Summer Book List

Imagine Your Story: Recommended New Books for Summer 2020

Compiled by Sue Daniels, Youth Services Librarian, Elm Grove Public Library

Picture Books 

Fire Truck vs. Dragon by Chris Barton – A silly competition between water and fire! 

Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration by Samara Cole Doyon – An ode to all the different shades of brown that can describe eyes, hair and skin. 

My Best Friend by Julie Fogliano & Jillian Tamaki – The joys of a new friendship. 

The Nest That Wren Built by Randi Sonenshine – Follow along as a wren builds a nest, step by step. 

(The) Once Upon A Time Map Book: Take a Tour of Six Enchanted Lands by BG Hennessy - Tour the Land of Oz, Neverland, and four other enchanted lands in this oversize picture book that is more a treasure hunt than a story.  

The President of the Jungle by André Rodrigues, Larissa Ribeiro, Paula Desgualdo, Pedro Markun – Learn how an election works when the residents of the jungle become dissatisfied with Lion, The King of the Jungle, as their leader and decide to elect a president instead. 

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali – A little sister shares how she is affected by her older sister’s first-day hijab. 

River by Elisha Cooper – A beautifully illustrated canoe trip down the Hudson River. 

Vamos! Let’s Go Eat! by Raúl the Third – Another story featuring Little Lobo making deliveries that includes detailed illustrations, lots of Spanish vocabulary, and Mexican luchadors! 

Wild Berries by Julie Flett – The simple story of a young Cree Indian boy and his grandmother picking berries by a Cree author/illustrator.   

Early Chapter Books (Grades 2-3) 

Cowboy Pug: The Dog who Rode for Glory by Laura James – The second installment in this humorous early chapter book series has Pug and Lady Miranda pretending to be cowboys. 

Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain by Hilary McKay – This early chapter book is a new adventure for Lulu, an animal lover. 

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee – A new early chapter book series about Korean American Mindy, who wants to fit in at her new school.  

Middle Grades (Grades 4-6) 

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time – In this ninth adventure, Emily gets a glimpse of the future and realizes that unless she can get the humans and merpeople to work together, it could mean disaster. 

Emmy in the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido – Learn a little about coding along with Emmy as she tries to find her place in a new school. 

Finding Narnia: The Story of CS Lewis and His Brother by Caroline McAlister – If you have ever wondered how the land of Narnia was created, this book is for you! 

Gold Rush Girl by Avi – An adventure set during the California Gold Rush. 

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker – The eagerly-anticipated new novel by the author of Pax, this is the story of a boy who learns a lot about himself when he takes on an unexpected summer project. 

Knights vs. The End (Of Everything) by Matt Phelan – Another funny escapade for the knights (and one squire) of Camelot. 

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate – For everyone who loved The One and Only Ivan, now you can find out more about Ivan’s pal, Bob. 

Raid of No Return by Nathan Hale (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales) – A nonfiction graphic book about World War II and the first airplanes to be launched from a ship. 

The Sewer Rat Stink by Geronimo Stilton and Tom Angleberger (Graphic Book) – A new take on the popular Geronimo Stilton series by author Angleberger. 

The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers by Pseudonymous Bosch - Oliver is an aspiring magician but not a very good one until he meets a special rabbit in a magic shop. 

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser – The first book in a series about the five Vanderbeeker children growing up in Harlem. Recommended for fans of The Penderwicks

A Wish In the Dark by Christina Soontornvat – After escaping from the prison where he was born, Pong lives in fear of being discovered by the warden’s daughter. However, there is another secret that they both might need to uncover in this adventure set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world. 

Are you missing sports? Check out new books about teams and athletes including: Christian Yelich by Donald Parker and Milwaukee Bucks by Jim Gigliotti. 

Middle School (Grades 6-8) 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – The highly-anticipated prequel to The Hunger Games

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay (new illustrated edition) – All the text of the original, but now book four has new illustrations! 

The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas – Based on the Chinese ballad of Mulan, about a girl who leaves home to go to war in her father’s place, this is not the Disney story but a more authentic historical novel. 

Wildfire: a novel by WR Philbrick – A non-stop action story about two teens trying to escape from a fast-moving wildfire. 

New Graphic Books for middle school: 

Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer, adapted by Michael Moreci – This is a new adaptation of the popular story about a twelve-year-old evil genius. 

Almost American Girl: an illustrated memoir by Robin Ha – A true story about coming to America and having to learn the language and culture very quickly as a teen. 

New Kid by Jerry Craft – A humorous look at being a new scholarship student at a prestigious private school.  This book could be a good discussion starter about the preconceptions we have about race and riches, or you can just read it for fun! 

Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis – Loosely based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I, but you don’t need to know the actual history to enjoy this beautifully illustrated story.  

Rick Riordan Presents is a new collection of books that are similar to the Percy Jackson stories but they contain stories and characters from other cultures and are written by authors from those cultures. Some new titles in the collection are:  

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (Book 3) 

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse  

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia