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  • Writer's pictureKara C White

10 Summer Reads for Middle Grade Readers

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

Keep Older Kids Reading with These Summer-themed Titles

For kids, summer means a break from school, but that doesn't have to mean a break from reading! Daily reading time is a given in our home, and we view it as a welcome part of the day, not a chore. Here are 10 middle grade novels with "summer" in the title to keep your older readers busy with a book all summer long.

Wrong Way Summer by Heidi Lang [2020]

"Twelve-year-old Claire, already fed up with her father's fantastical stories, is outraged when he sells their house and moves her and her little brother into a converted van for an adventure. Claire is faced with a choice: Will she play along with the stories her dad is spinning for her little brother, or will she force her family to face reality once and for all?"

Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn [2019]

"Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond-- Cat is one of the few people who can keep Chicken happy. When he has a "meltdown" she's the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. When a summer trip doesn't go according to plan, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they never knew. For the first time in years, Cat has the opportunity to be a kid again, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken or strained relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another's shoes."

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia [Coretta Scott King Award/Newbery Honor: 2010]

"In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, 11-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp."

Harlem Summer by Water Dean Myers [2007]

"In 1920s Harlem, 16-year-old Mark Purvis, an aspiring jazz saxophonist, gets a summer job as an errand boy for the publishers of the groundbreaking African American magazine, "The Crisis," but soon finds himself on the enemy list of mobster Dutch Shultz."

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall [2005]

"While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother." This book is the first in a five-book series (which is beloved by my daughter).


You can also help kids become book reviewers my FREE book review template! To add this tool to your summer reading plan, just sign up for email alerts here on my blog. You'll get the link to my FREE printable sent right to your inbox (check the spam folder if it doesn't come through right away)! Click on the Log In/Sign Up button at the top of the page to get started today!


Trout Summer by Jane Leslie Conly [1995]

"A sister and brother spend a largely unsupervised summer in a cabin near a river, where they befriend an elderly man with much to teach them and where they try to come to terms with their parents' failing marriage and make decisions about their own futures."

Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered by Gary Paulsen [1993]

By the author of Hatchet, "sent to live with relatives on their farm because of his unhappy home life, an 11-year-old city boy meets his distant cousin Harris and is given an introduction to a whole new world."

The Summer of Mrs. MacGregor by Betty Ren Wright [1986]

"Torn between devotion for and jealousy of her beautiful and much-admired invalid sister, twelve-year-old Caroline's drab self-image begins to change when she meets the glamorous Lillina MacGregor who makes her feel important."

The Hideaway Summer by Beverly Hollett Renner [1978]

"A sister and brother miss the bus to camp and instead secretly spend an adventurous summer at a cabin in the woods."

A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry [1977]

"Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her sister's beauty and popularity. Her feelings don't make it any easier for her to cope with Molly's strange illness and eventual death."

Need more tactics for summer reading in your household? Check out my tips for successful summer reading. Don't forget to sign up for email alerts and my FREE printable! Best wishes for further reading!


I'm so grateful to all of my new readers! If you'd like updates whenever I post something new, use the Log In/Sign Up button at the top of the page to receive email alerts. You can follow me on Instagram @kara.c.white. I share frequently about new blog posts and all things bookish! I'd also be grateful if you'd share my posts on your social media platforms. Thank you!


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