30 summer books that kids will gobble up


Titles to tempt tots to teens: YA stories, middle grade tales and picture books.

Titles to tempt tots to teens: YA stories, middle grade tales and picture books.







Skip to: YA | Middle grade | Picture books


Emmy & Oliver

Robin Benway

HarperTeen, $17.99, ages 12+

The title characters are next-door neighbors and best friends until Oliver is kidnapped by his father at age 7. Ten years later, he returns. (June)

Lois Lane


Gwenda Bond

Switch/Capstone, $16.95, ages 12+

Teenage army brat Lois Lane (yes, that Lois Lane) moves with her family to Metropolis, becomes a fledgling journalist, and takes on local bullies. (Out now)

Drowned City

Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

Don Brown

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18.99, ages 12+

Brown wrote and illustrated this chronicle of the storm that leveled a great American city and the heroes who worked through it to save lives. (August)

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings

A Memoir

Margarita Engle, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez

Atheneum, $17.99, ages 12+

Written in verse, Engle describes her childhood summers in Cuba, where she'd visit her mother's family before the U.S. instituted a travel ban. (August)

Finding Audrey

Sophie Kinsella

Delacorte, $18.99, ages 12+

In this book by the author of the "Shopaholic" series, a teenage girl recovering from depression shoots a documentary about her family while forging a new relationship. (June)

Archivist Wasp

Nicole Kornher-Stace

Big Mouth/Small Beer, $14 paper, ages 12+

Young Wasp is an expert ghost hunter who's grown weary of her job. She enlists the ghost of a soldier to help her escape. (Out now)


Daniel José Older

Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $17.99, ages 14+

A teenage artist in Brooklyn looks forward to painting a mural during her vacation, but zombies and ghosts thwart her plans for a carefree summer. (June)

I Am Princess X

Cherie Priest, illustrations by Kali Ciesemier

Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $18.99, ages 12+

A Seattle teen stumbles across a webcomic apparently based on a character she created with her best friend — who she thought had died years ago. (Out now)

Kissing in America

Margo Rabb

HarperCollins, $17.99, ages 14+

After losing her father in a plane crash, 16-year-old Eva becomes obsessed with romance novels and takes a cross-country trip to reunite with the boy she loves. (Out now)

More Happy Than Not

Adam Silvera

Soho Teen, $18.99, ages 14+

In the Bronx of the future, teenager Aaron Soto considers having his memory erased after his father's suicide and his recent realization that he's gay. (June)

Because You'll Never Meet Me

Leah Thomas

Bloomsbury, $17.99, ages 14+

Two boys forced to live in isolation from society — one has epilepsy, one has heart disease — form a friendship by exchanging letters. (June)

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Middle grade

Circus Mirandus

Cassie Beasley

Dial, $17.99, ages 9-12

Ten-year-old Micah Tuttle loves his grandfather's tall tales about the magical Circus Mirandus and is shocked when he finds out the stories are actually true. (June)


Cynthia DeFelice

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99, ages 8-12

Two 11-year-old boys spend their summer camping out in a fort they've built in the woods. But who's responsible for repeatedly vandalizing their makeshift cabin? (Out now)

Lost in the Sun

Lisa Graff

Philomel, $16.99, ages 10+

After 12-year-old Trent is involved in a freak accident that kills his hockey teammate, he's filled with depression and rage. Can his new classmate Fallon help? (out now)

Wild Boy and the Black Terror

Rob Lloyd Jones, illustrations by Owen Davey

Candlewick, $16.99, ages 10+

Freak show star Wild Boy and his pal, acrobat Clarissa, have escaped the circus and are now on the trail of a madman spreading insanity through the streets of Victorian London. (Out now)

Bayou Magic

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Little, Brown, $17, ages 8-12

Maddy visits her grandmother and falls in love with the Louisiana bayou. But she'll need a little magic to save the town from an oil spill. (Out now)

Another Kind of Hurricane

Tamara Ellis Smith

Schwartz & Wade, $16.99, ages 9-12

Two 10-year-old boys — an African American Katrina refugee in Louisiana and a white boy in Vermont who's lost his best friend — cross paths in an unexpected way. (July)

Return to Augie Hobble

Lane Smith

Roaring Brook, $16.99, ages 8-12

A boy has to deal with summer school, a lousy job at an amusement park and bullies — and then things get much, much darker. (Out now)


M.M. Vaughan

Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster, $16.99, ages 8-12

A brother and sister from a telepathic family search for their missing father, with a little help from a friend (and a friendly pig). (Out now)

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Picture books

Granddaddy's Turn

A Journey to the Ballot Box

Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein, illustrations by James E. Ransome

Candlewick, $16.99, ages 6-9

In the Jim Crow south, a young boy accompanies his grandfather to the polls for the first time after African Americans are given the right to vote. (July)

Super Fly

The World's Smallest Superhero!

Todd H. Doodler

Bloomsbury, $15.99, ages 5-7

He's a nerd! He's an inventor! And he's a housefly! Fourth-grade insect Eugene Flystein has to deal with his bully, an ill-tempered, suddenly strong cockroach. (out now)

The Great and Mighty Nikko

Xavier Garza

Cinco Puntos, $16.95, ages 3-7

¡Uno, dos, tres luchadores! This bilingual counting book features the title boy whose mom doesn't believe his claims that his bed is secretly a magical wrestling ring. (August)

The Night World

Mordicai Gerstein

Little, Brown, $18, ages 3-6

A young boy's cat awakens him in the middle of the night to lead him on an exploration of the world outside and the magic a sunset can bring. (June)

Poems in the Attic

Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

Lee & Low, $19.95, ages 6-10

A girl finds a box of poems written by her mother as a child, chronicling her girlhood spent moving around the world with her Air Force family. (May)


Ethan Long

Abrams Appleseed, $7.95, ages 6 months+

From owls to cows, from ducks to yaks, this board book written in short, rhyming couplets introduces children to the sounds animals make. (Out now)

Where Are My Books?

Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Simon & Schuster, $17.99, ages 4-8

Young reading fan Spencer isn't happy when his favorite book, "Night-Night, Narwhal," goes missing. When more volumes disappear, he decides to investigate. (Out now)

Ballet Cat

The Totally Secret Secret

Bob Shea

Disney-Hyperion, $9.99, ages 6-8

Single-minded Ballet Cat and her BFF Sparkles the Pony play their ballet game every day until it starts to wear thin for the polka-dotted little horse. (Out now)

One Family

George Shannon, illustrations by Blanca Gomez

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99, ages 4-8

Not just a counting book, Shannon's latest teaches children that families come in all colors, configurations, and, yes, numbers. (Out now)

Ice Cream Summer

Peter Sis

Scholastic, $17.99, ages 4-8

Everyone loves ice cream, especially Joe, who writes a letter to his grandfather telling him everything he's learned — all ice cream-related — over the summer. (Out now)

Interstellar Cinderella

Deborah Underwood, illustrations by Meg Hunt

Chronicle, $16.99, ages 3-5

Cinderella is reimagined as an independent pink-haired rocket ship mechanic; the prince depends on her to fix and pilot his spaceship. (Out now)

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