24 Timely Summer Reads That Will Keep You and Your Kids Busy with Books

If “what can I do now?” and “I’m bored!” are frequently muttered comments in your household, check out this list of summer reads newly released and ready for purchase. You won’t regret perusing these titles that are perfect summer reads for you and your kids. Cure the seasonal monotony with the hottest books of the summer.


24 Summer Reads for You and Your Kids

Little Monarchs

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Fifty years ago, a shift in the sun caused a catastrophic event that wiped out most of the world’s mammal population. With abandoned cities, autonomous machines maintain the few remaining roadways while surviving humans hide in underground shelters daily to avoid the deadly sunlight. But not 10-year-old Elvie and her caretaker Flora. They have found a way to survive during daylight hours. Using the scales of monarch butterfly wings, they’ve created an antidote to sun sickness. This graphic novel from Holiday House publishing is a unique, post-apocalyptic story for kids aged 8-12 looking for summer reads.

The Night Tent

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It’s always nighttime when kids’ imaginations fly, and all possibilities become apparent. In this picture book, Landis Blair, a wonderful illustrator, shows us a story of a little boy, Watson, who finds a nighttime full of adventures when he has difficulty falling asleep. He is led by the stars on a winding path full of sweet creatures and faraway lands that ultimately help him fall asleep. It’s a cute bedtime story for readers 4-8, who can also help read along, and those who just love browsing the wonderful illustrations for their summer reads.

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess

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The king and queen longed for a child for years, and their prayers were finally answered when they were gifted a wooden robot and an enchanted log princess. However, there was a catch – every night, the log princess would transform back into a log and could only be awoken with magic words.

One day, the sleeping princess was mistaken for lumber and taken away. Now it’s up to her brother to find her and bring them both back home safely. Along the way, they encounter numerous adventures and heartwarming moments created by Tom Gauld that will captivate your children while they cycle through their summer reads.

Salt Magic

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This graphic novel portrays a surprising turn of events for Vonceil when her brother, Elber, returns home from World War I. His experiences and growth make her feel abandoned by her brother, and to make matters worse, Elber marries his former girlfriend. However, the plot thickens when a mysterious woman dressed in white appears on the farm and confronts Elber for leaving her in France.

When Elber refuses to leave his wife, the woman curses the family well, turning the town’s water supply to saltwater. To uncover the truth, Vonceil must venture into the world of witchcraft and confront dangerous obstacles along the way. If you love graphic novels for your summer reads and enjoy a bit of a fairytale story, this novel by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock is the perfect fit.

Read More: 19 Must-Read New Book Releases from Berkley, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

Owl and Penguin Best Day Ever

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Kids will find this graphic novel by Vikram Madan fun and learn that even best friends can sometimes disagree. Follow Owl and Penguin as they solve their conflicts by watching a movie or flying a kite. In this easy-to-read, well-illustrated graphic novel, kids will gain reading confidence and have a few giggles in the process. Owl and Penguin really do have the best day ever!

Mossy and Tweed – Crazy for Coconuts

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Readers 4-8 will love this beginner comic book about Mossy and Tweed. These two clueless gnomes are on an adventure to crack a runaway coconut. Can they do it? Kids will giggle at this pair of sillies as they make one blooper after another. If your child is just getting into reading and loves graphic novels, this is a fun and easy read with lots of laughs, perfect for your list of summer reads.

Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide

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Are you a parent of a student-athlete looking to play their sport in college one day? This must-have resource for your summer reads will provide valuable insights and guidance on navigating the world of college athletic recruiting. Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide is a comprehensive resource written by Coach Renee Lopez, drawing upon her extensive coaching experience and interviews with college coaches, athletic directors, admissions personnel, and more.

This book serves as a roadmap through the complex recruiting process, offering practical advice on demonstrating qualifications, catching coaches’ attention, understanding recruiting rules, and navigating the application and financial aid procedures. Whether your child is aiming for NCAA Division I or Junior College, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies necessary to support your child’s journey toward becoming a successful college student-athlete.

The Confident Athlete

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The Confident Athlete by Tami Matheny provides valuable insights and practical techniques for athletes seeking to boost their confidence. This book recognizes the common struggle of fluctuating confidence levels in sports and offers four fundamental building blocks to help athletes develop and maintain a strong sense of confidence.

Coaches, athletes, teams, and parents will find simple yet powerful methods to build confidence and handle adversity effectively. By cultivating confidence as a skill through practice and repetition, athletes can start each competition with a tank full of confidence and learn to keep it consistent throughout their athletic journey. Equip yourself with this as one of your essential summer reads to support and empower your student-athlete in their pursuit of success on and off the field!

