Book suggestions for
ages 4-8 | ages 9-12 | ages 13-18

Ages 4-8

All the World

by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee

In an oceanside community, friends and family celebrate the smallest pleasures of the beach and life. A 2010 Caldecott Honor Book.

All in a Day
All in a Day

by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure

The author of the Henry and Mudge series captures the magic of a day in childhood that seemingly goes on forever.


by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek

A young bird watcher is enthralled by the many colors, shapes, and sizes of her avian neighbors. Henkes is the author of the well-loved Lilly series.

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?

by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague

The ninth book in the zany How Do Dinosaurs... series, this book tells how, even when little dinosaurs mess up, there are many reasons why their parents still love them!

I Spy Fly Guy!
I Spy Fly Guy!

written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold

In Arnold’s hilarious series about a pet fly, Fly Guy is hauled away by mistake to the local dump and Buzz must find a way to save him. A 2010 Geisel Honor book.

The Lion and the Mouse

written and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Set on the African savannah, Pinkney beautifully illustrates the retelling of Aesop’s fable of the lion and the mouse. 2010 Caldecott Medal winner.

Little Mouse Gets Ready

written and illustrated by Jeff Smith

Little Mouse is learning to put on his own clothes and is ready for adventure. Young children will love how Little Mouse’s challenges mirror their own. A 2010 Geisel Honor Book.

My Abuelita

by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

An eccentric and flamboyant grandmother shares the stories of her life with her young grandson. A 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor book.

Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors

by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

A woman and her dog enjoy the changing seasons in a series of colorful poems and illustrations. A 2010 Caldecott Honor Book.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

written and illustrated by Grace Lin

Minli, a Chinese girl, lives in a poor village. When she buys a magic goldfish and joins a dragon that cannot fly, she embarks on an adventurous quest to find the Old Man of the Moon. A 2010 Newbery Honor book.

See them all: Fun Summer Reads Slideshow, Ages 4-8

Ages 9-12

The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors

by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tony Persiani

This brightly colored biography details the lives and inventions of two brothers as they work together in the basement to create a line of fluorescent paint. A 2010 Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor book.

Everything for a Dog
Everything for a Dog

by Ann M. Martin

This parallel novel to Martin’s successful A Dog’s Life is told from the perspective of a boy who desperately wants a dog to help him deal with the aftermath of his brother’s death. Children who loved the books Shiloh or Old Yeller will also enjoy this story of canine companionship.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

by Jacqueline Kelly

Eleven-year-old Calpurnia Tate and her grandfather live on a Texas plantation in 1899. As they bond over science and nature discoveries, Calpurnia cultivates a love for the natural world in all its splendor. A 2010 Newbery Honor book and a 2010 American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults selection.

The Hunger Games trilogy

by Suzanne Collins

In this futuristic series, an oppressive government forces adolescents to compete in the Hunger Games, a gladiator fight to the death. Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place in the games and must be more cunning than all the other participants to survive. Collins’ third installment in the series, Mockingjay, is scheduled to be released August 2010.

The Magician’s Elephant

by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Yoko Tanaka

When Peter goes looking for his lost sister, he encounters a fortune-teller who offers strange predications for his journey and an elephant who makes an appearance during a magic show. From the author of Because of Winn-Dixie.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

by Rodman Philbrick

Twelve-year-old Homer must save his brother after an evil uncle sells him to the Union Army. Homer’s rescue attempt takes him all the way from Maine to the Battle of Gettysburg. A 2010 Newbery Honor book.

Return to Sender

by Julia Alvarez

Tyler’s father hires undocumented Mexican workers to help save the family farm from foreclosure. When Tyler befriends the workers’ daughter, he learns that friendship has no borders. A 2010 Pura Belpré Author Award winner.

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis

by Barbara O’Connor

Popeye lives with his grandmother and a good-for-nothing uncle in a boring little town. When an RV gets stuck in the South Carolina red clay near Popeye’s home, a boy named Elvis and his passel of brothers and sisters spark a series of small adventures for Popeye and his dog, Boo.

