There’s something magical about reading on a summer afternoon. Whether it’s laying on the cool grass with a book under a shady tree, or heading to the library to fill out the sheet for a summer reading program, summertime makes reading even more exciting. (I can’t be the only one who adored filling in all my reading minutes as a kid, am I?)
GeekMom Dakster recently shared her picks for summer reading. Here are three more picks to add to the pile if your young reader is in middle school and looking for their next good book.
Be Prepared is a graphic novel that speaks to the middle schooler in all of us. Vera always feels like she’s on the outside with her group of friends; when she’s with them, she’s not really with them. Her friends attend summer camp each year, and in an attempt to be like them, she begs to go to a special camp that welcomes Russian girls like her. But will she be able to fit in?
This semi-autobiographical graphic novel captures the highs and lows of the tween years perfectly in both its emotional story and striking art. It’s best suited for preteens and older, tackling topics like puberty, bullying, and religion.
(First Second Books, Ages 10+)
Kelly Yang’s Front Desk is also semi-autobiographical, and like Be Prepared, offers tweens a look at a life and culture that is likely different than their own. Mia Tang’s parents, recent immigrants to California from China, take a backbreaking job managing a motel and can barely make ends meet. 10-year-old Mia works the front desk to help them get everything done.
Not only does she help keep the motel running, she makes friends with the residents who pay by the week, works hard to keep the day guests happy, and still works her hardest in school. Front Desk is a look at the hard life immigrants face when starting out in America, including racism and poverty, but with an overall light tone and ending that kids will find satisfying.
(Scholastic, Ages 8-12)
Whatshisface is a fun read that’s a little bit ghost story, a little bit romance, and a whole lot of Shakespeare. In fact, if you’ve been looking for a way to get your middle schooler into the Bard, this could be a great book to get them interested. The story follows military kid Cooper Vega, who has moved for the umpteenth time to a new town, Stratford. (I told you there was a lot of Shakespeare.)
To make up for moving yet again, Cooper’s parents buy him the latest cell phone, but it turns out it has an unexpected feature: It’s haunted by a ghost! Not just any ghost, but a 13-year-old from Shakespeare’s time. He needs Cooper’s help to right a wrong and offers to help Cooper with the school’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet in return. What could go wrong?
(Scholastic, Ages 8-12)
Featured Image: First Second Books
GeekMom received promotional copies for review purposes.