Remember last week when I shared my Summer Reading List for Preschool and Elementary school kids, I promised I’d be back with Middle Grade and Young Adult suggests? Thought I’d forget, didn’t you? I didn’t, aren’t you proud? As with that first list, this list is completely subjective. They’re books that I would have enjoyed reading in the middle grades (or even now). As always, when it comes to summer reading, you should let your child lead the way. Offer gentle suggestions, but try not to dictate their book choices. Summer reading is pleasure reading, after all. Check out these suggestions for a summer reading list for middle grade kids, then come back next week for my top YA choices!
Middle Grade Summer Reading List Suggestions
The Celestial Globe: The Kronos Chronicles: Book II by Marie Rutkoski- This is the second book in the series. If you haven’t read the first one, The Cabinet of Wonders, check it out first. The series follows the adventures of Petra Kronos, a far from ordinary girl who is on a mission to save the world. A fun mix of fantasy, adventure and mystery!
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein- When Kyle is picked to be one of the first 12 kids to step foot in the titular library for an overnight of fun, food and games, he’s excited. Then when morning comes and the doors remained locked, though, he and his friends must unlock the mystery to find a way out…and perhaps save their lives!
The Hidden Summer When Nell and Lydia’s moms have a fight, the two best friends are forbidden from seeing each other. Unable to stand the thought of going the whole summer apart, the two girls hide out in an abandoned golf course. There, they discover secret symbols all around. As they look for the meaning of the symbols, Nell begins to find a few other secrets as well. This would be a great coming-of-age story for middle grade girls.
Starbounders by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. Zachary Night has barely started his top-secret Starbounders training at Indigo 8 when a space mission goes wrong. Zachary and his friends are accidentally sent to the front lines of battle, and they quickly discover a plot to destroy Indigo 8. Piloting a space ship under attack, they must get back to earth before the planet—is annihilated.
The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos- Two weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Mason Stark and seventeen of his fellow cadets from the Academy for Earth Space Command boarded the SS Egypt. The trip was supposed to be a short routine voyage to log their required spacetime for summer quarter. But routine goes out the airlock when they’re attacked by the Tremist, an alien race who have been at war with humanity for the last sixty years.
Theodore Boone: The Activist (Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer) by John Grisham. So, apparently Grisham has been writing children’s books for a while now and I somehow missed it. This is the latest installment in the series, and finds Theodore dealing with his more dangerous case yet.
When the Butterflies Came by Kimberley Griffiths Little. Despite what everyone else seems to think, Tara’s life is far from perfect. Her grandmother just died, her mom’s depressed, and she can’t seem to get along with her sister. After he grandmother’s death, however, butterflies start following Tara everywhere. She believes her grandmother is reaching out to her to solve one last mystery. When she discovers a bundle of old letters, will she find herself in danger or discover her grandmother’s biggest mystery of all?
Killer Species #1: Menace From the Deep by Michael P. Spradlin- If your child loves adventure and thrills, check out this new series by Spradlin! Emmet Doyle was not thrilled about heading to the Everglades with his wildlife biologist father. He’s still mourning the loss of his mom and doesn’t really feel up to putting on a happy face. When they arrive, though, they quickly find out that things are not exactly peaceful in the Everglades when the body of a genetically engineered beast appears in the park. Unfortunately, this predator isn’t the only one of its kind, and the person behind the experiments is about to lose control!
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos. Jack’s vacation plans take a nosedive when his parents ground him for the summer and loan him out to a local elderly neighbor to help write obituaries. That may sound boring, but it ends up taking Jack on the strangest, most incredible journey of his life! Kids will love this humorous yet heartwarming coming-of-age tale that mixes truth and fiction with a dose of mystery.
Doll Bones by Holly Black. When three friends find a doll that may be haunted, they’re sent on the creepiest adventure of their lives. Zach, Poppy and Alice have always enjoyed their make-believe games about a magical land filled with pirates, mermaids and warriors. Now, their parents tell them it’s time to grow up and leave make-believe behind. But Poppy starts having dreams that indicate perhaps their made-up realm isn’t so made up after all.
More great summer reading books for Middle Grade kids:
- The Girl from Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson
- The Humming Room by Ellen Potter
- The Further Adventures of Jack Lime by James Leck
- Code: A Virals Novel by Kathy Reichs
- Seven Wonders Book 1: The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis
Can you think of any great summer reading books for Middle Grade kids that I may have missed?
I was so happy to come across this blog. Thank you sharing these lists with your readers. I have been struggling to find book recommendations for my middle-schoolers this summer! There are a million sites out there with great teen reads but very few for pre-teens (thank you again!). I thought I would recommend a book that has been a huge hit in my house and is great for this age group! “The Beat on Ruby’s Street” by author Jenna Zark (http://www.jennazark.com/). The book is narrated by a precocious eleven-year-old girl Ruby. This coming-of-age tale, set in a world of rebels, rule-breakers and dream makers, is engaging and full of heart! The book takes place in 1958, in Greenwich Village (NYC). Ruby is being raised in the “Beat Generation” or more commonly known as “beatniks.” She is soon forced into a children’s home after a social worker deems her living situation unsuitable. As an aspiring poet Ruby uses her poetry throughout the book to help her deal with her situation and give her hope. Ruby is a strong and very funny lead character that my daughter really liked! It’s a book that introduces you to a new culture and a character that you root for every step of the way.
That sounds like a good book for kids! Thank you for recommending it, and for your compliments!
Thank you for the book suggestions! My son is 11 and participating in the local library reading program. I still like helping him find books, whether he likes it or not…LOL
Thanks for this. I’ll definitely be looking into it for oldest.