Last week I shared thirteen of my favorite Summer Picture Books. Now it's time to grow up a little with thirteen books for the elementary school crowd. This week I listed the books in roughly in order of the target age of the reader, starting with youngest to oldest. That said, many of the books would be great to read aloud to younger readers as I've made up this collection of mostly lighter summer books.
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown
by Jarrett Krosoczka
A new addition to younger graphic novels is this series featuring a Lunch Lady with astonishing abilities to fight crime and serve tater tots. With the Breakfast Bunch kids, she tackles a new enemy at summer camp. Silly fun!
by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
The fabulous Babymouse graphic novel series brings us a trip to summer camp that can't help but go wrong. Oh, Babymouse, I love you so. (Also look for Babymouse: Beach Babe).
The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis
by Barbara O'Connor
Feeling bored in his small Southern town, Popeye befriends a newcomer named Elvis who finds adventure in everything. A great book for seeing the wonders in the everyday world.
Moxy Maxwell does not Love Stuart Little
by Peggy Gifford
Someone has been putting off her summer reading - and continues to find ways to do so in amazingly elaborate ways. The photographs and the clever section titles add to this amusing book. (Also, one of my favorite covers of all time.)
Summer Reading is Killing Me
by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith
Summer reading doesn't work out well for the Time Warp Trio either as the boys put their booklist in "The Book" and end up caught in a world of good and bad characters from children's literature. Mayhem ensues.
Lowji Disovers America
by Candice Fleming
When Lowji arrives from India, he comes with wishes for new friends and pets. But summer vacation makes it hard find kids in his neighborhood, and his landlady is not fond of animals. No matter, as Lowji's positive attitude and clever solutions get him results in amusing ways.
Summer According to Humphrey
by Betty Birney
The little hamster with the big series of adventures gets to go to Camp Happy Hollow where he meets a wild mouse, visits the lake, and helps the kids adjust to the outdoor life and each other. There's always fun to be had with Humphrey.
Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer
by Janet Wong, illustrated by Genevieve Cote
Jake returns to his home for a visit, but didn't expect his camp-free summer to be ruined by his Halmoni's plans and his little brother's annoyances. When his best friend Minn makes a visit, even that causes conflict. Can this summer be saved?
The Lemonade War
by Jacqueline Davis
When Evan finds out that his younger sister Jessie is going to skip a grade right into his class, he channels his anger into a challenge to who can make the most money with competing lemonade stands. An interesting and often amusing story of marketing strategies, sibling rivalry, and making lemonade.
Any Which Wall
by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
"Common magic" takes a four kids out of their boring summer doldrums when a magical wall transports them into different worlds of adventures, including a pirate ship and Camelot. Delightful story with a timeless tone.
Lawn Boy (and Lawn Boy Returns)
by Gary Paulsen
A lesson in business and the free-market economy is contained in this story of a boy who starts with a old riding law mower and ends up as a young tycoon. Funny and yet highly educational.
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
by Jeanne Birdsall
After their father rents a guest house for a few weeks in the summer, four sisters explore the large estate grounds making friends and having adventures along the way. An old-fashioned story with a contemporary feel makes this a perfect summer story.
One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Three sisters from Brooklyn spend a month with their mother in California. Sent out to stay out of mom's way, the girls spent this summer in 1968 among the Black Panthers learning about revolution, identity, and personal responsibility. A deeper book, for certain, but with its own lightness and humor.
Links to books in this post are affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which the site MotherReader.com may receive a referral fee.