Summer reading picks for teens and tweens

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Whether students are reading over the summer for the sheer joy of it or just to keep the brain muscle in shape, here are a few recommendations. --SONJA BOLLE/Special to Newsday

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"September Girls" by Bennett Madison (HarperTeen, $17.99, ages 14 and up): For guys who go around in a haze of female-induced confusion, Madison has a theory in his novel. The flock of hot girls in Sam's sleepy beach town are supernatural creatures, and he is right to suspect that all that blond-hair-flipping and lip-licking is hypnotizing him.

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"The Cydonian Pyramid" by Pete Hautman (Candlewick Press, $16.99, ages 12 and up): Readers who didn't start the Klaatu Diskos series with "The Obsidian Blade" haven't missed out. Pete Hautman is a terrific writer, but the first book, set 500 years in the future, was slow off the blocks; it was only at the end that it took off -- and how! Now readers can dive straight from Book One into Book Two, "The Cydonian Pyramid."

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"The Testing" by Joelle Charbonneau (Houghton Mifflin, $17.99, ages 12 and up): Another recommended thrill ride: Teens compete for training to rebuild the world after a great war in Joelle Charbonneau's "The Testing," the opener in a trilogy.

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"Rush (The Game, Book 1)" by Eve Silver (Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, ages 14 and up): Miki is recruited for a kind of high-tech paintball game, with the survival of humanity at stake.

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"Sylo" by D.J. MacHale (Razorbill, $17.99, ages 10 and up): A series that begins with the U.S. military conducting a secret mission on an island in Maine. (July 2013)

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"Darius & Twig" by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad, $17.99, ages 13 and up): With his unerring eye for what's real and meaningful in life, Walter Dean Myers tells the story of "Darius & Twig" about two pals, a writer and a runner.

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"Loki's Wolves" by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr (Little, Brown; $17, ages 8-12): For fans of Rick Riordan's books, M.A. Marr and K.L Armstrong have borrowed from Norse mythology in "Loki's Wolves," first in the Blackwell Pages trilogy.

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"Catch Rider" by Jennifer H. Lyne (Clarion Books, $16.99, ages 12 and up): For many girls, it isn't truly summer without a great horse book -- Jennifer H. Lyne's "Catch Rider" fits that bill.

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"The Moon and More" by Sarah Dessen (Viking, $21, ages 12 and up): The author is back in a beach town with a smart heroine headed for college in the fall. (Viking, June 2013)

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"Crush" by Nicole Williams (HarperCollins, $9.99 each, ages 14 and up): Smart female characters are all very well, but sometimes a girl just wants a hot guy. Here are down 'n' dirty reads for those moods: Nicole Williams' series, "Clash," "Crash" and "Crush."

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"The Kissing Booth" by Beth Reekles (Delacorte, $8.99, ages 12 and up): Smart female characters are all very well, but sometimes a girl just wants a hot guy. "The Kissing Booth" is another down 'n' dirty reads for those moods.

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"P.S. Be Eleven" by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad, $16.99, ages 8-12): Middle readers will be happy to see some beloved characters:The three sisters who survived "One Crazy Summer" in Rita Williams-Garcia's Newbery Honor book set in 1960s Oakland, Calif., are back in "P.S. Be Eleven."

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"The Wells Bequest" by Polly Shulman (Penguin, $16.99, ages 9 and up): Polly Shulman follows up "The Grimm Legacy" with "The Wells Bequest," a new adventure involving a New York institution that preserves and lends magical objects from literature. (Nancy Paulsen Books, June 2013)

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"Odessa Again" by Dana Reinhardt (Wendy Lamb Books, $15.99, ages 8-12): A girl discovers she can do time-travel on a small scale -- a day at a time -- and uses it to try to fix her family's problems.

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"After Iris" by Natasha Farrant (Dial Books, $16.99, ages 10 and up): The author gives a full, engaging portrait of a complicated family through the eyes of Blue Gadsby, surviving twin and aspiring filmmaker. (July 2013)

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"Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" by Chris Grabenstein (Random House, $16.99, ages 8-12): The author immerses readers in a clever story that presents a puzzle.

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"This Journal Belongs to Ratchet" by Nancy J. Cavanaugh (Sourcebooks, $12.99, ages 9 and up): Cavanaugh answers "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" with a home-schooler's thoughts in "This Journal Belongs to Ratchet."

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"How to Read Literature Like a Professor: For Kids" by Thomas C. Foster (HarperCollins, $16.99, ages 8 and up): Foster argues that one of the pleasures of reading is making connections to other books you've read. Foster teaches readers to recognize, for example, when a character's trip to the store is actually a Quest.

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