Summer Lovin': Favorite Summer Reads

Summer + Beach + Books = Bliss.

We love summer - and we love summer reads! Here are some of our summertime faves.

Captain E. Hook (Erin)


Guppy Guts Skullcracker (Heidi)

First up is a fabulous picture book by the amazing Melanie Watt:  SCAREDY SQUIRREL AT THE BEACH  (This entire series about a seriously freaked out squirrel is hilarious, but the beachy theme fits summer perfectly.)

For middle grade, I'm picking SMILE by Raina Telgemeier, which was one of the first graphic novels I'd ever read. It's an amazing story about a girl in Grade 6 who falls and knocks out her two front teeth. I read this because SO many kids kept coming to the library asking for it and wanting to know if the author had written any more. (She has...the newer DRAMA.) It's just a great book for middle graders who might be reluctant readers or those just looking for an easier read in the summer, but one with substance.)

My YA pick is WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart just because it was soooo good and has a summer theme running through it.

Another favorite is THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver because I read it one particularly hot summer and felt like the Congo dripped off each page.


Back from the Dead Red (Ellen)

MG: THE LONG SECRET by Louise Fitzhugh (the sequel to HARRIET THE SPY), because gossip + intrigue + spying all set in a quiet little beach town = perfect for summer.

YA:  SLICE OF CHERRY by Dia Reeves, because sometimes I want a darker read in the dog days of summer. Set in Portero, a crazy town in the South, it stars two sisters, daughters of an infamous serial killer, who are starting to feel some murderous itches of their own (but they're very Dexter about it, only taking out bad guys). The hot muggy town has enough personality to be a third main character in this book. Plus it makes me want to drink some iced tea lemonade while I read.

Adult: THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd, because South Carolina and beekeeping and honey and divine femininity all make this novel delicious (not to mention compelling).

Bonny Kitty Cutlass (Kathryn)

I've chosen two sweet summer-y YAs: MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick and UNBREAK MY HEART by Melissa Walker. 

In MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, Samantha falls head over heels for Jase, the boy next door—and for his large, loud, messy, and loving family, which is basically the opposite of everything in her own tightly controlled life. The swoon factor is high in this one, but it's also about the importance of family and about making tough decisions. 

In UNBREAK MY HEART, Clementine is spending a summer on a sailboat with her parents and little sister. Not only is she stuck with all-family, all-the-time, she's feeling adrift after a sophomore year that left her a heartbroken social pariah. But getting away from everything might be the key to moving forward…especially when she meets Jason. A bittersweet story about mistakes, consequences, and relationships of all kinds. 


Curly McGee (G.)

SECOND CHANCE SUMMER and AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson are two favorites. Another is THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCour. I love summer books in interesting locations that delve into relationships - whether it be friendship or romance.

...Which is why OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord is on the top of my TBR pile! I just *know* that I will love this one and I can't wait to read it, preferably outside on my deck! :)


Dread Pirate B. (Bridgid)

I remember reading THE EGYPT GAME and THE DOOMSDAY BOOK during long car rides over summer vacation when I was little. THE EGYPT GAME is such a fun and magical story! Even though I was packed into the back of our Suburban with my siblings, I remember feeling miles away when I read that book. It didn't hurt that I used to love anything to do with Egypt. And THE DOOMSDAY BOOK absolutely blew me away. I don't remember how old I was when I first read it, but I still re-read it from time to time. It is SUCH a fantastic story - time travel, the plague, and a feisty female protagonist, what more could you want from a summer read? 


Lady Byrd Bonebreaker (Sara)

I also adore TWENTY BOY SUMMER, AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR, and ENDLESS SUMMER. Another YA summer fave is GIRLFRIEND MATERIAL by Melissa Kantor, which takes place on Cape Cod, one of my favorite summer places. No summer reading list is complete without the SUMMER books by Jenny Han: THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU, and WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER.

When I was a kid, I used to love to reread favorites - and I still do. I loved the MEG DUNCAN series by Holly Black (similar to Nancy Drew), like MEG AND THE GHOST OF HIDDEN SPRINGS and MEG AND THE TREASURE NOBODY SAW.

And every summer, I try to reread GONE WITH THE WIND.


We've also thrown together a playlist of songs that remind us of summer. Enjoy!

AND - we want to know - what are some of your favorite summer reads? What's on your TBR this summer? Don't forget - we've got some great prizes this month. Enter to win!