Middle Grade and YA Summer Reads

It’s been a rough school year, but summer is looming. And if ever there was a summer to keep kids well stocked with fun books to read . . . well, it was the summer of 2020, but 2021 has to be a close second. Here are some suggestions for middle-grade and young adult readers looking for a change of pace.

Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy

Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy

Thirteen-year-old Jack’s summer gets off to a rough start when his public school spaceship is captured by hostile aliens, and it’s up to him and his friends to get everyone safely home. Keep an eye out for the sequel, Eighth Grade vs. the Machines, coming in October.


In the 1880s, summer for thirteen-year-old Shuffle means trekking across the American West in search of his missing father, armed only with a mythology-themed card game that he and his dad invented and that may contain clues to his dad’s whereabouts.

Red Menace

Not all summer reads have to be light and breezy; some of them can help you sort through messy feelings about the world. That’s what thirteen-year-old Marty is trying to do over the summer of 1953, when his family is accused of being disloyal to the US government during the anti-communist “Red Scare.”

Jane Doe and the Key of All Souls

Fourteen-year-old Jane doesn’t really get a summer break—she’s too busy trying to prevent a supervillain from destroying countless interconnected worlds in his quest for ultimate power. The action-packed follow-up to Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds brings Jane’s adventures to a satisfying conclusion.

The Secret Life of Kitty Granger

Sixteen-year-old Kitty has a world to save too. She’s been recruited as a spy for the British government, and her first mission is to thwart a plot by a fascist politician. It’s the 1960s, so no one recognizes that Kitty is autistic, but her colleagues in espionage do know that she’s detail-oriented, loyal, and brave—exactly the right person to prevent a coup.

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