While the sun is currently trying to kill us with it's fiery rays of doom here in Seattle (and no, I'm not being dramatic), I have compiled a list of bright and colorful young adult and kids books that scream summertime (with slightly less apocalyptic heat wave vibes than this week).
If you're feeling nostalgic for lemonade stands, summer camp, and first loves, this list is for you. If you're dreaming of summer vacations, plunging into crystal clear waters, and a sandy beach to scrunch your toes in, this list is for you. If you're craving fruity popsicles, boppin' tunes, and road trips, you guessed it, this list is for you. The books are organized in the following order: Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Middle Grade Graphic Novels, and Illustrated books. The sweet escape of a good story awaits you. Happy reading friends and I hope you're staying as cool as you can in this merciless heat.
An Instant New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller!
A William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist
An Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Honor Book
Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong?
From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Renée Watson comes a love story about not only a romantic relationship but how a girl finds herself and falls in love with who she really is.
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.
There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale.
Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Jane the Virgin, this immediately accessible and irresistibly fun rom-com debut will spin readers into an unforgettable summer of late-night dancing, broken hearts, second chances, and telenovela twists.
In New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer's young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her – both good and bad.
Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Kasie West, I Love You So Mochi is a delightfully sweet and irrepressibly funny novel from accomplished author Sarah Kuhn."As sweet and satisfying as actual mochi... a tender love story wrapped up in food, fashion, and family.
Diverse book recommended by The Today Show * A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year * Bank Street Best Book of the Year * YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults * ALA’s Rainbow Book List Top 10 for Teen Readers
Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Where the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances.
"Witty, wise, and disarmingly tender. I am hopelessly devoted to this summer dream of a book." —Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
The guy of her dreams... or the girl in her heart?
Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.
A NEW ENGLAND BOOK AWARD WINNER!
Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.
AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"A charming, wholehearted love story that's sure to make readers swoon."—Entertainment Weekly
"Nicola Yoon writes from the heart in this beautiful love story."—Good Morning America
Regal romance abounds in this flirty, laugh-out-loud companion novel to Prince Charming, by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, now in paperback!
For fans of Gilmore Girls and To All the Boys I've Loved Before, this effervescent love story from debut author Nina Moreno will sweep you away.
Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea—at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you're a boy with a boat.
But Rosa feels more caught than cursed.
A Stonewall Honor Book * A Time Magazine Best YA Book of All Time
From Stonewall and Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.
A romance novel inspired by the songs of Taylor Swift!
*NOW A USA TODAY BESTSELLER*
This BookTok sensation is perfect for fans of Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty and Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride.
Jenny’s never had much time for boys, K-pop, or really anything besides her dream of being a professional cellist. But when she finds herself falling for a K-pop idol, she has to decide whether their love is worth the risk.
In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.
A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club YA Pick
“A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow is an absolute delight.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease, from NATIONALLY and INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING author Sophie Gonzales
A 2021 Rainbow Book List Selection
A 2021 Southern Book Prize finalist
A Goodreads Choice Awards 2020 finalist
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
An Indie Next Pick
"An absolute masterpiece." -Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X
As sweet as a macaron from Laduree, this romantic novel set in Paris about an American ballerina and a charming French boy is parfait for fans of American Royals and Netflix's Emily in Paris.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Don't miss the eagerly anticipated prequel, Family of Liars.
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
“Impossible not to love.” —Rachael Lippincott, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Feet Apart
A wedding harpist disillusioned with love and a hopeless romantic cater-waiter flirt and fight their way through a summer of weddings in this effervescent romantic comedy from the acclaimed author of Today Tonight Tomorrow.
Claire Kann's If It Makes You Happy is a coming-of-age novel about a young girl learning to embrace her cultural and sexuality identity.
The Holiday meets The Parent Trap in this clever comedic whirlwind brimming with romance, and just a touch of magic.
Estranged sisters Jamie and Siri are quarter-life crisis-ing: hard. With adulthood breathing down their necks, suddenly their promising career aspirations feel way out of reach, and romance — completely implausible.
Love, Simon meets Bend It Like Beckham in this feel-good contemporary romance about a trans athlete who must decide between fighting for his right to play and staying stealth.
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by debut author Joya Goffney is a story of an overly enthusiastic list maker who is blackmailed into completing a to-do list of all her worst fears. It’s a heartfelt, tortured, contemporary YA high school romance.
