Some books I like to read again and again BUT sometimes I just want to read something new. Know what I mean? So for this post, I found ten brand-new books that sound like fantastic additions to the TBR pile.
They’re all set in the summer and all ten of them were published in the last couple of months, some just a few weeks ago. That means you can be one of the first people to read them!
In this list you’ll find magic, ocean adventures, robots, mysteries, lots of terrific characters and so much more. Plus cookies! (See #9 for the cookie story.) I hope you enjoy reading about these books and I hope you enjoy reading one or more of them, too.
P.S. For even more fun summer reading, see Summer Series for Middle Grade Readers.
1. Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Mistaken identity, friendship and protecting the environment: Consider the Octopus has it all! For more ocean-centered stories, check out my post Giving Thanks to the Seas.
Amazon Description: Jeremy “JB” Barnes is looking forward to spending the summer before seventh grade hanging on the beach. But his mother, a scientist, has called for him to join her aboard a research ship where, instead, he’ll spend his summer seasick and bored as he stares out at the endless plastic, microbeads, and other floating debris, both visible and not, that make up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Miles and miles away, twelve-year-old Sidney Miller is trying to come up with an alternate activity worthy of convincing her overprotective parents that she can skip summer camp. When Jeremy is asked to find the contact information for a list of important international scientists and invite them to attend a last-minute Emergency Global Summit, he’s excited to have a chance to actually do something that matters to the mission.
How could he know that the Sidney Miller he messages is not the famous marine biologist he has been tasked with contacting, but rather a girl making podcasts from her bedroom―let alone that she would want to sneak aboard the ship?
2. The Art of Magic by Hannah Voskul
Enchanted art supplies? Yes, please! How fun would that be? Until it’s not…
Amazon description: ZuZu’s first summer without her best friend is looking pretty grim, until she meets new kid Andrew at a visit to the historic Mapleton Mansion.
Together they stumble upon some enchanted art supplies and discover that the shapes they draw and paint can come to life. Their creations are harmless―but ZuZu and Andrew aren’t the only ones with access to magic.
Soon, nightmarish half-machine, half-living creatures begin appearing around town, controlled by a power-hungry “caster” with a sinister mission. It’s up to ZuZu and Andrew to use their newfound abilities to protect their community.
3. The Natural Genius of Ants by Betty Culley
Harvard just wants to help his dad feel better. Who’d have thought an ant farm would be the way to do that. This is a sweet, funny story with a great lesson on forgiveness.
Amazon description: Harvard is used to his father coming home from the hospital and telling him about all the babies he helped. But since he made the mistake at work, Dad has been quieter than usual. And now he is taking Harvard and his little brother, Roger, to Kettle Hole, Maine, for the summer. Harvard hopes this trip isn’t another mistake.
In the small town where he grew up, Dad seems more himself. Especially once the family decides to start an ant farm—just like Dad had as a kid! But when the mail-order ants are D.O.A., Harvard doesn’t want Dad to experience any more sadness. Luckily, his new friend Neveah has the brilliant idea to use the ants crawling around the kitchen instead. But these insects don’t come with directions. So the kids have a lot to learn—about the ants, each other, and how to forgive ourselves when things go wrong.
4. Molly and the Machine by Erik Jon Slangerup
I like Molly—she has spunk. She’s not going to let some robot get away with stealing her little brother. Even if she has to save him all by herself.
Amazon description: It’s the summer of 1983, and one by one, the kids of Far Flung Falls are disappearing.
With sheer drop-offs at every turn, the woods behind Molly McQuirter’s house have always been a dangerous place—even before something big and metal started lurking in them. But when Molly’s little brother is snatched up before her eyes, she has no choice but to follow. Sure, Wally tends to ruin everything, and his finger practically lives up his nose, but she isn’t about to let him be abducted by some unknown enemy, especially since their mom ran off to Florida two years ago and their dad, who’s slowly morphing into a couch potato, won’t be any help.
If Molly wants to protect the family she has left, Wally’s rescue is going to be up to her. So aided a crew of unusually determined pets, Molly sets off on Pink Lightning—her tricked-out bicycle—on a chase through the hills of southern Ohio.
Finding the robot culprit only creates more questions, however, and when the unlikely mastermind behind the robot is uncovered, a new story begins to unfold—one of lost love, family bonds, and some seriously weird science.
5. The Summer of June by Jamie Sumner
June is so brave. I love how she decides to make a change and then sets about making it happen.
Amazon description: Twelve-year-old June Delancey is kicking summer off with a bang. She shaves her head and sets two goals: she will beat her anxiety and be the lion she knows she can be, instead of the mouse everyone sees. And she and her single mama will own their power as fierce, independent females.
With the help of Homer Juarez, the poetry-citing soccer star who believes in June even when she doesn’t believe in herself, she starts a secret library garden and hatches a plan to make her dreams come true. But when her anxiety becomes too much, everything begins to fall apart. It’s going to take more than a haircut and some flowers to set things right. It’s going to take courage and friends and watermelon pie. Forget second chances. This is the summer of new beginnings.
