicated sections for

new books in each wing of the library. I’m certain you’ll find the perfect stack of

exhilarating reads to accompany you on your upcoming camping trip, beach day, or

summer adventure. Happy reading!

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