Summer is not over yet book readers! Here are some fun books we've roundup up perfect for summer reading, for middle graders, young adults and adult interest. Happy Reading!
The Upside of Falling, by Alex Light
Feeling the pressure from her mom and her ex-best friend, Becca decides to lie and says she has a boyfriend. In walks Brett, the high school quarterback who has the perfect family life, or so it seems. Deciding to lie and help her out seems perfect until the fake feelings become real ones and the perfect family image begins to crash and break apart. How will they begin to face these feelings and the struggles they hide behind closed doors? -S.L.
Genre/BISAC: YA Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
HarperTeen, Feb. 2020, ages 14+, $16/20, SC: 9780062918062, HC: 9780062918055
Dark Waters (Book Three), by Katherine Arden
Still terrified of what the Smiling Man has planned next, Ollie, Coco, and Brian decide to take a day trip to Lake Champlain for an article for Coco’s mom. But along the way, they meet up with Phil, Coco’s former bully and Brian’s old friend, who may remember when he was a scarecrow. Unfortunately, they become shipwrecked on an undiscovered island with the threat of an axe man and a huge water snake surrounding them. As they fight to survive, their friendship is put to the test. Is Ollie hiding a secret from Brian and Coco? -S.L.
Genre/BISAC: Middle Grade, Paranormal Mystery, Fiction
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, May 2022, ages 10+, $9/$17, SC: 9780593109175, HC: 9780593109151
Empty Smiles (Book Four), by Katherine Arden
In the creepiest book of the series, Ollie, Coco, and Brian are separated. After making a deal with the Smiling Man in Lake Champlain, Ollie is trapped somewhere between worlds in a carnival the Smiling Man owns. Trapped behind the mist with no one to talk to besides the Smiling Man and creepy Carnies who become terrifying Clowns at night, she must find a way to contact her friends. Meanwhile, Coco, Brian, and Phil are trying their hardest to find ways to get Ollie back, worrying their parents. But this game is more dangerous and the Smiling Man is playing to keep Ollie for himself. Bonus, you can read as a stand-alone, and then go back and start from book one! -S.L.
Genre/BISAC: Middle Grade, Paranormal Mystery, Fantasy, Thriller
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, Aug. 2022, ages 10+, $9/$17, SC: 9780593109205, HC: 9780593109182
The Hollow Boy (Book Three), by Jonathan Stroud
In the third book of the series, Lockwood, George, and Lucy are in over their heads. Problems seem to keep rising in Chelsea as an outbreak occurred. But as it’s run by DEPRAC they are not on the case, instead taking menial jobs from sunset to sunup and repeating daily. Way over their heads, they decide to hire a new assistant. Her name is Holly Munro, a perfectly pretty and put-together girl, completely unlike Lucy. Tensions run high between the two girls and all culminates in a fierce battle against a poltergeist as they try and work together. Is Holly really a good fit for the team? Again, read and enjoy on its own, and then you can check out the series.-S.L.
Genre/BISAC: Middle Grade, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Ghosts
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Sept. 2015, ages 8–12, $9/ , SC: 9781484711897, HC: 9781484709689
Freaky in Fresno, by Laurie Boyle Crompton
This new twist on the freaky Friday story involves two estranged cousins, Lana, a social-media makup guru, and Ricki, a horror movie fanatic. As a horror love, I was instantly hooked into this hilarious spin which involves a vintage cotton-candy-pink convertible, a chihuahua, and a road trip, this book pays homage to 80s movies, cult horror classics and scream queens like Jamie Lee Curtis, while also addressing topics of mental health, family and friendships. -K.C.
Genre/BISAC: Teen and Young Adult Film Fiction, Teen and Young Adult Clean and Wholesome Romance, Teen and Young Adult Coming of Age Fiction, Social Themes, Friendship, Performing Arts
Blink, Feb. 2020, ages 13+, $19, 9780310767473
The Book That No One Wanted To Read, written by Richard Ayoade, illustrated by Tor Freeman
This book is a must-read for book lovers and word nerds, and is absolutely hilarious! Teachers take note, this book would make a fabulous classroom conversation starter on how books are made. The narrator is actually the book and describes its different "body" parts and so much more. -K.C.
