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Summer Reading Recs

Summer is almost here. Check out our summer reading recommendations!

Three girls lie on their stomachs on grass reading books.

© chanuth—iStock/Getty Images Plus

The weather’s warming up—which means summer is right around the corner. From novels to comic books to movie blockbusters, summer is the season of storytelling. And there’s a story for everyone. Here are our picks for the perfect summer reading experience.

Last Gamer Standing

By Katie Zhao

It’s the year 2067, and Reyna Cheng has earned a scholarship to the Dayhold Academy’s summer camp for elite gamers. Facing pressure from her parents to quit gaming and dreaming of stardom in the world of e-sports, Reyna enters a tournament disguised behind a male avatar.

© Scholastic Paperbacks

A teen girl wearing a helmet and goggles with the words Last Gamer Standing.
Silhouettes of three children against a giant solar eclipse with the words The Memory of Forgotten Things.

The Memory of Forgotten Things

By Kat Zhang

Twelve-year-old Sophia has memories of the cake her mother made for her 10th birthday. But her mother died when she was 6—so where did these memories come from? Assigned to work together on a science project, Sophia and two classmates travel to an alternate universe, where they hope to find that the losses they’ve experienced didn’t happen.

© Aladdin

Efrén Divided

By Ernesto Cisneros

When his mother is deported to Mexico, Efrén must grow up fast. His father works long hours, leaving Efrén to care for his younger siblings while he deals with the heartbreak of his mother’s absence. Meanwhile, he’s also navigating the issues every 7th grader faces, from his schoolwork to his friendships.

© HarperCollins

A boy wearing a backpack walks along a walkway.

The Davenports

By Krystal Marquis

It’s the year 1910, and the Davenports are a wealthy Black family living in Chicago. The Davenport daughters attend fancy parties in the hopes of finding love and, someday, marriage. But along the way, they’re challenged to look beyond their luxurious surroundings at the injustices that are just past their doorstep. 

© Penguin Random House


By Christina Diaz Gonzalez

In this graphic novel, five students are put together to complete a community service project because they all speak Spanish. The characters take turns narrating the story, allowing readers to get to know them. And as it turns out, their personalities could not be more different. Will the group find common ground?

© Graphix

Five kids in a school cafeteria. One sitting on the floor, another holding a tray of food, one holding a phone, and two others laughing.

Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars

By Gregory, Elijah, and Gabriel Zuckerman

Getting to the top of your sport is never easy, but some of the world’s best athletes had to overcome huge obstacles. This nonfiction book tells how LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Althea Gibson, and many other athletes faced struggles before reaching their goals.

© Penguin Random House

Looking for more good reads? Each year, the American Library Association publishes a summer reading list for middle school. You can find the list at your public library or online.

Did You Know?

John Steinbeck sits in a chair with a stack of his books on his lap.

Bettmann/Getty Images

John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, wrote all of his books in pencil. He’d use a pencil until it was dull and then switch to a new one because he didn’t want to take time to sharpen it. Steinbeck used about 24 pencils a day and then sharpened them all at once!

Read the Way You Want To

Illustration showing a person sitting against a giant book wearing headphones and holding a book.

© treety—iStock/Getty Images Plus

Summer is the season for reading. It’s the perfect time to read what you want to read instead of what you have to read. Whether you’re a bona fide bookworm or tentatively tiptoeing among the bookshelves for the first time, here’s how to get the best out of books.

    1. Find your favorite genres. Just as movies are all different, so are books. From science fiction to romance to mysteries to graphic novels, there’s truly something for everyone. And if fiction isn’t your thing, there are plenty of books about science, food, music, or whatever you’re into. The internet is a great resource, but your local librarian can also help you find what you like. 

    2. Love your library. Speaking of your local librarian, have you been to a public library lately? You can explore a library in person or online. Many libraries have listed their full catalogs on their websites. There are even apps that let you download e-books for a set period of time—for free. 

    3. Read a different way. Not everyone likes to read words on a page or a screen. Luckily, many books are available to listen to. Some even have celebrity narrators! These books, called audiobooks, are often available at public libraries—or on public library apps. You might also want to check out graphic novels, which tell stories using a combination of words and illustrations.

One Author’s Story

© treety—iStock/Getty Images Plus

What inspires you? Jason Reynolds, author of Ghost, was inspired to start writing when he listened to hip-hop lyrics. You can read about Reynolds, and many other authors, at Britannica School.






: to hold the complete interest or attention of (someone)

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