Best New Kids Books for Summer Reading

Best New Kids Books for Summer Reading

Whether your kids are beginning readers or devour books like ice cream sundaes on a hot day, it can sometimes take a little extra encouragement over the summer to get them to put down the device and pick up a new book.

Regular summer reading is much more than a “nice to have.” The benefits of summer reading are well-documented, especially for children who could use a little extra boost.

Need some summer reading ideas? Here are some recommendations for top summer 2016 books from Publishers Weekly:

Picture Books

Are We There Yet?

Dan Santat 

An ordinary (and seemingly endless) road trip to Grandma’s house becomes an time-traveling adventure filled with dinosaurs, jousting knights, swashbuckling pirates, and a very futuristic new home for Grandma. Through this wild adventure, kids learn about the joys of patience and appreciating the present moment. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Are we there yet

Buy at your local bookstore or on Amazon (

The Dead Bird

Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Christian Robinson

From beloved author Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny) comes a newly re-illustrated version of her 1938 story about the importance of mourning and sorrow. One summer day, four children come across a dead bird in the park, and decide to to improvise a burial with flowers and song “the way grown-up people did when someone died.” Recommended for ages 4-8.

Dead Bird

Buy at your local bookstore or on Amazon (

Ideas all Around

Philip C. Stead

What happens when you want to create something but don’t have any ideas? Philip Stead gives young readers an entertaining tour of his own creative process by documenting the interesting and mundane events, sights, and sounds on a walk through the neighborhood with his dog. Recommended for ages 4-8.


Buy at your local bookstore or on Amazon (

Older readers


Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Pax follows the journey of 12-year-old Peter as he tries to reunite with his abandoned pet fox, Pax. This new story by the author of Clementine is told by shifting the perspective between Peter and Pax. Recommended for ages 8-12.


Buy at your local bookstore or on Amazon (

Raymie Nightingale

Kate DiCamillo

In this story set in 1975 Florida, three girls learn the meaning of friendship as they rely on one another when the adults in their lives prove unreliable. From the award-winning author of Because of Winn-Dixie and Flora & Ulysses. Recommended for ages 10 and up.


Buy at your local bookstore or on Amazon (

Young Adult

The Glass Sword

Victoria Aveyard

The second book in Aveyard’s Red Queen series follows power struggles in a dystopian world between a growing rebel army and a blood-segregated world. Mare Barrow’s blood is the common folk color or red, but her supernatural ability to control lightening has made her highly desirable to the powers that be. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Glass Sword.jpg

Buy at your local bookstore or on Amazon (

Salt to the Sea

Ruta Sepetys

Teen readers fascinated by history can read the story of the worst naval disasters in history. In January, 1945, the German military transport ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff was evacuating German civilians and military ahead of the Soviet advance and was sunk by a Soviet submarine in the Baltic sea, resulting in the death of 9,400 people. Sepetys’s telling examines the disaster from multiple perspectives, including refugees, soldiers, and a nurse. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Salt to the Sea

Buy at your local bookstore or on Amazon (

Have an avid reader in your house? See Publishers Weekly full book list here:

Happy summer reading!


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