A New York Times Bestseller
From the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato comes a Mamma Mia!–inspired tale about a teen girl finding romance while trying to connect with her absent father in beautiful Santorini, Greece.
Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled
In this fun and fresh sequel to Saints and Misfits, Janna hopes her brother’s wedding will be the perfect start to her own summer of love, but attractive new arrivals have her more confused than ever.
Janna Yusuf is so excited for the weekend: her brother Muhammad’s getting married, and she’s reuniting with her mom, whom she’s missed the whole summer.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places comes a compulsively readable novel about a young woman determined to write her own story--sex, heartbreak, family dramas, and all.
"A coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache." —PopSugar
From New York Times bestselling author Jason June comes a moving and hilarious sex-positive teen rom-com about the complexities of first loves, first hookups, and first heartbreaks—and how to stay true to yourself while embracing what you never saw coming, that’s perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon and Becky Albertalli.
Four starred reviews!
A “quietly triumphant” (Horn Book Magazine) and atmospheric YA story of romance, mystery, and power about a young woman discovering her strength in lush, sultry Venice—from the Printz Honor–winning author of A Heart in a Body in the World.
When Charlotte wins a scholarship to a writing workshop in Venice with
Felix Ever After meets Becky Albertalli in this swoon-worthy, heartfelt rom-com about how a transgender teen’s first love challenges his ideas about perfect relationships.
* A 2022 ALA Rainbow Booklist Selection * A Junior Library Guild Selection *
Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Ruta Sepetys, this sweet, summery romance set in Nantucket follows seventeen-year-old Abby Schoenberg as she uncovers a secret about her grandmother's life during WWII.
For fans of Jenny Han, Jane Austen, and The Great British Baking Show, A Taste for Love, is a delicious rom com about first love, familial expectations, and making the perfect bao.
Perfect for fans of 99 Days and Anna and the French Kiss, this unforgettable, sun-drenched summer romance from one of YA’s bestselling and most beloved authors, Sarah Mlynowski, is an irresistible dive into the joys of seizing the day and embracing the unexpected.
A Lambda Award Finalist, A Today Show Best Book, A Forbes Best Book, and an ALA Rainbow List Top Ten selection
Set in a summer camp, this sweet and sharp screwball comedy set in a summer camp for queer teens examines the nature of toxic masculinity and self-acceptance.
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer
“Confessions of a Shopaholic meets Crazy Rich Asians” (Kirkus Reviews) in this hilarious, quirky novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the decadent world of Beijing high society when she is sent away to spend the summer in China.
Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer: Her boyfriend cheated on her, she didn’t g
Two girls embark on a summer of montage-worthy dates (with a few strings attached) in this hilarious and heartfelt lesbian rom-com that’s perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han.
Seventeen-year-old cynic Saoirse Clarke isn’t looking for a relationship. But when she meets mischievous Ruby, that rule goes right out the window. Sort of.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A REESE'S BOOK CLUB WINTER YA PICK
INDIE NEXT PICK
A BEST YA PICK OF 2021 BY POPSUGAR * PARADE
A new love, a secret sister, and a summer she'll never forget.
I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter meets Emergency Contact in this stunning Pura Belpré Honor Book about first love, familial expectations, the power of food, and finding where you belong.
Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father's restaurant, Nacho's Tacos.
Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.
A national indie bestseller! Meet Anna K: every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way...
Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm.
From Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’, comes the first in a two-book origin story of Faith, a groundbreaking, plus-sized superhero from the Valiant Entertainment comics.
A sumptuously illustrated adaptation casts the powerful imagery of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel in a vivid new format.
A Map to the Sun is a gripping YA graphic novel about five principle players in a struggling girls' basketball team.
One summer day, Ren meets Luna at a beachside basketball court and a friendship is born. But when Luna moves to back to Oahu, Ren’s messages to her friend go unanswered.
The third volume in the poignant and sweet Heartstopper series, featuring beautiful two-color artwork!
Now streaming on Netflix!Charlie didn't think Nick could ever like him back, but now they're officially boyfriends.
Step into the spotlight with The Backups, a graphic novel from writer Alex de Campi and artist Lara Kane about crushes, confidence, and catchy choruses!
The graphic novel adaptation of the hit LGBT coming of age novel!
A NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL ADAPTATION OF THE BESTSELLING BOOK!
Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again.
From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes a graphic novel about family, romance, and first love.Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives.
