Summer Reading List
Reading can be one of the many fun activities children choose to fill their summer time. ResGrades 6-8earch 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.
All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team
by Christina Soontornvat
This multi-award-winning nonfiction book tracks the survival story of a Thai boys’ soccer team, showing both the challenges facing rescuers and the bravery and ingenuity of those trapped in a flooded cave.
Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir
by Robin Ha
BALZER + BRAY/HARPER ALLEY, 2020
A graphic novel memoir recounting the author’s experience as a middle-schooler uprooted from her home in South Korea to live in Alabama, and the power of the arts to connect us.
Amari and the Night Brothers
by B. B. Alston
BALZER & BRAY, 2021
After Amari’s brother disappears, she is nominated to train at the secret government organization he worked for. At this camp, Amari learns she is a magician and trains to be a junior agent for the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. First in a series.
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids
Edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith
An anthology of intersecting stories by Native authors about families from Nations across the U.S. and Canada as they gather at an intertribal powwow to honor Native traditions.
Beetle & the Hollowbones
by Aliza Layne
Teen goblin and witch-in-training Beetle uses her wits and magical powers to save her friend Blob Ghost from being destroyed by her ex–best friend Kat’s aunt’s dastardly plans in this rollicking graphic novel.
Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls
by Kaela Rivera
Cece walks the fine line between humans and creaturas (powerful spirits) on her search to rescue her sister from an evil spirit. Traveling a dangerous desert, Cece finds a kind spirit to help her on the way.
by Kate Messner
Mia moves to Vermont to help her grandmother with her cricket farm. She joins a STEM and Ninja Warrior camp and starts to become more empowered to deal with sexual harassment from a gymnastics coach.
by Ernesto Cisneros
QUILL TREE BOOKS, 2020
When 12-year-old Efrén’s mother is sent back to Mexico by U.S. authorities, his life becomes increasingly difficult. Hope lives in Efrén’s heart as long as there’s a chance his family can be reunited.
Everything Sad Is Untrue
by Daniel Nayeri
LEVINE QUERIDO, 2020
Daniel, an Iranian refugee, struggles to fit in with his Oklahoma community. Through the lens of Scheherazade’s One Thousand and One Nights, Daniel weaves stories about his past.
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Through a hard childhood, Della has always relied on her older sister, Suki. When their mom’s boyfriend does something awful, the sisters run away and must start a new life in a foster home, but their past still haunts them both.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
by Janae Marks
KATHERINE TEGEN BOOKS, 2020
Zoe has a lot of things on her plate: an important internship at a bakery, which would help her get onto a kid’s baking television show, and secret communication with her father, who is imprisoned but may be innocent. Zoe must balance her baking with proving her father didn’t do the crime he was convicted of.
King and the Dragonflies
by Kacen Callender
King is convinced his brother who died has returned as a dragonfly. In confronting his grief, King also must navigate a changed relationship with his parents and evolving feelings for his best friend, the son of the town’s racist sheriff.
Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance
by Nikki Grimes
This collection of poems styled with the Golden Shovel poetic method uses the original works of female poets of the Harlem Renaissance coupled with new poems written by Grimes.
by Eden Royce
WALDEN POND, 2021
In 1963 South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, begin to learn the legacy of their family: rootwork, Gullah Geechee folk magic.
Show Me a Sign
by Ann Clare LeZotte
The year is 1805, and eleven-year-old Mary lives in a small, isolated community where almost everyone is fluent in sign language. She’s unaware of the prejudices against Deaf people, until a stranger visits her town.
by Lisa Fipps
NANCY PAULSEN BOOKS, 2021
A body-positive novel in verse about a middle-schooler, Ellie, who, with the help of her therapist, begins standing up for herself against those who bully Ellie for her size—including confronting the worst tormentor of all, her mother.
Tracking Pythons: The Quest to Catch an Invasive Predator and Save an Ecosystem
by Kate Messner
How do you catch an animal that is so good at hiding? You enlist the help of those you’ve already captured. Accompany researchers as they work to control the numbers of pythons in Florida in this book filled with photos, diagrams, and QR codes for online videos.
The 2021 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.