Summer reading lists

Published June 5, 2013 by Dagmar

I’m finishing up the school year, inventorying books, cataloging my book orders and giving hugs to kids stopping by wondering why we aren’t holding classes.  Once our shelves are filled with new books and we host our fabulous library book giveaway and sale today, it’s time to lock the doors for the summer and read, read, read!

I’ve got a pretty ambitious reading list for this summer.  Here are some of the chapter books I’m looking forward to reading this summer and hopefully recommending to students next school year.  Some of the picks are by authors I love, some were recommended by students, some are simply books on my library shelves that I haven’t read yet, including books sent through my fabulous Junior Library Guild subscriptions, others are award winners.

So many books, so little time! 🙂  Ok, here goes nothing!

PS. Be Eleven – new book by the wonderful author of One Crazy Summer (see my blog article)

Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin – author of the incredible book Bomb: the race to build – and steal – the world’s most dangerous weapon (see my blog article)

Witness, by Karen Hesse – a very moving book about KKK activity in a small town in Vermont in 1924

A Hero’s Guide to Saving the Kingdom by Christopher Healy – when I asked my students about their favorite books of the year, one student enthusiastically recommended this book – a Junior Library Guild selection.

The Robe of Skulls by Vivien French- a popular mystery in my library and a Junior Library Guild selection.

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass – recommended by a young blog reader!

Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse – 1998 Newbery Award winner

Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey – 2012 Michael L. Printz Award winner

Ida B by Katherine Hannigan – a Booklist starred review

One White Dolphin by Gill Lewis – a book for animal lovers – a Junior Library Guild selection

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly – 2010 Newbery Honor book

Kira Kira by Cynthia Kodohata – 2005 Newbery Medal

Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave by Deron R. Hicks and Mark Edward Geyer – a Junior Library Guild selection

Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – a Junior Library Guild selection

I’d love to hear about your top summer reading picks!  Comment with some recommendations, please!

Have a wonderful end of the school year and summer ahead,



8 comments on “Summer reading lists

    • Thanks for writing. I’m happy to share my list. I just finished Witness by Karen Hesse and was really impressed with it. It’s definitely for a middle school and older audience. I’ll write a post to tell you which of the books I’m planning to recommend to my students after I finish my list. Let me know if you read something good.

  • I think you can never be too ambitious when it comes to reading over the summer and I try to promote the same type of attitude in my household with my pre-teen! We are both avid readers and I will definitely share this list with her. I always find that the best option for summer reading is to read them together, either literally, or separately. The point is to discuss the books together. It’s great for connecting with your child and teaching them. My summer book recommendation for you is “The Beat on Ruby’s Street by author Jenna Zark ( I am happy to say that I had a chance to read this great book too! The book is narrated by a precocious eleven-year-old girl Ruby. This coming-of-age tale, set in a world of rebels, rule-breakers and dream makers, is engaging and full of heart! The book takes place in 1958, in Greenwich Village (NYC). Ruby is being raised in the “Beat Generation” or more commonly known as “beatnicks.” She is soon forced into a children’s home after a social worker deems her living situation unsuitable. As an aspiring poet Ruby uses her poetry throughout the book to help her deal with her situation and give her hope. It’s a book that introduces you to a new culture and a character that you root for every step of the way. I recommend it to teens and their parents too!

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