Summer Reading Recommendations from Greystone

During a normal summer at camp, I surely don’t have much time to read. Camp is so fun, and we are always on the go, so my book reading takes a summer hiatus. Now, with these slower (read: horrific without camp) summer days, I am hoping to fill my time by reading a few good books over the next few weeks. If you’re looking for a new book to read, here are some books that would make for some great summer reading.

Note: These books are for a mix of ages and maturities. Please make sure to read the descriptions to make sure a specific book is suited to you or for your family. Check with a place like Common Sense Media to research more about what each of these books contain.

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Wink by Rob Harrell: I just loved reading this middle grade book recently, so even if you are older than a middle schooler, I hope you will enjoy it too! What do you do when you’re a seventh grader who has a tumor in his eye, starts to lose his hair, has to wear a cowboy hat to school to protect against the sun, and faces a school bully picking on you in class? This book is funny and hopeful, despite the topic, and helps remind all of us that there is more to a person than what you see at first glance.

The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin: This book is funny! I really enjoyed her first book The Thing About Jellyfish, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this 2nd book by Benjamin. When a girl named Caitlyn moves to a new school in the middle of nowhere, and the class realizes that student legend Paulie Fink is missing, hilarity ensues as they try to find Paulie’s replacement. This book is funny but in a way that also helps you to think about what matters most.

The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy: Oh, I just loved this book! It’s a feel-good story about a young girl who goes on a RV trip with the scariest teacher at her school and a fellow classmate she dislikes most of all, as she tries to win a singing competition to impress her daddy, who she has never met. It’s sweet, fun, heartwarming, and makes you just feel good about life.

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Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes: Two brothers from the same parents couldn’t look more different on the outside: one is white and one is black, and each are treated as such at their elitist private school. While the white brother is an athletic phenomenon and treated as popular, the black brother Donte is singled out as a troublemaker. In an effort to find a place for himself, Donte takes up the sport of fencing (hello, camp class!) and begins to understand himself and to confront the racism he faces in school. A wonderful story!

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper: Melody is exceptionally bright, but nobody knows it. She has cerebral palsy, and she cannot walk, talk, or write like other friends her age. While she can remember an extraordinary amount of details, she can’t always convey her thoughts and feelings easily. How do you cope when everyone thinks you are dumb and can’t understand anything you are trying to say? This is a really wonderful book that gets to the heart of the idea that people are much more than their outer appearance.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: Oh, this book series just screams summer beach reading! It’s cheesy (really cheesy) but very fun and perfectly enjoyable summer reading for a high schooler. Lara Jean has spent her adolescent life writing secret love letters to her crushes and stores them in her room. When her sister accidentally sends the letters to the boys, hilarity ensues. Even if you’ve seen the movie, give the book (and series) a try – it’s better!

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My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand: Do you listen to audiobooks? This book is ideal for audio as it has the most fabulous narration. My Lady Jane may be my all time favorite audiobook…and I’ve listened to a ton! This is considered a historical fantasy, but I would describe it as just plain hilarious. I don’t want to spoil anything, but check this out for sure!

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson: I bet you’ve heard of this excellent non-fiction book, but if you haven’t read it yet, now is a great time. Author Bryan Stevenson takes you through his legal fight as he works to free an innocent black man from prison. This book is equal parts eye-opening as it is convicting; I was rooting along with Stevenson throughout the whole book.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: This YA series was published a while ago, but it makes for a really great summer reading experience. While the book is about a cyborg that fights against evil beings in outer space, I don’t want you to read that and turn up your nose at the idea. This is a retelling of the Cinderella story – it’s a fun, fast-paced, adventure packed series that will keep you turning pages on a lazy summer afternoon. I flew through the series a few years ago.

On my summer reading list, I also have these five books that I am looking forward to reading. Have any of you read them?

  • Skyward by Brandon Sanderson: I have really enjoyed some of Sanderson’s other books, and I can’t wait to get sucked in to this new story.
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer: With the recent release of the movie, I want to read this before I sit down and watch it on the screen. Or, should I watch it first? Hard to say.
  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia: Combine some adventure with some mythology, and you’ve got me hooked. Can’t wait to check out this author’s debut book this summer.
  • Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while, and with it being a series, I’d love to get sucked into a multi-book experience that I don’t want to put down.
  • Princess Academy by Shannon Hale: Another by Hale, this Newberry Honor winner would make for a great series for our younger campers. I’m excited to pick this up!

What are you going to be reading this summer? Let us know in the comments below. While reading a great book does not compare to being at camp, we hope you can get wrapped up in the magic of a good story. Happy reading friends!