The school year is just about over, but the learning doesn’t have to stop. In fact, let the learning and fun continue with these engaging books to add to your kids’ summer reading list this year. We’ve rounded up books for young readers of all ages to enjoy, from picture books to novels and everything in between. Kids can read these books on road trips, at the beach or at home to enjoy a wonderful summer, cover to cover!
Kids’ Summer Reading List: Ages 4 and older
By Patty Cisneros Prevo; illustrated by Dion MBD
In her debut picture book Tenacious, Patty Cisneros Prevo, a first-generation Mexican American writer and two-time Paralympic gold medalist, shares how a disability or disadvantage does not hold us back from those dreams. Tenacious is an introduction to the diversity of disability, adaptive sport, and the many experiences within the disabled community. As a former elementary teacher and (at the time) new mom, Cisneros Prevo noticed a large gap in children’s literature around diversity, particularly disability. She saw this as an opportunity to write about the community that changed her life – adaptive sports. Though the book is focused on this community, Patty’s aim is for all to understand that having limitations (physical, environment, financial, or mental challenges) does not mean we are held back. (Available June 27; ages 4-10)
By Julie Anne and Darren Penn; illustrated by Sergio De Giorgi
Team Supercrew books are designed to help kids understand their emotions. Fear, bravery and kindness are just a few of the themes covered in the series. Key messages throughout the books introduce kids to the concept that “our thoughts create our feelings.” While this idea can be tricky for kids to understand, the books minimize its complexity through engaging storylines and colorful illustrations designed to grab a child’s attention. (Ages 4 and older)
By Jason Kraus; illustrated by Connor DeHaan
This picture book, based on a true story, shares the uplifting tale of PT the rescue dog. PT faces many challenges in life, but never gives up! With the powers of positivity and determination, he overcomes a neglectful family, life as a shelter dog and even the loss of his leg! Find out how the incredible three-legged rescue regains his ability to run free, all while educating and inspiring children in schools and community centers along the way. (Ages 4 and older)
Written and illustrated by Aura Lewis
In this engaging, fresh take on emotional intelligence, Kaia relates all her feelings to various types of cats. Cheetah is fast and fearless, Leopard loves the spotlight, Puma is wild and carefree, but Tiger has a temper. The purrfect introduction to emotional intelligence for kids, the book will have readers of all kinds exploring how they’re feline. (Available Aug. 29; ages 3-8)
By Markette Shepard; illustrated by Robert Paul, Jr.
This one’s not coming out until late summer/early fall, but it’s definitely worth a mention. In the book, Nathaniel Brown is a 10-year-old who eats, plays and sleeps in his Ninja suit, so much so that his friends call him Ninja Nate. And he doesn’t plan on stopping for his first day of fifth grade, especially when he has been hiding his robotic leg under his ninja costume. His friends may know about his accident, but they’ve never seen the new him. What if they treat him differently? Ninja Nate is about the extraordinary courage that children with disabilities summon to deal with circumstances that may seem ordinary to the majority. (Available Sept. 26; ages 4-8)
By Britannica Group
Uncover some fun facts for your kids’ summer reading list! What did the world’s first playgrounds look like? What do families all over the world eat for breakfast? How did dinosaurs look after their babies? In this compendium of 5-minute really true stories you will meet all types of family—human and animal!—and learn about the many ways they spend time together. From family bicycle rides to animal migrations, and from tidy up time to cozying up with pets, discover the amazing science and history of family activities. With up-to-the-minute, expert information and stunning illustrations, this book will bring out the joy of the everyday things we do at family time.
By Maria Dellaventura; illustrated by Mykhailo Ridkous
Here’s another one for your kids’ summer reading list from a Staten Island author! Cute, humorous and packed with adventure that readers will enjoy–especially if they love animals. But as fun as it is to follow Sneaky Seymour through his antics, there’s something bigger about the book. Messages of love and the importance of teamwork resonate cover to cover. Without giving away too much more of the plot, readers might be surprised to learn who the real pest is by the time they finish the book. (Ages 2-8)
Kids’ Summer Reading List: Tweens and Teens
By Ann Braden
This new story follows Agnes who has been taught to not challenge authority by her mom, but she starts to question things when she and her neighbor Gracy rescue an opossum together. Playing dead didn’t serve the opossum well, so maybe it’s time for Agnes to start thinking for herself. This leads Agnes and her friends to get out of their comfort zone and question their teachers, specifically in religion class where she learns personal beliefs can change and develop over time.
By Sarah Maslin Nir, reporter at the New York Times; illustrated by Laylie Frazier
The human protagonist in the story, Sarah, is inspired by Maslin Nir and the writing challenges she faced growing up. Meanwhile, the horse—named Trendsetter—has his own obstacles to overcome. When the two meet, they learn something invaluable: What is important in life isn’t greatness. It’s being great at being you.
By Kathryn Bury
Here’s a mystery for your kids’ summer reading list! After breaking school rules the last time she solved a mystery, Drew Leclair has a new mission: get good grades, stay under the radar and do not get suspended. But when Drew finds out that there’s a thief breaking into the P.E. lockers and leaving behind cryptic ransom notes, it’s hard to resist cracking a new case. Especially when one of the victims is her best friend Shrey’s crush, and he’s practically begging her to get involved. Can Drew catch the thief red-handed while staying out of trouble? And what does it mean when everyone around Drew is obsessing over crushes and the upcoming Wonderland dance, and Drew would rather work on her latest crime board?
By Leon Logothetis, host of The Kindness Diaries on Discovery+
A read for teens that works to empower them to become confident and brave young adults. His own journey of self-discovery inspires Logothetis’ book as he learned to be brave in order to overcome mental health obstacles in his own life.
By Max Brallier
Jack, Quint, June and Dirk are about to face a challenge unlike any they’ve faced before. At their local comic book store, the kids make a startling discovery: they’ve read every last issue of their favorite comic, Z-Man, and no new issues are coming…ever! They have but one choice: continue Z-Man’s legacy by writing and illustrating their own comic book! Step one? Knock off their beloved Z-Man and cast themselves as super rad, super goofy, superhero protectors of the mysterious city of Apocalyptia. What could possibly go wrong? Just about everything!
By Jarrett Lerner
A young boy struggles with body image in this poignant middle grade journey to self-acceptance told through prose, verse, and illustration.
By Elizabeth Santiago; illustrated by McKenzie Mayle
The story centers around 14-year-old Taína Perez who, despite her name, doesn’t resonate with the historical meaning of it or have a connection with that in her present-day life on the mainland in the United States. That all changes when her grandmother gives her an ancient amulet passed on to her by her mother that dates to pre-colonial Hispaniola. Taína learns that she is the direct descendant of Anacaona, a fierce Taíno warrior, and that her destiny is to pick up where Anacaona left off. That is a tall order considering the issues Taína must contend with her family and society.
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