Read More: 30 Awesome Books For A Summer Reading List For Your Little Ones

Not So Perfect Strangers

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When Tasha Jenkins courageously takes her teenage son and leaves her abusive husband, she doesn’t bank on adding Madison Gingell to her travels. After Madison bangs on Tasha’s car window, Tasha makes the split-second decision to open the car door. Tasha couldn’t have known that this one decision would change the course of her life. Both woman race against time to escape their marriages and leave their past lives behind but at what cost? This thriller from Union Square Publishing is one of the summer reads you won’t be able to put down!
 

Going Dark

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Going Dark is perfect for adding to your summer reads if you love to lose yourself in a young adult thriller. When Amelia Ashley, an online influencer, disappears on a vacation with her boyfriend, the internet goes crazy. The hashtag #Where isAmeilaAshley starts to trend, throwing all parties associated with Ashley under suspicion.

Why does her boyfriend, Josh, have her blood on his suitcase? And who actually is Amelia Ashley? Does Amelia’s disappearance have anything to do with another girl who went missing two years ago? Fans of true crime fiction will love the twists and turns of this perfect summer thriller.

Sandra’s Wine Life: Find Your Wine Identity

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Whether you are already a wine lover or just new to the scene, Sandra’s Wine Life will guide you to achieve a wine life that is perfect for what you want. This book is a comprehensive guide into the diverse world of wine to make it easy to digest for newbies or help connoisseurs through each wine decision they make. This book covers everything from the out-there wine pairings to interesting wine history tidbits you can share at your next dinner party.

Life and Lilly: A Palm Beach Adventure

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Add this new children’s book by Lilly Pulitzer’s granddaughter, Lilly Leas Ferreira, to your list of summer reads. Life and Lilly is a delightful adventure encouraging readers to dream bigger and color their world more joyfully. Composed of lovingly-crafted hand-painted illustrations taken from the Lilly Pulitzer Print Studio, Life And Lilly explores and celebrates its whimsical charm and magic of a life lived among small-town friends and animals, filled with fresh adventures around every corner.

Ferreira borrows from her childhood memories of surfing, biking, and wandering the town to portray a tale that resonates with adventurous kids who love experiencing new places and inspiring their parents to set their young children on the right path. The book’s adventure concludes with Little Lily arriving at her grandmother’s house, where the party is lively, and everyone is invited.

Read More: Great Books List with 20 Titles Ideal for You and Your Family

I Did it For You – Releases July 25, 2023

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Greer Dunning has done everything possible to move on with her life after her sister, Eliza, was murdered fourteen years ago. Unfortunately, the current-day killer has other plans. The authorities in Greer’s small Kansas hometown are confident that the killer is a copycat, but after familiarizing herself with the details, Greer is convinced Eliza’s murderer had help. And that “help” is killing again.

After over a decade, Greer returns to her hometown, intending to finally put this nightmare to bed. Sadly, her questions uncover more unknowns, and Greer discovers more suspects than she bargained for. You won’t be able to put this thriller down, which is why it is on the list of summer reads.

A Likeable Woman – Releases July 11, 2023

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Kira had no intentions of returning home.
She left Texas immediately after her mother’s mysterious death. But when an old friend invites Kira to a vow renewal decades later, Kira finds herself considering going back to her birthplace. While long days at the pool and sexy Texas gentlemen are enticing, the numerous texts from her grandma ultimately pull her home.

Kira’s grandma is anxious to give Kira a memoir that her mother was writing before her death. Past secrets come to light in it, and potential clues to what may have ended her mother’s life become clear. Unfortunately for Kira, someone wants these truths buried with her mom. Will Kira put the pieces together before it’s too late?

The Only One Left

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Riley Sager is a New York Times bestselling author known for his psychological thrillers. The Only One is no exception. Lenora was the only member of her family that remained after everyone was murdered in 1929 in her family home. Lenora was only seventeen then, and everyone in town assumed she was responsible for the killings – but the police could never prove her guilt.

Fast forward to 1983, and in her seventies, Lenora hasn’t left the family mansion in over 50 years. Requiring a home health aide due to being mute after having several strokes, Kit McDeere steps in to help. When Lenora types on her typewriter, “I want to tell you everything,” Kit assists Lenora in writing about the time leading up to the family massacre. If only Kit trusted the words Lenora was typing.

Before We Were Innocent

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Three friends set out to spend the summer of their lives in Greece ten years ago. Sadly, only two made it home. Never convicted of Evangeline’s death, Bess and Joni took opposite paths while moving forward with their lives. Bess lives a simple, low-risk lifestyle, while Joni becomes a motivational speaker. Their fates are again intertwined when Joni is involved in a crime that is eerily similar to Evangeline’s death. So many great summer reads are thrillers, and this title is no exception!

