Interesting Books for Your Summer Reading

My summer essentials? Sunscreen, lots of yummy fruit, and a good book. Right now I’m reading Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, which is known for kick-starting the environmental movement in the United States. Summer is the perfect time to start a new book (or five!), but sometimes it’s hard choosing one to start, especially if you’re not someone who reads often. And sometimes, if you’re an avid reader, it’s easy to get stuck reading the same type of book again and again. So, I decided to write this blog hoping to ease some of these struggles with summer reading.

I took a trip to my local library and found books with unique, exciting, innovative storylines and characters.  I looked for books that were challenging and compelling but also just enjoyable to read. I’ve made a list of different, interesting books for ages K-12 that were my favorites for each age group:

Elementary School (K-3): If I had a little dream, written by Nina Laden and illustrated by Melissa Castrillon

If I had a little dream is a picture book that follows a young girl through her imagination, thinking of all the comforting and joyful aspects of her life. Its upbeat rhymes and beautiful, bold illustrations make it an easy, enjoyable read. Kindergartners and other early readers would enjoy reading this with an adult, while first, second, and third graders could try to write their own poems or draw their own interpretations of their lives, based on the style presented by Laden and Castrillon.

Late Elementary School/Early Middle School (Grades 3-6): Flying Lessons & Other Stories, edited by Ellen Oh

This book is a compilation of short stories written by a diverse and talented set of authors: Kwame Alexander, Kelly J. Baptist, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson. I really liked the fact that all of the stories were so different from one another and yet had a common thread of identity and growing up. Because it’s broken up into smaller sections, it’s a book that even students who dislike reading will be able to get through- and enjoy!

Middle School (6-8): Girl with a Camera by Carolyn Meyer

This novel profiles the adventures of Margaret Bourke-White, a famous American photographer who reported on WWII and other important international events. Anyone who is interested in photography, history, and/or a character who “loved being a trailblazer, not only in the field of photography but as a woman finding success in a man’s world” would appreciate this fascinating story for their summer reading.

High School (9-12): Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan tells the story of Evangeline Riley, a 16 year old who lives in the area of Louisiana that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. While tackling issues such as refugee policies and finding community despite adversity, O’Sullivan’s novel is also extremely relatable for young adults. It somehow balances difficult social issues and common high school experiences, like falling in love. I highly recommend this new novel for high schoolers looking for a complex but accessible summer read.

And if you want even more suggestions:

Imagination Soup

American Library Association

Common Sense Media

New York Public Library

 

Do you have any other recommendations? Have you read any of these books? Let us know in the comments!

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