A new YA graphic novel from French illustrator Elizabeth Holleville, Summer Spirit puts a fresh spin on the struggles of growing up as this coming-of-age story takes a supernatural and sinister turn.
Being a teenager is hard enough without finding out your new best friend is a 60 year old ghost...
A New York Times bestseller
A 2015 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2015 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
An Eisner Award Winner
Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp...defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons...what’s not to love?!
Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!
Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band—if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens.
"The Last Last-Day-of-Summer reminds me that all children deserve to exist in magical spaces where their imaginations and familial bonds will them into heroism. Every single child should have the freedom to be one of The Legendary Alstons.
A Printz Honor winner!
Ellie is tired of being fat-shamed and does something about it in this poignant debut novel-in-verse.
Cover may vary.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin comes a middle-grade road-trip story through American race relations past and present, perfect for fans of Jacqueline Woodson and Jason Reynolds.
How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
- Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
A warm, tender story perfect for fans of Front Desk about a creative girl who hopes that by winning a filmmaking contest, she'll convince her great-grandfather to stay by her side.
From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit, kindness, and sunshine.
In this funny and moving animals-in-peril adventure, a twelve-year-old girl and her two best friends determine to rescue two orphaned beaver kits—and soon find themselves trying to solve a local environmental crisis. Perfect for fans of Pax and A Boy Called Bat.
National Book Award-finalist Ibi Zoboi makes her middle-grade debut with a moving story of a girl finding her place in a world that's changing at warp speed.
From the award-winning author of The First Rule of Punk comes the story of four kids who form an alternative Scout troop that shakes up their sleepy Florida town.
*"Writing with wry restraint that's reminiscent of Kate DiCamillo... a beautiful tale." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
In this Newbery Honor novel, New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them. A strong option for summer reading—take this book along on a family road trip or enjoy it at home.
In this perfectly pitched novel-in-letters, autistic eleven-year-old Vivy Cohen won't let anything stop her from playing baseball--not when she has a major-league star as her pen pal.
Vivy Cohen is determined. She's had enough of playing catch in the park. She's ready to pitch for a real baseball team.
Tanya Guerrero's All You Knead Is Love is a contemporary middle grade coming-of-age novel about a twelve-year-old multiracial Filipino and Spanish girl who goes to live with her grandmother for the summer, gaining confidence through a newly discovered passion for baking, perfect for fans of Hello, Universe and Merci Suarez Changes Gears.
Winner of the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor
Pura Belpré Honor Winner
PNBA Award Winner
Globe & Mail Best Children's Book of Year
Booklist Editor's Choice
"Higuera has knocked it out of the park."—Erin Entrada Kelly, New York Times Book Review
Read the modern classic about a young witch and her clever cat that started it all! Nostalgic fans of the Hiyao Miyazaki film, Kiki's Delivery Service and newcomers alike will love this exciting new translation of the beloved fantasy story.
"This new translation is perfect." --School Library Journal
Gordon Korman meets The Great Outdoors in this funny and moving debut about a boy who goes on a disastrous family vacation (sweltering heat!
"Beautiful and wise, [this] is a gem of a book." --Adam Gidwitz, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitor's Tale
Just right for fans of Pam Muñoz Ryan, this story of moving out and moving on is a touching portrayal of the experience of leaving one's home country and making new friends--sometimes where least expected.
Named to Oprah Magazine's Best Caribbean Books for Your 2021 reading list, imagination and adventure run wild in the most talked about middle grade debut of the year!
A small village on a Jamaican island.
A girl who doesn't remember the previous summer.
Schoolyard rivalries. Baking disasters. Puffed sleeves. Explore the violet vales and glorious green of Avonlea in this spirited adaptation.
The spirit of Anne is alive and well in Mariah Marsden's crisp adaptation, and it's a thrill to watch as the beloved orphan rushes headlong through Brenna Thummler's heavenly landscapes.
From New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Kayla Miller comes a graphic novel about venturing off to summer camp for the first time and stepping out of one's comfort zone, navigating new experiences, and the satisfaction of blazing your own trails.
Olive and Willow are happy campers!
Or are they?
The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller Roller Girl is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby—perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile!
"Beautifully drawn, brutally funny, brilliantly honest. Vera is such a good cartoonist I almost can’t stand it.” —Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile
*A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018!*
All Summer Long, a coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel about summer and friendships, written and illustrated by the Eisner Award–winning and New York Times–bestselling Hope Larson.
