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thumbnail Middle Grade Summer Reads

by Valerie Morris on April 22, 2018

Truly, summer is coming! Here is a list of some great summer reads for the kids to read in the hammock, at camp, or in the car. These are nice easy reads with humor, mystery, and adventure.

book coverThe Parker Inheritance – Varian Johnson (X JOHN)

This book has it all; history, mystery, friendship, puzzles, and adventure. The main character Candice finds a mysterious letter in her grandmother’s attic and she must solve the series of puzzles to find the treasure. (Grades 3-7)





As Brave as You – Jason Reynolds (X REYN)

Two brothers leave their Brooklyn home to spend the summer in rural Virginia with their grandparents. Told with humor, the story follows the boys’ adventures; learning about country life, living without the Internet, and growing up. (Grades 5-8) Coretta Scott King Honor Book





It Ain’t So Awful Falafel – Firoozeh Dumas (X DUMA)

The setting for this book is 1970’s California during the Iran hostage crisis. Zomorod, who likes to be called Cindy (as in the Brady Bunch), moves with her Iranian family to Newport Beach. It is here that she discovers her own identity while making new friends, dealing with family, and overcoming anti-Iranian sentiments. This sounds heavy but Zomorod tells her story with humor. (Grades 4-7)



The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher – Dana Alison Levy (X LEVY)

This is a laugh-out-loud story of the zany adventures of the loving Fletcher family that consists of two dads, four adopted multiracial boys, a dog and a cat. When the school year does not start out as planned for the boys, chaos ensues. (Grades 3-6)





The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora – Pablo Cartaya (X CART)

It’s summertime for Arturo which means basketball, keeping cool, and working at his abuela’s (grandma’s) restaurant. Add to the mix his first crush and a scheming land developer who threatens Arturo’s community. How will he protect his community? (Grades 4-6)



Listen Slowly – Thanhha Lai (X LAI)

Thirteen-year-old Mai has plans for the summer including plenty of time at the beach. However, her parents have another plan, to send her to Vietnam with her grandmother. Their hope is that Mai will come to know her cultural heritage. Despite initial difficulties like not knowing the language and no Internet, Mai makes friends, has adventures, and bonds with her grandmother. (Grades 5-8)



The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street – Karina Yan Glaser (X GLAS)

In this book, the reader meets the Vanderbeeker family, a large biracial family, living in a Harlem brownstone. When the mean landlord does not want to renew the family’s lease, the children and neighbors must come up with various plans to save the family’s home. (Grades 3-5)




Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City – Jodi Kendall (X KEND)

Josie Shilling is the middle child of a large family living in a crowded house in the city. When her older brother brings home a piglet, Josie falls in love with Hamlet the piglet, and takes on the responsibility of caring for it. She finds that this is not so easy, especially when Hamlet eats a lot and is a little naughty. Humorous adventures ensue as Josie tries to find a forever home for the piglet. (Grades 4-6)