Kids + Teens

19 Summer Reads for Kids + Young Adults

This list (sorted by age from youngest to oldest readers) will fill your summer days with glee—from reading in the car, on vacation, or snuggling up in bed after a long day of warm sun and play.

 

1. Cycle City

Cycle City by Alison Farrell

Cycle City by Alison Farrell

Richard Scarry fans, rejoice! Cycle City by Alison Farrell is a delightful seek-and-find book about an unusual animal-filled town where everyone rides some kind of bike.
Age: 2-5 years | Find it here

 

2. A Bear Sat on My Porch Today

A Bear Sat on My Porch Today by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Rilla Alexandra

A Bear Sat on My Porch Today by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Rilla Alexandra

A Bear Sat on My Porch Today by Jane Yolen and Rilla Alexandra is a hilarious, cumulative tale of reluctant hospitality and generous inclusivity—all because a bear sat on a porch and refused to leave.
Age: 2-5 years | Find it here

 

3. Forever or a Day

Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby

Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby

Is this what forever feels like? The gorgeous picture book Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby follows the conversation between parent and child across the course of a single day—ultimately celebrating the time we have with the ones we love.
Age: 3-5 years | Find it here

 

4. Hello Hello

Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel

Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel

In Brendan Wenzel’s picture book Hello Hello, a chain of animals are linked together by at least one common trait. From simple colors and shapes to more abstract associations, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world.
Age: 3-6 years | Find it here

 

5. I Really Want to See you, Grandma

I Really Want to See You, Grandma by author-illustrator Taro Gomi

I Really Want to See You, Grandma by author-illustrator Taro Gomi

Yumi and her grandmother have the same great idea: they want to see each other. But when they each head out to do just that, they completely miss each other along the way. I Really Want to See You, Grandma by author-illustrator Taro Gomi is an action-packed story that sweetly (and humorously) celebrates the powerful grandparent-child bond.
Age: 3-6 years | Find it here

 

6. Old MacDonald Had a Boat

Old Macdonald Had a Boat Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban

Old Macdonald Had a Boat Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban

With a “bang bang” here and a “buzz buzz” there, this silly, summery sequel to the wildly popular Old MacDonald Had a Truck will have the whole family singing along. Written by Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban, Old MacDonald Had a Boat is the perfect read before a fishing trip, lake visit, or any warm day.
Age: 3-6 years | Find it here

 

7. Everything You Need for a Treehouse

Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins and Emily Hughes

Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins and Emily Hughes

Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins and Emily Hughes gives life and meaning to all the requisite elements of a treehouse: from time, timber, and rafters to ropes of twisted twine that invite visitors to sprawl out on a limb and slide back down again. Adventure is just around the corner with a treehouse.
Age: 4-8 years | Find it here

 

8. Mabel and Sam at Home

Mabel and Sam at Home by Linda Urban and Hadley Hooper

Mabel and Sam at Home by Linda Urban and Hadley Hooper

In this three-part picture book of moving house and imaginative play by Linda Urban and Hadley Hooper, Mabel and Sam sail the high seas of their new home; tour the intriguing museum of their living room; journey through outer space to the safety of their own beds; and discover how far afield—and how close to home—imagination can take them.
Age: 4-8 years | Find it here

 

9. Charlie and Mouse

Charlie and Mouse by Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes

Charlie and Mouse by Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes

 

This 2018 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner explores the antics brothers Charlie and Mouse get into: like talking to lumps, taking the neighborhood to a party, selling some rocks, and inventing the bedtime banana. With imagination and humor, Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes paint a lively picture of childhood.
Age: 4-8 years | Find it here

 

10. Aquarium

Aquarium by Cynthia Alonso

Aquarium by Cynthia Alonso

In Aquarium, a girl ventures to the water’s edge, dreaming of a new friend—and just like that, a beguiling red fish leaps into her life. From debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso comes a wordless picture book about the timeless beauty of nature, the transcendent power of connection, and the importance of letting go.
Age: 5-6 years | Find it here

 

11. Ta-Da!

Ta-Da! by Kathy Ellen Davis and Kaylani Juanit

Ta-Da! by Kathy Ellen Davis and Kaylani Juanit

What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it’s a princess with magical powers that can overcome any obstacle, but her friend thinks it’s a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that causes total chaos. Ta-Da! by Kathy Ellen Davis and Kaylani Juanita is an irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration.
Age: 5-6 years | Find it here

 

12. Fox + Chick: The Party

Fox + Chick: The Party by Sergio Ruzzier

Fox + Chick: The Party by Sergio Ruzzier

Fox and Chick don’t always agree. But Fox and Chick are always friends. With sly humor and companionable warmth, Sergio Ruzzier deftly captures the adventures of these two seemingly opposite friends in Fox + Chick: The Party.
Age: 5-8 years | Find it here

 

13. Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Juipers and Diana Toledano

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Juipers and Diana Toledano

Polly loves words. And she loves writing stories. So when a magic book appears on her doorstep that can make everything she writes happen in real life, Polly is certain all of her dreams are about to come true. Funny and touching, this new chapter book series by Alice Juipers and Diana Toledano will entertain readers and inspire budding writers.
Age: 6-9 years | Find it here

 

14. Ivy + Bean Series

Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall

Meet Ivy and Bean, two friends who never meant to like each other—but their differences mean they have more fun together than they could ever have separately. It also means that, together, they do more wacky things than any one kid could ever dream up! The hilarious series by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall follows their many adventures (and disasters).
Age: 6-10 years | Find them here

 

15. The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs

The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe

The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe

All it takes is one: one coral gamete to start a colony, one person to make a difference, one idea to change the world. The ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world’s coral reefs are the living legacy of Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. In The Brilliant Deep, Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe tell the true story of the coral restoration pioneer, and the wonders of nature and the power of human hope.
Age: 8-12 years | Find it here

 

16. Knockout

Knockout by K.A. Holt

Knockout by K.A. Holt

As a baby, Levi had a serious disease that caused him respiratory issues—but despite being fine now, his family still think of him as damaged, and his schoolmates see him as the same class clown he’s always been. He feels stuck. So when his dad—divorced from his mom—suggests he take up boxing, he falls in love with the sport. K.A. Holt’s latest book Knockout is full of heart and humor.
Age: 8-12 years | Find it here

 

17. The Language of Spells

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr and illustrated by Katie Harnett

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr and illustrated by Katie Harnett

Grisha is a dragon in a world that’s forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she’s perfectly ordinary. They’re an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Written by Garret Weyr and illustrated by Katie Harnett, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.
Age: 10+ years | Find it here

 

18. Tiny Infinities

Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl

Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl

Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl is a funny and honest middle-grade novel, as well as a sharply observed depiction of family and friendship. When Alice’s dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family’s old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet.
Age: 10+ years | Find it here

 

19. Piper Perish

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

Kayla Cagan’s debut novel Piper Perish follows the life of Piper, a senior in high school who dreams of getting out of Houston and into New York City for art school. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyranny thwarts every attempt at happiness for the Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out…but is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much?
Age: 14+ years | Find it here

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Happy summer reading!

Featured image from Everything You Need for a Treehouse 

Jenna Homen

Content and Community Manager at Chronicle Books. When she's logged off, she can be found painting, cooking, camping, or petting her dog Harley. You can follow her on Twitter at @jn_na.
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