If your child is looking for summer reading books, Bookmarks has great recommendations in their summer reading program. The program is open to all NC students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. And it offers completion prizes to all students who read the required books and turn in their responses. Find more details on their website.
We’re sharing five of the recommended books in each category – spanning all ages. The best part is all titles are from 2016 festival authors, so your child can have an opportunity to meet the author after they read the book. Check out the Bookmarks calendar of events.
K–3rd Grade List of Books:
Lola Levine and the Drama Queen by Monica Brown – Seven-year-old Lola Levine is fierce on the soccer field. She can do a slide tackle (although she’s not supposed to) and even likes gooey worms. Nothing scares Lola!
My Father is Taller Than a Tree by Joseph Bruchac – Meet thirteen unique fathers-and-child pairs who come from diverse backgrounds. Though they are not all the same, their relationships show us an important truth: Even the simplest and most familiar activities become special when dads and kids do them together.
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo – Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea.
Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey – It’s time for Mousopolis’s First Annual Barbecue Cook-Off. But just when the fun is about to begin, the irresistible aroma of barbecue sauce awakens the most frightening creature known to mousekind: the dreaded Dogzilla.
Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson – Ada Ruth’s mama must go away to Chicago to work, leaving Ada Ruth and Grandma behind. It’s war time, and women are needed to fill the men’s jobs.
4th & 5th Grade List of Books
Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac – Baron has always been fascinated by bears. But the Bearwalker legend, passed down by his Mohawk ancestors, tells of a different kind of creature—a terrible mix of human and animal that looks like a bear but is really a bloodthirsty monster.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo – One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog.
Stakeout by Bonnie Doerr – How could Kenzie have predicted that a surreal encounter with an ancient sea turtle at a New York aquarium would propel her into peril in the Florida Keys? A haunting promise compels Kenzie to save sea turtles by capturing the criminals who are robbing the nests.
The Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey – Join George and Harold on five hilarious adventures with the amazing Captain Underpants, as they duel Dr. Diaper, tackle the talking toilets, clash with the crazy cafeteria ladies, plot against Professor Poopypants, and wrestle the wicked Wedgie Woman.
Everyday Angel series by Victoria Schwab – At a first glance, Aria seems like your average twelve-year-old girl. She has coppery hair, colored shoelaces, and a passion for cupcakes. But there’s more to Aria than meets the eye.
Middle School List of Books
Children of the Longhouse by Joseph Bruchac – When Ohkwa’ri overhears a group of older boys planning a raid on a neighboring village, he immediately tells his Mohawk elders. He has done the right thing—but he has also made enemies.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo – Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If she can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home.
Island Sting by Bonnie Doerr – Kenzie didn’t expect her first summer in the Florida Keys to be murder. Or cute guys, awesome boats, endangered species, and gun-toting thugs.
Broken Ground by Victoria Schwab – Four young heroes are determined to stop a new threat. Together with their spirit animals, they embark on a desperate journey that takes them deep underground and to the far corners of the world.
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson – When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he’s eleven, and he still misses them terribly.
[Related – Focus on Five Wonderful Young Adult Books to Read]
High School List of Books
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh – In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever.
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac – Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy becomes a code talker. His grueling journey is eye-opening and inspiring.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman – Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab – Sixteen-year-old Mackenzie Bishop is a Keeper; she works with the Archive, where Histories (the bodies of the dead) are filed away in a huge library.