10 Books to Read For a Summer Escape!

June 30, 2021

Summer Escape Reads


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.

Even if your summer vacation plans this year are limited to staycations, the escapist quality of a well-written book can still help you and your children experience the magic of summertime. 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!

Picture Books

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!


Middle Grade

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! – Jessica Kim

This is the story of a shy, awkward Korean-American girl who dreams of being a stand-up comedian. One day, she discovers that her favorite YouTubers are hosting a comedy summer camp! However, her parents want her to spend the summer studying hard for an important scholarship. While she attends the camp in secret, everyone mistakes her for a girl named Kay Nakamura. Should she keep pretending to be this other girl, or reveal the truth and risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone?

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.


Young Adult and Adult

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?

Blazewrath Games – Amparo Ortiz

Enter an alternate version of our world in which the most popular international sport involves dragon riding! Lana Torres has always dreamed of representing Puerto Rico in the Blazewrath World Cup. But what starts as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity soon becomes a nightmare when an evil dragon called the Sire vows to do whatever it takes to ensure the Cup is canceled forever.

The Girl from the Sea – Molly Knox Ostertag

This graphic novel, follows 15-year-old Morgan who is desperate to finish high school and finally leave the island she calls home. When a mysterious girl named Keltie rescues her from drowning, suddenly life on her island isn’t as bad. But both girls are keeping secrets, and as their relationship blooms their secrets are more and more difficult to keep.


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 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 as the COVID-19 pandemic has probably done a number on their sales.  

Happy reading! 🙂 


See also: Read Aloud Book Club Pack

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.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

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