What makes a good summer read? Is it a book that takes place during the summer months? One that evokes the feeling of freedom and fun that summer captures? Maybe it’s a book that takes place at your favorite summer destination, a travel story, or a fluffy beach read.
Because of COVID-19, summer vacations this year may be limited to within your own home. But luckily, the escapist quality of a well-written book can help you and your children experience the magic of summertime and go on an exciting vacation through fiction!
The following ten recommendations are some of the best books for you and your children to read this summer to escape the boredom of staying home, and keep your summertime sunny and fun!
Are We There Yet? – Dan Santat
Nothing says summertime like a good road-trip story! In this delightfully inventive picture book, a boring family road-trip to Grandmother’s house turns exciting when time starts moving backward, all the way back to the time of pirates, dinosaurs, and the ancient Egyptians!
Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum – Meghan McCarthy
In this vibrantly illustrated non-fiction picture book, your child will learn the exciting true history of a beloved treat — bubble gum! Bubble gum as we know and love it was invented in 1928 by a young accountant, but gum has existed for far longer. Even the ancient Greeks chewed gum! Who knows what other neat facts you’ll learn?
The Fossil Girl: Mary Anning’s Dinosaur Discovery – Catherine Brighton
The true story of Mary Anning — the ten-year-old girl who, in 1811, discovered the very first complete Ichthyosaurus fossil! Gorgeously illustrated in a comic-book format, this is a must-read for all dinosaur lovers!
Half-Magic – Edward Eager
One summer, four siblings discover a magic coin that when you make a wish upon it will come true — or at least, halfway. Their mother is transported halfway home. Their cat gains the ability to talk… sometimes. They become stranded in the middle of a desert without island! This is a whimsical classic novel of magic and mayhem from the 1950s that children of all ages will enjoy!
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy – Jeanne Birdsall
Few stories capture the quiet magic of summer vacations quite like The Penderwicks! Follow the story of four sisters and the unforgettable adventures they have and the friends they make while vacationing at the beautiful Arundell Estate.
Hurricane Child – Kacen Callendar
This heartfelt upper-middle grade novel follows Caroline, a 12-year-old girl from the Caribbean. Her mother recently vanished and is trying to come to terms with her grief. Meanwhile, an interesting young girl named Kalinda arrives at her school, and the friendship they forge is life-changing.
With the Fire On High – Elizabeth Acevedo
Emoni Santiago is in her senior year of high school, while also simultaneously caring for her Abuela and her own small daughter. The one place she can truly feel at peace is in her kitchen, where she loves to create the most delicious recipes. Her high school culinary class is planning a trip to Spain, and she desperately wants to go. But what’s the point of dreaming when her future already seems to be set?
Summer of Salt – Katrina Leno
On the island of By-the-Sea live the Fernwehs, a family in which all of the women have magical abilities. But Georgina Fernweh’s 18th birthday is coming up and her magical gift still hasn’t manifested. She fears that she might not have any magic at all. When the 300-year-old bird that has visited their island every summer is found dead, Georgina knows that this is the year that things on the island are going to change forever.
When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon
Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel are to be in an arranged marriage. Rishi is all on board, but Dimple wants nothing more to be rid of her family and their traditions and forge her own path in life. When Dimple and Rishi are both sent to the same web-development summer camp, their parents are hopeful that this will be their chance to grow closer and possibly even fall in love. Dimple and Rishi think they’ve got the other figured out. But will they learn to love each other despite their differences?
The House in the Cerulean Sea – T.J. Klune
Linus Baker works as a caseworker for the Department In Charge of Magical Youth. He loves his job, though he starts to worry when he is assigned his most difficult assignment yet —travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, home to six “highly dangerous” children, and determine whether or not it is safe to keep it running. This is a beautifully heartwarming tale of finding family in the most unexpected of places, and that different isn’t always scary or bad.
Don’t forget to support your local indie bookstores during this pandemic by ordering from them online! Some fantastic resources to use are https://bookshop.org and https://www.indiebound.org, which directly support independent bookstores and keep them open and running during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Happy reading! 🙂
Sarah Cook has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She loves to read, daydream, and fangirl over her favorite anime and manga. As a K – 12 homeschool survivor and graduate, she is currently a creative writing major in college. She hopes to someday travel the world, write bestselling novels, and own 152 cats. You can follow her on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
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