Thematic Reading List: Summer Themed Books for Middle Grade Readers
No classroom settings here! Enjoy these middle grade books focused on sun and June, July, and August. Recommended towards ages 8-12.
By: Denise Lewis Patrick
The weekend she turns thirteen, aspiring clothing designer Teresa “Reesie” Boone is separated from her family by Hurricane Katrina but, during the horrific storm and its aftermath, begins to find strength in herself.
|One Crazy Summer
By: Rita Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
|The Storm Keeper’s Island
By: Catherine Doyle
Fionn Boyle, terrified of the sea, must spend the summer with this older sister, Tara, and their grandfather on Arranmore, an island that has been known to make people disappear, and seems to be restless again.
|Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel
By: Diana Lopez
It’s the summer before eighth grade, and Erica “Chia” Montenegro is feeling so many things that she needs a mood ring to keep track of her emotions. She’s happy when she hangs out with her best friends, jealous that her genius little sister skipped a grade, and passionate about the crushes on her Boyfriend Wish List. But when her mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, Erica feels worried and helpless.
|Shouting at the Rain
By: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Delsie loves a good storm – except when the squalls are in her own life. Her summer friend, Brandy, is back on the Cape at last—but devastates her by dumping her for a new friend. And she could really use a mom right now – except hers left years ago and her loving Grammy won’t discuss her mom, saying it’s too painful. So, when she meets snarky Ronan, supposedly a liar and a thief, Delsie wonders if he’s another storm on the horizon. Turns out he’s caring and courageous – a fisherman’s son who’d rather protect sea life than eat it. But she recognizes something else, too. He is lonely, just like she is. As they traipse around the island, they uncover deep neighborhood secrets, stand up to cruelty and get into both good and bad trouble. But they also open up to each other and tackle complicated stuff like what it means to be angry versus sad, broken versus whole, and abandoned versus loved.
|Summer of a Thousand Pies
By: Margaret Dilloway
After her father goes to jail, Cady Bennett, twelve, is taken from foster care to spend a summer with her estranged Aunt Michelle, trying to save her failing pie shop.
|As Brave as You
By: Jason Reynolds
Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind.
By: Molly Hurford
Lindsay can’t wait to spend her summer break reading comics and watching superhero movies–until she finds out she’ll be moving in with her weird older cousin Phoebe instead. And Phoebe has big plans for Lindsay: a BMX class at her bike park with cool-girl Jen and perfectionist Ali. Lindsay’s summer of learning awesome BMX tricks with new friends and a new bike turns out to be more epic than any comic book–and it’s all leading up to a jumping competition. But some of the biker boys don’t think girls should be allowed to compete in BMX. Now it’s up to Lindsay, Jen, and Ali to win the competition and prove that anyone can be great at BMX.