Our Top Picks for Summer Reading

Cool Books for Hot Summer Days

Whether you’re headed to the beach, lounging in a hammock, or just looking to fill those long summer days, you’ll want to pick up one of these engaging, high-interest novels. Don’t want to get burned? Pair your reading with our curated word lists and avoid the summer slide.
  • Children of Virtue and VengeanceTomi Adeyemi
    In the second book of the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy, Zélie and Amari must fight the monarchy in order to protect practitioners of magic.
  • To All the Boys I've Loved BeforeJenny Han
    Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean writes letters to the boys for whom she has romantic feelings — letters she never intends to send. When someone starts secretly mailing the letters out, Lara Jean and one of the recipients, Peter, decide to team up and fake a relationship to make their current crushes jealous.
  • StargazingJen Wang
    Moon is unlike anyone Christine has ever met — but jealousy and an unexpected emergency test their friendship.
  • One of Us Is LyingKaren M. McManus
    Simon Kelleher publishes gossip about his classmates online. When he unexpectedly dies during detention, the four students who were in the room with him become prime suspects in his murder.
  • Look Both WaysA Tale Told in Ten BlocksJason Reynolds
    This novel weaves together characters and incidents from the same neighborhood, block by block.
  • Clean GetawayNic Stone
    Scoob Lamar goes on an impromptu road trip with his grandma and learns secrets about her life in the segregated South.
  • Truly DeviousMaureen Johnson
    When Stevie Bell is admitted to the exclusive Ellingham Academy, she hopes to solve the mystery of the famous crimes that took place at the school years ago. But then another murder takes place, and Stevie realizes that her life and the lives of her friends may depend on her sleuthing skills.
  • With the Fire on HighElizabeth Acevedo
    Emoni Santiago pursues her dream of becoming a chef while finishing high school and raising her daughter.
  • Children of Blood and BoneTomi Adeyemi
    In the first novel in Adeyemi's fantasy series, Zélie attempts to overthrow a repressive king and bring magic back to her land.
  • InternmentSamira Ahmed
    Layla Amin thinks of herself as a typical American teenager. But when Muslim-Americans like Layla and her family are forcibly relocated to internment camps, the seventeen-year-old decides to fight for her freedom.
  • The Gravity of UsPhil Stamper
    When his father is selected to train for a NASA mission to Mars, 17-year-old Cal must move to Houston with his family and participate in a space-themed reality show called StarWatch. As he attempts to uncover secrets about the show and the space program, Cal also finds himself falling for a fellow "Astrokid."
  • Aru Shah and the End of TimeRoshani Chokshi
    When 12-year-old Aru Shah lights a cursed lamp in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, she releases an ancient demon. Now she must find a way to stop the demon and rescue her friends and family.
  • Here to StaySara Farizan
    When Bijan Majidi sinks the winning basket at a varsity basketball game, he unexpectedly finds himself enjoying the perks of popularity. But his success also sparks rivalry — and makes Bijan the target of an anonymous cyberbully.
  • The Downstairs GirlStacey Lee
    In 19th-century Atlanta, Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid while secretly penning a controversial advice column and attempting to learn the truth about her past.
  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the SkyKwame Mbalia
    After the death of his best friend, grieving seventh-grader Tristan Strong goes to Alabama to spend a month with his grandparents. There, he accidentally opens a portal to a world populated by African gods and African-American folk heroes.
  • Red, White & Royal BlueCasey McQuiston
    First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is working to ensure his mother's reelection; but when he falls for his old rival, the Prince of Wales, they unintentionally spark an international incident.
  • Opposite of AlwaysJustin A. Reynolds
    In this blend of science fiction and romance, Jack keeps returning to the moment when he and Kate first met—and he must try to alter the past in order to prevent her death.
  • Race to the SunRebecca Roanhorse
    Seventh-grader Nizhoni, her brother, and her best friend must pass a series of difficult tests and travel to the House of the Sun in order to defeat ancient monsters.
  • ScytheNeal Shusterman
    Citra and Rowan live in a society in which all natural causes of death have been eliminated. The two teenagers are recruited to be "scythes," people who administer death in order to cull the population.
