Simone Elkeles - NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
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How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
Read the other books in the series:
How does a fashionista teen end up on a farm in the middle of Israel with her estranged father? Oy, vey doesn’t even come close to describing it.

Moshav? What’s a moshav? Is it “shopping mall” in Hebrew? I mean, from what Jessica was telling me, Israeli stores have the latest fashions from Europe. That black dress Jessica has is really awesome. I know I’d be selling out if I go with the Sperm Donor to a mall, but I keep thinking about all the great stuff I could bring back home.

Unfortunately for 16-year-old Amy Nelson, “moshav” is not Hebrew for “shopping mall.” Not even close. Think goats, not Gucci.

Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She’s got a serious grudge against her dad, a.k.a. “Sperm Donor,” for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he’s dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she’s never known, where she’ll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she’ll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer—no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone…

Goodbye pride—hello Israel.

 ISBN:  978-0-7387-0961-1
      You can buy it online at:

Simone Elkeles at Simone Elkeles at Barnes & Noble Simone Elkeles at Target Simone Elkeles at

Also available on itunes: ebook

Click here to read the first chapter!

  • 2013 YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults
  • 2008 – 2009 Illinois Read for a Lifetime Reading List
  • #3 on the 2007 YALSA Teens Top Ten List
  • 2007 Silver medal in the (IPPY’s)independent publisher book awards in the Multicultural Children’s fiction category
  • Finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest
  • Finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards
  • Finalist in the Aspen Gold book awards
  • Listed in the Remarkable Reads section of School Library Journal
  • 2004 Winner, Chick Lit Stiletto contest
  • Listed as a feature Young Adult book on the Anti-Defamation League website


Italy: Falzea  Editore
Croatia: Knijiga  U Centru

“I had a wonderful time reading How to Ruin a Summer Vacation.  Simone Elkeles has a terrific voice and a terrific heroine in Amy!”
• Jennifer Crusie, NY Times Bestselling author

“How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, no doubt, was the greatest book I’ve read in a long time.”
• Randstostipher Nguyen, reviewer, Teens Read Too

“How to Ruin a Summer Vacation is the best teen comedy/romance of the year and will leave readers breathlessly awaiting its sequel, How to Ruin my Teenage Life, due out in summer 2007. Look out Edward Cullen! Avi’s on his way!”
• Marla Arbach, reviewer, Young Adult Books Central

“This book is sure to please readers looking for a fun read that also digs deeper into complex emotions.”
• Stephanie Squicciarini, Teen Services Librarian, Fairport Public Library, New York (KLIATT magazine)

“This is a fun read and a page turner – and a very interesting look at life in another side of the world!”
• Jocelyn Pearce, Teen Book Reviewer

“What a fun book! Simone Elkeles writes characters you’ll want to be friends with – funny, snarky and smart. You’ll be laughing and cheering for Amy all the way to the last page.”
• Lauren Barnholdt, author of Reality Chick, Teen People Magazine’s Can’t-Miss Pick

“Fresh, fun and fabulous! Guaranteed NOT to ruin your summer vacation!”
• Mari Mancusi, author of teen novel Boys that Bite

“I loved this book! It has all the ingredients of a great read and left me wanting to read more.”
• Jackie Harris, owner, Under the Sycamore Tree book store

“How to Ruin a Summer Vacation brings us a complex and fascinating teen who, despite her expectation, has the type of summer any girl should envy!”
• Diana Peterfreund, author of Secret Society Girl

“There’s amusement in watching Amy bounce from one cultural mishap to another making this a breezy read.”
• The Center for Children’s Books

“Simone Elkeles is a new addition to my keeper shelf – this author rocks!”
• Jax Abbott/Alyssa Day, NY Times bestselling author of SUPER WHAT? and Atlantis Rising

“Through the teenage Israeli characters especially, traits such as love of country, determination to outlast their enemies, and a desire for a normal life are shown.”
• Linda Silver, reviewer, AJL Newsletter

“I highly recommend How to Ruin a Summer Vacation.  It reads easily, as if watching a good coming-of-age movie.”
• Michele Pinczuk, reviewer, JVIBE magazine

“With just a touch of spice to the romance, this fast read is good for public and school libraries.”  

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