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Summertime Books

Summer is here, school is out, and there’s no homework. So kick back, relax and enjoy a good book about summertime. Here are some to get you started. You’ll find everything from road trips to summer jobs and life on a yacht or digging holes in the desert. 

  1. Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. YA BRA – For the first time in fifteen years four best friends have to go their separate ways for the summer. They are bummed out to be apart but the summer turns out to be a magical one when they discover a very special pair of pants that conforms to fit each of them. They take turns wearing them and writing details about their summer on the fabric. Each girl sends the pants on after a couple of weeks until they’ve all had a turn and a summer they’ll never forget. (If you enjoy this book, look for the others in the series: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood; Girls in Pants; Forever in Blue.)
  2. Dessen, Sarah. Along for the Ride. YA DES – Auden decides to spend the summer before her senior year of high school at her dad and stepmother’s house at the beach. Auden missed out on a lot of childhood things because of her parent’s divorce and clung to academics and college ambitions. But over the summer she makes some friends, starts to relax a little and even learns how to ride a bike!
  3. Johnson, Maureen. Girl at Sea. YA JOH – Seventeen year old Clio gets a summer job at an art store before realizing that her mother has summer plans of her own that involve Clio living with her father for the summer. On a yacht in Italy. She’s not thrilled to be spending so much time with her father but as it turns out, her summer is filled with mystery, adventure, and a little bit of romance.
  4. Perkins, Lynne Rae. Criss Cross. YA PER – Debbie, a teenager living in the small town of Seldom, wishes that something would happen this summer. She doesn’t know what she wants to happen, just something. The story crisscrosses between multiple characters, their hopes and dreams, and interactions with each other. And by the end of the book Debbie’s wish comes true, though not all in the way she would have expected. 
  5. Hoffman, Alice. Aquamarine. YA HOF – Best friends Hailey and Claire are trying to cherish every moment of their last summer together before Claire has to move to Florida with her grandparents. What they don’t count on is a storm that washes a mermaid into the beach club pool where they hang out every day. What do you do with a mermaid trapped in a pool? Help her get back to the ocean, of course! But not until you’ve helped her get a date with her crush. 
  6. Caletti, Deb. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart. YA CAL – Ruby McQueen is a quiet girl. That seems to define her. But when she starts dating rich, bad boy Travis Becker during the summer of her junior year, her life becomes a little more exciting but also a little more dangerous. Her mom is concerned about the relationship and gets Ruby involved in a reading group for the elderly. What Ruby finds there is a group of women that she can look up to and gain confidence from. 
  7. Sachar, Louis. Holes. YA SAC – Stanley Yelnats is the unlikely hero of this book about juvenile detention. Camp Green Lake is a juvenile delinquent center where the kids have to dig holes in the desert as punishment for their crimes. But the question is, why are they digging all of these holes and what are they looking for. As Stanley starts to unravel parts of the mystery he also starts to gain his own courage and finds the strength to stand up for his newfound friends.
  8. Greene, Bette. The Summer of My German Soldier. YA GRE – During World War II, the military set up a camp in Arkansas for German prisoners of war. Anton escapes from the camp and against all odds finds refuge a Jewish girl named Patty. She hides him above the family garage and the two become very fond of each other. Now there is always one question on their minds: Will Anton be discovered?
  9. Blundell, Judy. What I Saw and How I Lied. YA BLU – The summer of 1947 takes fifteen year old Evie from her home in Brooklyn to Palm Beach, Florida with her mom and stepfather. Joe has been acting strange ever since he got back from the war and it was a spur of the moment decision to go to Florida. At Palm Beach, they meet the Graysons, a fun, vivacious couple who have a secret of their own. Evie develops her first crush on a boy that was in the war with her stepfather. This agitates Joe and his mysterious behavior gets worse until disaster hits and Evie is left with a very big decision to make.
  10. Hiaasen, Carl. Flush. YA HIA – Noah’s father is in prison for sinking a casino boat that was sailing around the Florida Keys where he lives. He learned it was dumping sewage into the ocean around the Florida Keys, but the authorities could find no proof of the dumping. So Noah and his younger sister, Abby, take it upon themselves to find the proof to get their father out of jail. The plan they come up with is crazy, but it just might work. 
  11. Ockler, Sarah. Twenty Boy Summer. YA OCK – Anna goes on summer vacation with her best friend Frankie and her parents. Frankie has challenged Anna to flirt with twenty boys while they’re on vacation. What she doesn’t know is that Anna had a romance with Matt, Frankie’s older brother. Matt died the previous year of a heart condition and they never told Frankie of their relationship. Anna must work through her grief in secret as Frankie unknowingly pushes her to move on. 
  12. Gehram, Jody Elizabeth. Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty. YA GEH – Sixteen year old Geena get’s a summer job at Triple Shot Betty, the local coffee shop. It may not be her idea of a fun summer but it helps that her cousin, Hero, and her best friend, Amber, are working there with her. However, when the two girls don’t really hit it off Geena fears that the summer is ruined … until Hero and Amber decide to set their differences aside and join forces to get a little revenge on the town bully.
  13. Wolff, Virginia Euwer. The Mozart Season. YA WOL – Summertime for Allegra Shapiro means one thing: violin lessons. She is very talented and has been selected as a finalist for a competition of young musicians where she must play a complicated Mozart Concerto. But she gets more than violin music out of her summer as different people make an impact on her life.
  14. Wittlinger, Ellen.  Zigzag. YA WIT – When Robin’s boyfriend goes to Rome for the summer before he starts college she is brokenhearted. So when she gets an invitation to join her aunt and two cousins on a summer road trip around the western part of the United States she decides to accept. She has very low expectations for the trip. She only decided to go because she has nothing else to do. What she discovers along the way, though, is her own strength and independence.