Jumpstart your students' summer reading by pairing assigned books with one of Vocabulary.com's curated vocabulary lists.

Learning essential vocabulary in advance will help your students get the most out of the books they read independently during the summer months. 

You can boost student comprehension and foster accountability — without creating any extra work or grading for yourself. Best of all, Vocabulary.com will automatically follow up with students over time so they really learn the words they struggled with.

Here's how to seamlessly integrate vocabulary instruction into your summer reading plans:

1. Select assigned texts, or invite students to choose their own books. Looking for some great summer reading suggestions? Our list of recommended titles below appeals to a range of interests and abilities. 

2. Check out our high-quality, ready-made lists. Developed by seasoned educators, our lists are designed to align with your curriculum and to support independent reading. You can use the lists as they are, or copy and customize them.

3. Assign a Practice activity. When students practice the words on the list you assigned, they learn key vocabulary and preview the text before they tackle the reading.

4. Leave the follow-up to us. When students play The Challenge on Vocabulary.com, we automatically follow up with them until they master any words they struggled with.

Below, you'll find recommended 2020 summer reading, along with links to our curated vocabulary lists for each text. Bear in mind that these recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg. You can find more great resources on our Lists page, and we're adding new lists every week.

High-Interest Books

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Internment by Samira Ahmed

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Race to the Sun by Rachel Roanhorse

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Sadie by Courtney Summers

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Frankly in Love by Daniel Yoon

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

2020 Award Winners

New Kid by Jerry Craft (Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Book Award)

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (Pura Belpré Award)

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly (Schneider Family Book Award)

Dig by A.S. King (Printz Award)

Free Lunch by Rex Ogle (YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction)

White Bird by R.J. Palacio (Sydney Taylor Book Award)

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, Young Adult)

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki (Walter Dean Myers Award)

Stargazing by Jen Wang (Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, Children’s Literature)

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams (Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent)

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman (Walter Dean Myers Award)

Past Award Winners

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (National Book Award, Printz Award, Pura Belpré Award, and Walter Dean Myers Award)

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (2016 Newbery Medal)

The Unwanted by Don Brown (YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction)

A Few Red Drops by Claire Hartfield (Coretta Scott King Award)

Monster by Walter Dean Myers (2000 Printz Award)

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson (Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent)

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (William C. Morris YA Debut Award)

Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (Newbery Medal)

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (2018 Walter Dean Myers Award)

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Walter Dean Myers Award)

Esperanza Rising by Pamela Muñoz Ryan (2002 Pura Belpré Award)

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (2015 National Book Award)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2018 William C. Morris YA Debut Award)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (2014 National Book Award)

Middle Grade Favorites

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Matilda by Roald Dahl

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McNulty

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

Holes by Louis Sachar

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Popular Graphic Novels

This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

March by John Lewis

Snapdragon by Kat Leyh

Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Classics

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster 

A Separate Peace by John Knowles 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

Beloved by Toni Morrison 

Animal Farm by George Orwell 

1984 by George Orwell

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell 

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 

Compelling Nonfiction

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

March Forward, Girl by Melba Pattillo Beals

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Spooked by Gail Jarrow

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Astronauts by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks

Americanized by Sara Saedi

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Educated by Tara Westover

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Beloved Series

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan 

The Giver by Lois Lowry 

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman 

Track series by Jason Reynolds: Ghost, Patina, Sunny, Lu

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

Divergent by Veronica Roth