Summer is finally here! And with it—fingers crossed—three months of blissful leisure reading for off-duty students. With so many fun books for teens and tweens out there, how can they possibly choose? We asked some tweens and teens for summer reading recommendations. Their answers include the usual suspects as well as some fun surprises. If your kids are still looking for a perfect summer read, maybe leave this list (oh so casually) open for them to see.
HARD TO PUT DOWN:
Books that make you lose track of time and catapult you into the story.
By Neil Gaiman
An inspired combination of mythology, adventure, and illusion, American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey across an America that is at once eerily familiar and utterly alien.
Nothing to See Here
By Kevin Wilson
When Lillian becomes a nanny for her friend’s stepkids, she discovers the job comes with an undisclosed secret: the twins burst into flames when they’re agitated. Life is about to become very interesting… and maybe a bit dangerous, too.
The Hawthorne Legacy
By Jennifer Lynn
Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the The Inheritance Games. With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoon worthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy thrills.
Young, Rich & Black
By Nia Forrester
When Chris “Deuce” Scaife, Jr. and campus revolutionary Zora Diallo have an unexpected and powerful encounter just before winter break, no one is more surprised than they are.
Whether it’s in Nazi Germany or the Navajo nations, these are engaging books about true experiences that illustrate a variety of life perspectives across time and space.
Flowers in the Gutter
By K. R. Gaddy
The true story of the Edelweiss Pirates, working-class teenagers who fought the Nazis by whatever means they could.
Laughing at My Nightmare
By Shane Burcaw
With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. He talks about everyday issues relatable to teens and offers an eye-opening perspective on what it’s like to have a life-threatening disease.
The Long Walk: The Forced Navajo Exile
By Jennifer Denetdale
In 1863, the Dine (Navajo) faced transformations to their way of life when Americans were determined to subjugate them, then displace them from their homeland and move them to a reservation.
Secrets abound in these novels. Just when you think you know it all—plot twist!
Ace of Spades
By Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
When anonymous text messages expose their secrets to the school, two prep school seniors must work together to figure out who is targeting them and why, before things turn deadly.
Counting Down with You
By Tashkent Bhuiyan
Karina, a Bangladeshi American academic superstar, and Ace, a rich white bad boy, engage in a fake relationship that turns out to be very real in this opposites-attract rom-com.
Girl from the Sea
By Molly Knox Ostertag
Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a lot of secrets. She can’t wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives so she can hide. When a mysterious Keltie saves her from drowning, her secrets only multiply.
Summer is for going places. These talking animals, aliens, and superhero-teens will take you far away from home.
By George Orwell
Orwell’s timeless and chilling novella is about a group of barnyard animals that rebel against their farmer because they want to create a utopian society where all the animals are free, equal, and happy. It’s a devastating satire of idealism brought down by power and corruption.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
By Ransom Riggs
When his grandfather dies, Jake goes to a strange home for children searching for clues to his grandfather’s past. An unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal
By Saladin Ahmed and Minkyu Jung
Kamala Khan is back, with a new writer and illustrator, fighting to save her Jersey City hometown from aliens. Also check out the first Ms. Marvel reboot series by G. Willow Wilson.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find
By Joan He
In a future world ravaged by climate change, separated sisters Cee and Kasey will do anything to get back to each other. Sisterly love is leveraged against the greater good in this gripping and eerily plausible sci-fi thriller.
ALL THE FEELS:
The teens in these vacation reads tug on your emotions and hold your attention.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club
By Malinda Lo
As Lily, a Chinese American teen living in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1950s, starts to think more seriously about her professional future, and a friendship with white classmate Kathleen grows into romance.
The Fault in Our Stars
By John Green
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
The Moon and More
By Sarah Dessen
During her last summer before college, Emaline meets Theo while working for her family’s rental business. As their relationship develops, Emaline questions her own goals, values, and choices in this classic Dessen romance.
The Summer I Turned Pretty
By Jenny Han
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good and everything magical happens between June and August. That is, until one summer when everything wonderful also turns out to be terrible. And the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Salaam, with Love
By Sara Sharaf Beg
This heartfelt and humorous YA contemporary follows Dua, who spends the month of Ramadan making unexpected discoveries about family, faith, and first love.
Girls and canines in heroic situations; because anyone can be an agent of change.
Dogs of War
By Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox
This graphic novel contains stories of three canine military heroes of World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War, inspired by historic battles and real military practice.
How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe
By Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Moon, a Mexican American photographer, has always played second fiddle to her social media influencer twin. Accompanying her sibling on a cross-country trip results in a journey of self-discovery.
The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak
In 1939 Nazi Germany, Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich. On her necessary and meager stealing trips, she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors.
Flip the switch on your reading with these innovative fresh takes on storytelling.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
By Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie’s darkly humorous story collection weaves memory, fantasy, and stark reality to powerfully evoke life on the Spokane Indian Reservation.
The Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
By Octavia Butler, Damian Duffy, and John Jennings
In this graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, the country is marred by environmental and economic crises that lead to social chaos. Lauren Olamina lives in a gated community and is protected from danger by its walls. What begins as a fight for survival in a night of fire and death eventually leads to much more.