This middle-grade graphic novel for fans of Roller Girl and Smile introduces Jamila and Shirley, two unlikely friends who save each other's summers while solving their neighborhood's biggest mysteries.
When is a summer vacation not really a summer vacation?Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It's full of . . . old people.
"Just the right amount of chills for tweens who enjoy supernatural suspense." — KIRKUS
Perfect for fans of Lumberjanes and Brain Camp, there’s more than mosquitos at Camp Whatever and Willow will need to face truths about herself and her family as summer camp dread goes head to head with the supernatural.
Now an Apple Original from Apple TV+!
Sun... sand... and spooky adventures!
This summer vacation is anything but a dream trip. The first book in a spooky, witty new graphic novel series from bestselling Blastosaurus creator Richard Fairgray, perfect for fans of Gravity Falls, Rickety Stitch, and Fake Blood.
Two friends: one big, one little. One old, one young. One grumpy, one cheerful. Both: MONSTERS! From the author of Crabapple Trouble comes a sweet and fun-filled chapter-book graphic novel, with a charming cast of adorable monsters.
“Shark Summer is bursting with vibrant, expressive art....The characters are distinct and relatable...It’s a lovely read!”—Molly Knox Ostertag, author of the Witch Boy series"Eloquently chronicled in Marcks’s cinematic panels, friendships are formed and repaired, parental relationships articulated, and inner conflicts expressed and resolved. A
A graphic novel adaptation of the beloved, bestselling Newbery Honor-winning novel.
On Here Wee Read's 2021 Ultimate List of Diverse Children's Books!
Publisher Weekly Starred Review! "Warm digital art by Southerland makes excellent use of light and shadow, and offers a lovely portrait of an expressive family with varying hairstyles and body types. This hopeful, mouthwatering narrative showcases tender family rapport."
A breathtaking picture book featuring a Korean girl and her haenyeo (free diving) grandmother about intergenerational bonds, finding courage in the face of fear, and connecting with our natural world.
"Musa's enthusiasm for halal hot dogs is infectious, and this portrait of a family and community that takes joy and pride in their identity and traditions is refreshing . . . .
This stunning nonfiction picture book tells the inspiring story of Sarah Gerhardt, one of the first female big-wave surfers.
Have you ever seen a big wave? One that’s twenty, thirty, forty, even fifty feet tall? Here’s a better question: Would you ever surf a big wave? Sarah Gerhardt did—and this is her story.
Four starred reviews! In an evocative picture book brimming with the scents, tastes, and traditions that define a young girl’s summer with her grandmother, debut author Michelle Sterling and illustrator Aaron Asis come together to celebrate the gentle bonds of familial love that span oceans and generations.
An everyday visit to the pool transforms into an unforgettable celebration of the water in this remarkable picture book from Jacqueline Davies, the award-winning author of children's classic The Lemonade War, and Sonia Sánchez, the illustrator of Meg Medina's Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away.
From New York Times bestselling author Gideon Sterer is an imaginative, colorful tale of making (and selling!) lemonade from life's lemons is not too sour and not too sweet.
"Reflects great admiration and wonder for all humpback whales ... A true homage to these wondrous creatures." --Kirkus (STARRED Review)
This evocative picture book celebrates a child's connection and kinship with whales.
A Stonewall Honor Book
Best Illustrated Book -- Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2022
"As warm and friendly as a kind grandparent." Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"For the hope for new adventures, and the glimpse of intergenerational kindness and understanding, this lovely book should be on every shelf."
A vibrant picture book celebrating the strength of community and the tastes of summer from Latin Grammy-winning musician Lucky Diaz and celebrated artist Micah Player.
Ring! Ring! Ring! Can you hear his call? Paletas for one! Paletas for all!
One girl’s simple act of kindness causes ripples in her community in this witty, heartwarming story about paying it forward
The day after a mighty storm, a little girl finds a sea star that has washed up on shore, and she returns it to the ocean. Seeing her small act of kindness, an old man heads to an animal shelter with his grandson to pick a dog in need of a home.
Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus
"Gloriously inventive."--New York Times
"Any youngster who enjoys critters and nature will appreciate this book."--5 STARS, Youth Services Book Review
Somewhere off the coast and around the corner there are two islands. One island is made mostly of stones and the other mainly of sand, and that's where the problem began.
From New York Times bestselling author Tami Charles and rising star illustrator Sharon Sordo comes the first book in a charming picture book series about a fun, spunky girl with a huge heart!