Scared Unicorn: A Lift-The-Flap Book

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Clever Publishing’s First Feelings series recently expanded with two new books perfect for adding to your list of summer reads. Artist Samara Hardy’s dynamic illustrations take Unicorn on a journey as she learns how to deal with being afraid in Scared Unicorn: A Lift-The-Flap Book! The 14 flaps built into the sturdy board book keep babies and toddlers engaged as they learn about emotional learning with Unicorn’s friends Bear, Sloth, Frog, and more. The interactive book discusses situations where the friends feel scared in a dark bedroom at night and listening to a thunderstorm. It also gives suggestions so Unicorn and friends are not scared.

Angry Unicorn: A Lift-The-Flap-Book

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Your toddler also will love learning about feelings with the adorable Unicorn and friends in the fourth book of the First Feelings series from Clever. The Angry Unicorn: A Lift-The-Flap Book! also features 14 flaps to engage your toddlers. The simple book illustrates and shares scenarios where Alligator gets angry as his block tower falls or Unicorn gets angry when Bear takes away a toy. The great part of the beautifully illustrated book is that it shares solutions, too. Plant seeds of emotional learning in your little ones as they grow.

Read More: 21 Tantalizing & Engaging Must Reads for Teens and Adults

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

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Just because it is the summer doesn’t mean you should stop learning! The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, captures pivotal moments in the life of Frederick Douglass, a slave in the early 1800s, and his flight for freedom and literacy. He was a pillar in African American social reform and abolition; his story and writings continue to influence political ideologies today. Included in this signature edition are eleven selected essays and speeches.

Horses of Fire

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Horses of Fire explores the story behind Troy, passed down for generations, and a story that the author wanted to explore. This is a story about the women behind Troy and their place in the most famous war in history. Follow the three women who are the force behind this story Andromache, Hector’s wife; Rhea, a young refugee; and of course, Helen, who was said to have started the war, but now it’s time for her side of the story. Great to add to your list of summer reads if you enjoy historical fiction.

Hotel 21

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While Noelle is great at cleaning hotel rooms, she has the unfortunate hobby of taking small but eventually noticeable souvenirs from the guests. After starting work at her twenty-first hotel, she is determined to stay longer than one month, her current longest-standing duration of employment.

Through developing friendships with the staff at the hotel, Noelle begins to wonder if real friends are worth ditching old habits and if she deserves more than she has given herself so far in life. This story will warm your heart and is ideal for your summer reads list. You won’t regret this debut story from Senta Rich.

Animal Factopia!

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Keep up to date on all your fun facts with Factopia! when selecting your summer reads. Always filled with fun details and interesting facts, Animal Factopia! is a new cool book in the series for anyone 8+ who loves animals. With over 400 facts, follow the trail while you learn that a blue whale can hold 100 humans in its mouth and that Arctic reindeer’s eyes change from gold in the summer to blue in the winter. Cool right?

The Case of the Missing Tarts

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Mystery books are the perfect way to nurture your kiddo’s love of reading. The Case of the Missing Tarts takes the reader on a journey with the Pigeon Detectives. The Pigeon Detectives must hunt for the stolen jam tarts with grumbling tummies. The tasty treats were stolen from right under their beaks. The suspect list grows longer as the Pigeon Detectives discover clues. Christee Curran-Bauer, author and illustrator, keeps young chapter book readers engaged in this 80-page book with delightful comic-book-style drawings and kid-friendly humor.

Dad Jokes

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Dad jokes never go out of style. And what better way to celebrate that than reading the “Groan-worthy quips, puns, and almost funny gags” in A. Grambs book, Dad Jokes. The whole family will love the eye-rolling, corny new material in this humorous book to add to your summer reads. Share one of the nearly 600 quips that are so bad they are funny. The 192-page book is organized by theme so Dad can find his favorite hilarious jokes, gags, and one-liners for any occasion and inspiration for embarrassing dialogue. Everyone will be laughing for hours!


Summer reads are the best reads. Is there a better break in the day than one that includes some time outside with a book? Make sure to plan ahead for you and your kids and order one or more titles on this summer reads list.


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Katie Cowan
Katie Cowan
A Kansas City native, Katie is a mom of three and wife of one. She enjoys being at home, freelance writing, and volunteering at her children’s school and her family’s Parish. She loves working out, trying new restaurants, reading, and binge-watching TV shows. All the TV shows. Follow as she attempts to read @onebookeachweek on Instagram!

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