Summer Reads for Kids

Summer books – for kids. Picks for toddlers to young adults that will keep them reading through the long hot summer.

Summer book covers.

Summer book covers.

School’s out for summer. No more homework. Time to kick back and relax–and read for the fun of it.

There’s a big world of new children’s literature out there–ready to take to the beach, to camp, and the backyard.

Rick Riordan’s back with the “Red Pyramid.” “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins comes out in August. And there’s so much more.

Pop-up picture books for toddlers. Graphic novels for young adults. Teenage angst page-turners.

We’ve got the list that even your kids will want to read twice.

This hour On Point: Summer reads for kids

Monica Edinger, blogs on children’s literature at Educating Alice.  4th-grade teacher at the Dalton School in New York. Contributes children’s books reviews to the New York Times. Has received three National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships to study children’s literature.

Esme Raji Codell, writes about children’s literature at Author of several books for adults and children. Her kids’ books include “Vive la Paris,” “Diary of a Fairy Godmother,” and “Hannukah Shmanukkah!

Pete Cowdin, owner of the “Reading Reptile” bookstore in Kansas City. Under the pen name A. Bitterman, he is author of the upcoming “Fortune Cookies.”

 Our critics’ lists:

Here are the top picks from each of our guests.


“Cosmic” by Frank Cottrell Boyce

“The Hunger Games Trilogy” by Suzanne Collins

“Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” by Phillip Hoose

“As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth,” by Lynn Rae Perkins

“The Red Pyramid” by Rick Riordan

“When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead

“One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams-Garcia

“Here Comes the Garbage Barge!” by Jonah Winter (illustrated by Red Nose Studio)

“Into the Volcano” by Don Wood


Picture books:

“Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don’t)”  by Barbara Bottner, illustrated by Michael Emberley

“Otis” by Loren Long

“Bats at the Ballgame” by Brian Lies

Graphic novels:

“Daydreams of a Solitary Hamster” by Astrid Desbordes, illustrated by Pauline Martin


“Mirror Mirror” by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josée Masse


“Orangutans are Ticklish: Fun Facts From an Animal Photographer” by Steve Grubman with Jill Davis

“Napi Funda un Pueblo/Napi Makes a Village” by Antonio Ramirez, illustrated by Domi

“Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes Pop Up,” by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda

Intermediate fiction:

“The Strange Case of Origami Yoda” by Tom Angleberger

“The Night Fairy” by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Angela Barrett

Some fun novels for camp:

“Love and Pollywogs from Camp Calamity” by Mary Hershey

“Summer According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney

Young adult fiction:

“Bamboo People” by Mitali Perkins


“The Squirrel’s Birthday and Other Parties” by Toon Tellegen, illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg

“43 Old Cemetery Road: Dying to Meet You”
“43 Old Cemetery Road: Over My Dead Body” by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise

“The True Meaning of Smekday” by Adam Rex

“The Dreamer” by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis

“Seasons” by Blexbolex

“Country Road ABC” by Arthur Geisert

“It’s a Secret” by John Burningham

“Sitting in my Box” by Dee Lillegard, illustrated by Jon Agee

“Beautiful Oops” by Barney Saltzberg

“Stitches” by David Small

You can also check out our show on summer reads for adults.

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