6. The Swallowtail Legacy 1: Wreck at Ada’s Reef by Michael D. Bell
The only thing better than a good mystery is a mystery that’s the first in a series! I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Amazon description: Twelve-year-old Lark Heron-Finch is steeling herself to spend the summer on Swallowtail Island off the shores of Lake Erie. It’s the first time she and her sister will have seen the old house since their mom passed away. The island’s always been full of happy memories—and with a stepfather and his boys and no mom, now everything is different.
When Nadine, a close family friend, tells Lark about a tragic boat accident that happened off the coast many years before, Lark’s enthralled with the story. Nadine’s working on a book about Dinah Purdy, Swallowtails’s oldest resident who had a connection to the crash, and she’s sure that the accident was not as it appeared. Impressed by Lark’s keen eye, she hires her as her research assistant for the summer.
And then Lark discovers something amazing. Something that could change Dinah’s life. Something linked to the crash and to her own family’s history with Swallowtail. But there are others on the island who would do anything to keep the truth buried in the watery depths of the past.
7. It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit by Justin A. Reynolds
You don’t expect the end of the world to be this funny, but Eddie’s story is pretty hilarious. Also: I might need to go do some laundry now, just in case. . .
Amazon description: Twelve-year-old Eddie Gordon Holloway has concocted his most genius plan ever to avoid chores . . . especially the dreaded L-A-U-N-D-R-Y. If he can wear every item of clothing in his wardrobe, summer will be halfway over before he has to do laundry!
On the day of the highly anticipated Beach Bash, Eddie ends up grounded until he can get his clothes clean. While left home alone to do his laundry, the power goes out mid-cycle. With his first load of laundry soaking wet and the rest still filthy, Eddie sets out to explore the seemingly empty neighborhood in just his swim trunks and flip-flops.
As he meets up with other neighborhood kids to find out what happened, they realize that their families aren’t coming back anytime soon. And as night falls, the crew realizes they aren’t just the only people left in the neighborhood — they might be the only people left . . . anywhere.
8. Out of Range by Heidi Lang
I don’t think summer camp is meant to be like this…but it sure makes for an exciting story!
Amazon description: Sisters Abby, Emma, and Ollie have gone from being best friends forever to mortal enemies.
Thanks to their months-long feud, they are sent to Camp Unplugged, a girls’ camp deep in the heart of the Idaho mountains where they will go “back to nature”—which means no cell phones, no internet, and no communicating with the outside world. For two whole weeks. During that time, they had better learn to get along again, their parents tell them. Or else.
The sisters don’t see any way they can ever forgive each other for what they’ve done, no matter how many hikes and campfire songs they’re forced to participate in. But then disaster strikes, and they find themselves lost and alone in the wilderness. They will have to outrun a raging wildfire, make it through a turbulent river, escape bears and mountain lions and ticks. They don’t have training, or food, or enough supplies. All they have is each other.
And maybe, just maybe, it will be enough to survive.
9. Cookies & Milk by Shawn Amos
A snack is always nice when you’re reading (and even when you’re not) but for this book the perfect snack is Famous Amos cookies—because the author is the real-life son of Famous Amos himself. This story is partly based on his own life. Pass the cookies, please!
Amazon description: Eleven-year-old Ellis Johnson has the summertime blues. He dreamed of spending the summer of 1976 hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing his harmonica. Instead, he’ll be sleeping on a lumpy pullout in Dad’s sad little post-divorce bungalow and helping bring Dad’s latest far-fetched, sure-to-fail idea to life: opening the world’s first chocolate chip cookie store. They have six weeks to perfect their recipe, get a ramshackle A-frame on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard into tip-top shape, and bring in customers.
But of course, nothing is as easy as Dad makes it sound, even with Grandma along for the ride. Like she says, they have to GIT—get it together—and make things work. Along the way, Ellis discovers a family mystery he is determined to solve, the power of community, and new faith in himself.
10. Fibbed by Elizabeth Agyemang
I love stories about far-away places and when they include magical creatures, that’s even better. I think all spiders probably have a bit of trickster in them, don’t you? For more books with magical creatures, see my post
Amazon description: Everyone says that the wild stories Nana tells are big fibs. But she always tells the truth, as ridiculous as it sounds to hear about the troupe of circus squirrels stealing her teacher’s toupee. When another outlandish explanation lands her in hot water again, her parents announce that Nana will be spending the summer with her grandmother in Ghana.
She isn’t happy to be missing the summer camp she’s looked forward to all year, or to be living with family that she barely knows, in a country where she can’t really speak the native language. But all her worries get a whole lot bigger—literally—when she comes face-to-face with Ananse, the trickster spider of legend.
Nana soon discovers that the forest around the village is a place of magic watched over by Ananse. But a group of greedy contractors are draining the magic from the land, intent on selling the wishes for their own gain. Nana must join forces with her cousin Tiwaa, new friend Akwesi, and Ananse himself to save the magic from those who are out to steal it before the magic—and the forest—are gone for good.
There you have it! Ten brand-new-ish books to read this summer. Which one do you think you’ll read first? Come on over to my Instagram account and let me know.