  • SadieCourtney Summers
    After her sister is murdered, 19-year-old Sadie is determined to track down the killer. In the meantime, a popular podcast focuses on Sadie herself.
  • On the Come UpAngie Thomas
    Bri aspires to be a rapper — but to make her dreams come true, she'll need to overcome family hardships, prejudice at school, and misconceptions about her art.
  • Frankly in LoveDavid Yoon
    Frank Li knows that his conservative Korean parents will not approve of the girl he is dating, so he and friend Joy Song agree to enter into a fake relationship to appease their families.
  • PrideIbi Zoboi
    In this "remix" of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Zuri Benitez grapples with the effects of gentrification — and with her complicated feelings toward Darius Darcy — when the wealthy Darcy family moves into her Brooklyn neighborhood.
  • New KidJerry Craft
    In this graphic novel, an African-American seventh grader struggles to fit in at his new private school.
  • Sal and Gabi Break the UniverseCarlos Hernandez
    Sal Vidón is a 13-year-old who is struggling to adjust to a new school — and whose magic tricks can disrupt time and space. When he befriends Gabi Reál and attempts to use his powers to help her sick brother, neither seventh grader is prepared for the consequences.
  • Merci Suárez Changes GearsMeg Medina
    For Merci Suárez, sixth grade is a year of change. A scholarship student at the posh Seaward Pines Academy, Merci must juggle extra community service and family responsibilities, all while coping with a nasty classmate and her beloved grandfather's declining health.
  • Long Way DownJason Reynolds
    In this novel-in-verse, Will spends a sixty-second elevator ride weighing whether or not he should avenge his brother's death. Learn these words from Jason Reynolds's innovative and powerful exploration of gun violence.
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's LibraryChris Grabenstein
    Kyle and eleven other kids get the chance to stay overnight in Mr. Lemoncello's new, high-tech library. The children must solve a series of puzzles in order to find a way out of the library and win an amazing prize.
  • Amina's VoiceHena Khan
    Amina, a Pakistani-American girl, struggles to balance her commitment to her culture with her desire to fit in. When her mosque is vandalized, Amina must finally find her voice.
  • The One and Only IvanKatherine Applegate
    Inspired by true events, this award-winning novel by Katherine Applegate tells the story of a captive gorilla and the elephant he befriends.
  • One Crazy SummerRita Williams-Garcia
    In the summer of 1968, three sisters travel to California to visit their estranged mother. While there, they learn about the fight for equality and civil rights.
  • Roller GirlVictoria Jamieson
    In this graphic novel, Astrid deals with changing friendships during a summer at roller derby camp.
  • GutsRaina Telgemeier
    In this companion to Smile and Sisters, graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier recounts her experiences with childhood anxiety and phobias.
  • His Dark MaterialsPhilip Pullman
    In this fantasy series, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry travel between parallel worlds as they investigate a mysterious substance called Dust.
  • The Grace YearKim Liggett
    Tierney James and the other sixteen-year-old girls who live in Garner County must venture into the dangerous woods for their "grace year" before they are allowed to return to society.
  • The Dragonet ProphecyWings of Fire, Book 1Tui T. Sutherland
    Five young dragons are trained to fulfill a prophecy and end the wars among the dragon tribes.
  • When Dimple Met RishiSandhya Menon
    Dimple Shah is thrilled to be spending her summer studying web development at Stanford University — but she doesn't know that her traditional parents are planning for her to meet (and eventually marry!) fellow student Rishi Patel.
  • There’s Something about SweetieSandhya Menon
    In this companion novel to When Dimple Met Rishi, Ashish Patel allows his parents to set him up on a series of dates with Sweetie Nair, an athlete who wants to prove to her traditional mother that she can be happy at any size.
  • The Lemonade WarJacqueline Davies
    Siblings Evan and Jessie engage in an all-out war to sell the most lemonade before school starts.
  • ShoutLaurie Halse Anderson
    In this memoir-in-verse, author Laurie Halse Anderson reflects on the real events behind her acclaimed novel Speak and the aftermath of the book's publication.

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.