When it’s time to send home some summer reading options, these recently released titles will make great additions to any list.
By Lani Aquino
It’s every teacher’s dream that students voraciously dive into books all summer. Lots of lists are created that include required reading, suggested reading (see below), and/or summer reading challenges. With summer in full swing, diving into newly released titles can make any list more appealing, and it can also lead to students discovering a favorite newcomer.
Amal Unbound- Readers are taken to a Pakastani village where the injustices of indentured servitude play out through Amal, the novel’s protagonist. Her dreams of being a teacher begin to shatter as her societal role is realized. Aisha Saeed’s novel is filled with resistance and justice; this is a great addition for students in the middle grades.
Be Prepared- Cartoonist Vera Brosgol delights readers with this tale of Vera, a young Russian girl looking to meld with the crowd in the suburbs of New York. Being raised by a single mom offers its own challenges, but as her peer group starts heading to affluent summer camps, Vera feels she’s finally found her niche at a Russian camp. Longing to fit in, she ends up encountering an entirely new host of experiences and discoveries in a camp that is far different than what she could ever have imagined!
Endling #1: The Last- Katherine Applegate’s first book in her new middle grade series is sure to delight. As the youngest member of her pack, Bryx finds herself fearing she may be the sole survivor of her species. On her journey to find a safe haven, she encounters a variety of allies who join her on her travels. This fantasy is a great new addition for kids who enjoy a good series, and/or those already captivated by Applegate’s other bestselling collections.
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl- Someone with superpowers they gleaned from a lightning strike should have no problem navigating life, right? That is until this twelve-year-old mathematical genius must spend one year in middle school. This is an engaging story that gives readers a front row seat to stepping out of comfort zones and embracing differences.
The Nerdiest, Wimpiest, Dorkiest I Funny Ever- Another entry joins the ranks of James Patterson’s best sellers. Readers in the middle grades get to follow along with the antics of Jamie, a national funny-kid competition winner. Jamie is heading to compete in a world kid comic competition. Can he prove to be the best? There are lots of twists and turns as this tale explores there’s more to Jamie than his funny-guy exterior.
Sky in the Deep- Adrienne Young’s debut novel is being touted as part Wonder Woman, part Viking, and readers are rooting for seventeen-year-old Eelyn. She finds herself in the middle of the battle between two clans, and her warrior training must prevail amongst betrayal and mistrust. The interwoven details of Norse mythology are integral and accessible in this engaging read for older students.
Square (Shape Trilogy)- The author/illustrator team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen bring young readers the second installment of their Shape Trilogy. Square is aspiring to create something special for Circle, but he just isn’t pleased with the results. On the other hand, Circle has an entirely different take on things. This is an engaging picture book with a philosophical twist that will leave readers pondering bigger ideas and questions about what it means to be an artist.
Three Days in Moscow Young Readers’ Edition: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire- As the chief political anchor for the Fox News Channel, Bret Baier offers readers an account of Reagan’s battle to end the Cold War. This adaptation for younger audiences is both engaging and accessible as it details the correlation between Reagan’s actions in Russia and the fall of the Berlin Wall and an end to the Cold War. A great informational read for students with interests in history and politics.
Trapped in a Video Game (Book 2): The Invisible Invasion- Video game lovers will be enamored with this second installment from Dustin Brady. Jesse is sucked into Go Wild to save his friend Dave who is trapped in this Pokemon Go-style game. Big Foot, velociraptors, and bats are just a few of the challenges he encounters in this fast-paced and funny novel for middle grade readers.
Waste of Space (Moon Base Alpha)- This third and final book in the series by Stuart Gibbs will have readers once again cheering for Dash. All he wanted was a calm thirteenth birthday, but the attempted murder of snobby millionaire requires a change of plans as Dash sets out to solve the case. With the perfect blend of mystery and suspense, students in the middle grades will love following Dash as he solves the crime.
Introduce your student to some new releases during this summer. These 10 newbies are a great addendum for an existing list, or they can be a perfect stand-alone list.
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