Middle Grade Summer Reading Fun

Posted by on Jun 14, 2019 in Books, Children's books, Kids, S'Wicked Blog
Middle Grade summer reading fun

Middle Grade summer reading fun

It’s the last day of school in my neck of the woods, and that has me thinking about fun summer reading. And, given that Middle Grade has my heart big-time, I wanted to share some of my favorite summertime MG reads.

THE SEASON OF STYX MALONE, by Kekla Magoon

THE SEASON OF STYX MALONE, by Kekla Magoon

The Season of Styx Malone, by Kekla Magoon, is a little bit madcap adventure, a little bit lazy summer day, and a whole lot of fantastic friendship story. I’d love to hang out with these kids by the pond.

THIS ONE SUMMER, by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

THIS ONE SUMMER, by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

I admit it. I used to be a graphic novel snob. I love creating each book’s worlds and characters in my own head, my own way, and I thought pictures would take that favorite piece of reading away from me. But, I’d heard a lot about This One Summer, by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, so I picked it up. And, now I get it. Graphic novels work in a different, but equally wonderful way. Mariko’s story and Jillian’s illustrations are so believable, you feel all the doubts and hesitations and glorious moments that come in those strange years when you straddle childhood and adolescence.

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/38225268-the-season-of-styx-malone

SHOUTING AT THE RAIN, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

What’s better than Cape Cod in the summer? Seriously, you can practically taste the salt air in Shouting at the Rain, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. But, this book is about more than sand and seagulls. Reading Delsie and Ronan’s stories, you ache and fume and cheer right along with them.

HOUR OF THE BEES, by Lindsay Eagar

HOUR OF THE BEES, by Lindsay Eagar

There is a wonderful, dusty, hot magic that hangs over Hour of the Bees, by Lindsay Eagar, winking out from the corners of Carol’s grandfather’s remote New Mexico sheep ranch. And, while this is a beautiful example of magical realism, the book’s backbone is its tale of family and history and memory.

ROLLER GIRL, by Victoria Jamieson

ROLLER GIRL, by Victoria Jamieson

Victoria Jamieson’s nails Middle Grade frustrations and triumphs in her graphic novel, Roller Girl. Astrid’s story of friendship and self-doubt and tenacity (not to mention bruises, cool socks, and hysterical roller derby names) makes for perfect summer reading.

TUCK EVERLASTING, by Natalie Babbitt

TUCK EVERLASTING, by Natalie Babbitt

There’s a strange, slightly spooky feel to the timeless Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt. There’s such a feeling of being inside the book——the heat of the sun on your face, the cool of the forest, the shine of light off the pond. It all frames this piece of magical realism, making the impossible seem probable.

MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM, by Rajani LaRocca

MIDSUMMER’S MAYHEM, by Rajani LaRocca

This sweet (and savory) new release riffs off of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Rajani LaRocca’s story of summer wanderings in the woods, creative baking, friendship, and family makes for perfect hammock reading. And, don’t be surprised if Midsummer’s Mayhem inspires a delicious summer baking session or two (possibly with ingredients from your own garden or farmer’s market).

BE PREPARED, by Vera Brosgol

BE PREPARED, by Vera Brosgol

Vera Brosgol captures the highs and lows of summer camp in her graphic novel, Be Prepared. I have not have good summer camp luck, myself, (microbursts that shredded tents, skunk fights under cabins, chemical toilet woes, etc.) so Vera’s misery rang true to me, and likely will for other reluctant campers.

THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER, by Lamar Giles

THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER, by Lamar Giles

This is the one book on the list I haven’t yet finished, but I’m enjoying every second of the ride with Otto and Sheed, as they tackle a host of chaotic situations on their (time-) loopy last day of summer. The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, by Lamar Giles is pure kid fun, set in an odd town where bizarre circumstances are the norm. I can’t wait to finish it!

There you have it, folks! Look for these titles at your local indie bookstore or library, and happy sunscreen-slathered summer reading!