When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead

Twelve-year-old Miranda is receiving mysterious notes from a time-traveling stranger. She tries to decipher the notes while navigating the 6th grade social scene in late 1970s New York City. 2010 Newbery Medal winner.

This World We Live In

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

In the final installment of the “Last Survivors” trilogy, Miranda and her family are barely surviving a year after an asteroid hit the moon, throwing Earth into chaos. In this book, she meets up with Alex Morales, the main character of Pfeffer’s second book in the series, The Dead and the Gone, and their relationship moves from dislike to romance.

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!
You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

by Jonah Winter, illustrated by André Carrilho

Readers learn about the career of Sandy Koufax, the great left-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, in this intriguing nonfiction book. A 2009 Booklist Top of the List Winner for youth nonfiction.

See them all: Fun Summer Reads Slideshow, Ages 9-12

Ages 13-18

The Carbon Diaries

by Saci Lloyd

It’s 2015 in a world where the Great Storm has devastated the landscape of London. Laura and her older sister try to survive frozen tundra, a lack of food, and travel restrictions in a world where carbon is rationed.

Going Bovine
Going Bovine

by Libba Bray

After being diagnosed with a human variant of mad cow disease, Cameron embarks on a wild road trip that changes his life. A 2010 Michael L. Printz Award winner.

If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

When her family is killed in a tragic car accident and Mia is the only survivor, she struggles to decide whether she should live or die. A 2010 American Library Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection.

Last Night I Sang to the Monster

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Eighteen-year-old Zach turns to alcohol instead of confronting the horrific memories that plague him. In rehab, his fatherly roommate and therapist each provide support while forcing him to confront his past.


by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Keith Thompson

In this alternate World War I history, young Prince Aleksandar Ferdinand and a girl disguised as a British airman attempt to survive in a world of mechanical inventions and bioengineered creatures. Westerfeld is the author of the popular young adult science fiction series that begins with Uglies.

The Lost Conspiracy
The Lost Conspiracy

by Frances Hardinge

Set on a lush and treacherous island, this multilayered fantasy finds two sisters, one of whom has extrasensory abilities, caught up in adventure and intrigue against an unknown evil. A 2010 American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults selection.


by LouAnne Johnson

At his alternative school, an angry juvenile delinquent finds a special teacher who helps him find his true self. A 2010 American Library Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection from the author of the memoir Dangerous Minds.


by Adam Rapp

Running away from his family, AWOL from military school, and living on the street, Jamie, aka Punkzilla, sets out on a bus to visit his dying brother. Along the way, he writes letters to his brother about the hardships he finds on the road as well as the good souls who sacrifice to help him. For mature teens.

Purple Heart

by Patricia McCormick

While in Iraq, Private Matt Duffy receives the Purple Heart even though he cannot recall the incident that led to his traumatic brain injury and the death of an Iraqi boy.


by Maggie Stiefvater

A paranormal romance between Grace, who watches wolves in the woods behind her house, and the wolf with yellow eyes who can’t take his eyes off of her. A 2010 American Library Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection.


by Ellen Hopkins

Five teens desperately equate sex with love in a variety of self-destructive ways. Their raw voices can be heard in free verse, which creates an intense tale about the choices we make and how they affect our lives forever. For mature teens.

Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting

by Jim Murphy

Five months into World War I, troops along both sides of the Western front put down their arms to celebrate a Christmas Day cease-fire. Murphy recounts these events, showing the human side of a devastating war.


by Laurie Halse Anderson

Friends since elementary school, Cassie and Lia each develop their own eating disorder. Unable to cope with Cassie’s death, Lia’s anorexia spirals out of control and lands her in rehab, where she must face her demons to get well. A 2010 American Library Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection.

See them all: Fun Summer Reads Slideshow, Ages 13-18