Reading List Grade 3–5

Summer Reading List

Reading can be one of the many fun activities children choose to fill their summer time. Research has shown it is also much more! Children who participate in public library summer reading programs make achievement leaps during the summer and score higher on fall reading achievement tests. The books on this list come highly recommended by kid readers from all over the country and may also be available in ebook, audio book, braille, and large print formats. This summer, take your child to participate in the summer programs happening at your library.

Aquicorn Cove
by Katie O’Neill, illustrated by the author

ONI, 2018
ISBN: 9781620105290

Lana discovers the Aquicorns, magical sea-dwelling creatures who need her help to stop the overfishing that is destroying their home.

The Book of Boy
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

ISBN: 9780062686206

In 1350, Boy, an orphaned servant, is hired to accompany a shadowy pilgrim on an action-filled quest across medieval Europe for the seven relics of St. Peter.

The Cardboard Kingdom
by Chad Sell, illustrated by the author

KNOPF, 2018
ISBN: 9781524719371

A diverse group of kids create their own world of play and safe self-expression using a little cardboard and a lot of imagination.

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
by Rita Williams-Garcia, illustrated by Frank Morrison

ISBN: 9780062215918

When his beloved grandfather, the blues man Cool Papa Byrd, dies suddenly, Clayton’s anger and misplaced alliances get him into trouble. This story of family grief, reconciliation, and the power of music is set in New York City.

Front Desk
by Kelly Yang

ISBN: 9781338157796

A young girl and her family manage a motel and adjust to a new life in America after emigrating from China.

by John David Anderson

ISBN: 9780062643865

What happens when you make a wish? In this story, it may get assigned to a fairy whose job is to make it come true, even if it almost kills her.

Indian No More
by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell

TU, 2019,
ISBN: 9781620148396

Ten-year-old Regina Petit is Umpqua and lives on the Grand Ronde reservation. When the federal government signs a bill saying Regina’s tribe no longer exists, Regina struggles to understand what it means to be “Indian no more.”

Knights vs. Dinosaurs
by Matt Phelan, illustrated by the author

ISBN: 9780062686237

Action and comedy rule when boasting sends four of King Arthur’s knights back in time to battle a legion of “terrible lizards.”

The Last Last-Dayof-Summer
by Lamar Giles, illustrations by Dapo Adeola

ISBN: 9781328460837

On the last day of summer, local crime-solving celebrities and cousins Sheed and Otto encounter members of an interdimensional community battling between good and evil. The boys join the fight when they accidentally freeze time.

The Lost Girl
by Anne Ursu

ISBN: 9780062275097

Twins Iris and Lark are challenged by their first school year in separate classrooms, as well as a mystery involving crows, missing belongings, and a strange new shop in their town.

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

ISBN: 9781338157864

In this magical story, Maximiliano Córdoba goes on a dangerous journey armed only with a compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and the legends Buelo told about traveling mythical gatekeepers.

Other Words for Home
by Jasmine Warga

ISBN: 9780062747808

In this novel in verse, 12-yearold Jude does her best to adjust to American life after she and her mother travel alone to live with relatives as violence approaches their home city in Syria.

The Parker Inheritance
by Varian Johnson

ISBN: 9780545946179

Candice would rather be home in Atlanta with her friends this summer, instead of where she is, in her grandmother’s small town of Lambert, South Carolina. But the discovery of clues to an intricate puzzle entwined in the town’s complicated history could lead to a hidden fortune.

Rocket to the Moon! Big Ideas That Changed the World
by Don Brown, illustrated by the author


Taking readers through the history of rocket building, this title explores the people and technology that made the moon landing possible. First in a series.

Ruby in the Sky
by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo

ISBN: 9780374309053

Ruby knows that she and her mom will not be living in Vermont for long, so she is determined to not get attached. When her mom is  arrested, she realizes they will be there a bit longer than she originally planned.

Sanity & Tallulah
by Molly Brooks, illustrated by the author

ISBN: 9781368008440

Two best friends decide to engineer a three-headed kitten named Princess Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds. If only her name didn’t turn out to be a little too appropriate.

Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome
by Monica Brown and Sarai Gonzalez, illustrated by Christine Almeda

ISBN: 9781338236682

For Sarai, awesome means amazing, love, family, and fun… and it’s going to take all that and more to help save the day.

The Simple Art of Flying
by Cory Leonardo

ISBN: 9781534420991

A pair of brother-and-sister parrots navigate the perils of living in a pet shop, which means trying to stay together while also spreading their wings. Told from the perspective of the brother parrot, this book offers  a unique perspective on relationships and coming of age.

Stanley Will Probably Be Fine
by Sally J. Pla, illustrated by Steve Wolfhard

ISBN: 9780062445797

Stanley struggles to fit in, so he creates an imaginary superhero named John Lockdown who helps him compete in Trivia Quest, a comics-trivia scavenger hunt.

Sweeping Up the Heart
by Kevin Henkes

ISBN: 9780062852540

Amelia is disappointed to be stuck at home for spring break, but when she meets a new friend at a local art studio who claims to see the spirit of her dead mother, the week takes an exciting turn.

Sweep: The Story of a
Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

ISBN: 9781419731402

Nan is an orphan living alone and working in a dangerous, cruel world. She discovers a friendly monster, and together they try to start a new life.

To Night Owl from Dogfish
by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

DIAL, 2019
ISBN: 9780525553236

Twelve-year-olds Avery and Bett discover their dads are dating and plan to send the girls to summer camp to meet, while they vacation in China. The girls develop a long-distance friendship via email and letters, first to thwart their fathers’ plans and then to reunite them when the men break up.

by Elise Allen

ISBN: 9781368008624

Twin princesses must save their mother after magic resurfaces in their kingdom; they do so with the help of some newfound friends, a brave servant and his black kitten.

We’re Not from Here
by Geoff Rodkey

CROWN, 2019
ISBN: 9781524773045

Follow the story of a family from Earth who moves to a new planet in this sci-fi adventure that explores concepts such as immigration, culture shock, and a galaxy of differences.

What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting Our Planet
by Jess French

ISBN: 9781465481412

What can we do to keep our home, planet Earth, healthy?

Click here to download the booklet
The 2019 Summer Reading Book List was created by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Titles on this list were selected by members of ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee.


Back to Summer Reading Program