Kids + Teens

Our Top 10 Summer Reads for Kids

With the school year on its last legs, now is the time to start stocking up your bookshelves in anticipation of lazy adventures, beach days, and (hopefully) cool evenings. Read on for our top ten recommendations for a summer reading list.

Wave by Suzy Lee

Wave by Suzy Lee

In this beautifully choreographed wordless book, a girl dances with the tide and discovers gifts from the sea. Perfect for readers young and old, Wave is a gorgeous paean to summertime and the power of the ocean.


The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman, illustrated by Komako Sakai

The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman

This magical and tender picture book follows a boy and girl into the woods. What do they find when they get there? A group of little foxes clumsily jumping rope! The relationship that blossoms is full of surprises.


I Wrote You a Note by Lizi Boyd

I Wrote You A Note by Lizi Boyd

Follow the path of a note as it gets passed along, small paw to tiny claw, until it reaches its destination. Lizi Boyd’s bright palette and lovable animals make this book a perfect outdoor read in the park.


Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner

Perfect for introducing the secret and hidden worlds that live right under our noses, this book will have young readers looking at the natural world in entirely new ways. Read right before a kayaking or canoeing trip.

Be sure to check out the entire series, too: Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt.

Over and Under series


A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum. . . by Davide Cali, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud

A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum by Davide Cali

When I was a kid, summertime meant trips to the Museum of Natural History, where a perfect afternoon involved getting lost in the dinosaur exhibits and the Hall of Ocean Life. In the latest installment to the hilariously rambunctious I Didn’t Do My Homework Because. . . series, unflappable narrator Henry is off to the museum, where unbelievable hi-jinks promptly ensue. Inspire kids to plan their next visit to the museum with this page-turner of a picture book.


Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So

Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs

The soothing sights and sounds of the ocean (and the myriad creatures who live in it) are captured in this set of poems. This book is great for curling up together for a quiet read-aloud in a porch swing or a favorite armchair after a long beach day.


Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder

Talk to some lumps? Check. Get your friends on board with a neighborhood party? Check. Sell some rocks and eat a bedtime banana? Check and check. In this beginning chapter book series, siblings Charlie and Mouse will capture the imaginations of kid readers.


How to Speak Baseball by James Charlton + Sally Cook, illustrated by Ross MacDonald

How to Speak Baseball by James Charlton and Sally Cook

If a tour of baseball stadiums is on your agenda this summer, or you have a Little Leaguer in your life, be sure to share this illustrated guide to ballpark banter. Chock full of colorful imagery, it’ll help you understand the in(nings) and outs of this classic sport.


The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

Too hot outside? Need an escape to someplace cooler—a lot cooler—like the misty streets and hills of Edinburgh? The Falconer Trilogy just might be your jam. This Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style series features a swashbuckling heroine, a seriously witty sidekick, and too many evil Faeries to count. We can’t wait for the finale The Fallen Kingdom to come out in July. Plan to binge-read this trilogy on the beach.


Explorers’ Sketchbooks by Kari Herbert + Huw Lewis-Jones

Explorers' Sketchbooks by Kari Herbert and Huw Lewis-Jones

Extra credit! Each spread of this fabulous tome is a doorway into an archive filled with lush naturalist paintings, scribbled maps, and photographs from the sketchbooks of explorers both legendary and lesser-known. These explorers encourage us to see the unseen, to keep an open mind to new cultures, and to travel past the limits of our horizons.

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Here’s to a summer full of spectacular adventures, and boundless reading!

Photography by Jenna Homen

Jaime Wong

Marketing Manager, Children's, East Coast transplant, and former teacher.
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  • KRISTINA PADEN July 20, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Wonderful List. Hope you bring us more! It is totally helpful when you are looking for books that kids and teens will love to read and fall in love with.


  • Janice Turner July 22, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Really great post. This answered the majority of my questions. When I read this I actually opened up a word document and started taking notes haha.


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