Genre/BISAC: Children’s Books about Libraries and Reading, Children’s Humor, Children’s Activity Books, Humorous Stories, Books and Libraries, Imagination and Play, Fiction, Middle-grade, Games and Activities, Kids, Fiction and Literature, Humor, Book Lovers, Word Nerds, All Things Books for Kids
Walker Books US, Mar. 2023, ages 10–14 with older and adult crossover, $18, 9781536222166
Notable and New:
Where the Woods End, by Charlotte Salter
Genre/BISAC: Children’s Spine-Chilling Horror, Children’s Fantasy and Magic Books, Horror, Monsters, and Ghosts, Kids, Fiction and Literature
Dial Books for Young Readers, Aug. 2018, ages 10–14, $18, 9780735229235
The Jules Verne Prophecy, by Larry Schwarz and Iva-Marie Palmer
Genre/BISAC: Children’s Mystery, Detective, and Spy, Children’s Friendship, Children’s Action and Adventure, Adventure, Adventurers and Heroes, Kids, Fiction and Literature, Juvenile Fiction
Christy Ottaviano Books, June 2023, ages 10–14, $17, 9780316349819
Duet, by Elise Broach
Genre/BISAC: Children’s Performing Arts Fiction, Children’s Mystery, Detective, and Spy, Children’s Friendship, Birds, Entertainment and the Arts, Kids, Fiction and Literature, Animals, Juvenile Fiction
Christy Ottaviano Books, May 2022, ages 8–12, $9/$17, SC: 9780316311458, HC: 9780316311359
Girl Forgotten, by April Henry
Genre/BISAC: Teen and Young Adult Loners and Outcasts Fiction, Teen and Young Adult Fiction on Girls’ and Women’s Issues, Teen and Young Adult Mysteries and Detective Stories, Crime, Thrillers and Suspense
Christy Ottaviano Books, Mar. 2023, ages 12–18, $19, 9780316322591
Where the Water Takes Us, by Alan Barillaro
Genre/BISAC: Children’s Multigenerational Family Life, Children’s Books on Emotions and Feelings, Fiction, Middle-grade, Social Themes
Candlewick, July 2023, ages 8–12, $19, 9781536224542
Phoebe’s Diary, by Phoebe Wahl
Genre/BISAC: Teen and Young Adult Fiction on Dating and Sex, Teen and Young Adult Coming of Age Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Choices and Transitions
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Sept. 2023, ages 14+, $20, 9780316363563
First-year Orientation, by Lauren Gibaldi
Genre/BISAC: Short Stories in Teen and Young Adult Literature, Teen and Young Adult Fiction about New Experiences, Short Stories Anthologies, College Life, School, Short Stories, Collections and Anthologies, Education, Social Themes
Candlewick, Apr. 2023, ages 14–17, $10/$20, SC: 9781536232431, HC: 9781536224498
The Umbrella Maker’s Son, by Katrina Leno
Genre/BISAC: Children’s Parents, Children’s Friendship, Children’s Fantasy and Magic, Kids Fiction, Kids Fiction and Literature, Children’s Books, Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy and Magic
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, June 2023, ages 8–12, $17, 9780316470872
What We See in the Stars, by Kelsey Oseid
Genre/BISAC: Stargazing, Astronomy, Pop Culture Art, Astronomical Star Guides and Charts, Folklore and Mythology, Solar System, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Literature, Astronomical Studies and Observations, Nature
Ten Speed Press, Sept. 2017, all ages, $17, 9780399579530
Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Taking the Blame, by Louie Stowell
Genre/BISAC: Children’s Norse Literature, Children’s Values, Children’s Fantasy and Magic, Other Legends, Myths and Fables, Kids, Fairy Tales, Fiction, Middle-grade, Legends, Social Themes
Walker Books US, May 2023, ages 9–12, $8/$16, SC: 9781536233223, HC: 9781536226300
Two-Headed Chicken: Beak to the Future, by Tom Angleberger
Genre/BISAC: Children’s Action and Adventure Comics and Graphic Novels, Children’s Humorous Comics and Graphic Novels, Science Fiction Manga
Candlewick Press, Sept. 2023, ages 8–12, $13, 9781536223224
What Can I Say?, written by Catherine Newman, illustrated by Debbie Fong
Genre/BISAC: Teen and Young Adult Friendship Nonfiction, Teen and Young Adult Self Esteem, Teen and Young Adult Nonfiction on Maturing, Family and Growing Up, Growing Up and Aging, Kids, Health and Medicine, Social Issues, Children’s Books, Juvenile Nonfiction, Health and Daily Living, Maturing
Storey Publishing, LLC, May 2022, ages 10–18, $16.95, 9781635864342
Sarah Lozier is a Childress Ink summer editorial intern and a first-year Professional Writing Major, at Taylor University, although by credits she’s actually a junior, planning to graduate in December 2024. She loves fiction, fantasy, YA, and all things words.
Jared Salomon says of himself that "probably the most important thing to know about me is that I am a Christian". Currently he is a senior at Taylor University, a writer and tennis player, with a Professional Writing major. Jared puts faith and trust in the gospel message of Jesus Christ, and that faith and trust influences everything he writes. He journals and writes stories, and also enjoys editing (content editing and copy editing). He has written for Christianity.com, Bible Study Tools, Chronicle-Tribune, Aboite Independent and Evangelical Church Library Association. LinkedIn.
Kim Childress is an award-winning editor and author of hundreds of books for children and their adults including Find Your Future in Art, Kim Childress is a product developer in children’s publishing, book editor for Girls’ Life magazine since its 1994 debut; former middle grade acquisitions editor for Zondervan, an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, who has maintained a successful career while raising a personal focus group of four children through diapers, doctors, broken bones, college, and plagues. Learn more and follow the adventures at ChildressInk.com