Recommended Reading Lists for Summer

The world is your oyster when it comes to summer reading, but with so many options to pick from, where do you start? Our librarians collect the snazziest books throughout the year and have recommendations for you. Find your next favorite book by trying one of the following resources. 

Recommended Reading Lists by Grade Level

These regularly-refreshed librarian recommended materials are sorted by grade for an easy way to determine reading level.


This page shows all the booklists librarians have curated with simple filters at the top. The link we have here automatically shows lists for kids, but you can filter to your liking.

Summer 2024 at CPL and Beyond

You can search the catalog to find booklists for summer. If you’re starting from scratch, select the “List” option in the second drop down of the search bar. This lets you search all the lists that librarians and patrons alike make in the catalog. You can filter your search further with the options on the left.

Ask a Librarian with May We Suggest

If you’re looking for a personalized recommendation, ask a librarian! With our May We Suggest service, you let us know about some books you’ve liked (and maybe even some you didn’t like) and we’ll email a list of suggested titles within two to four days.

Try a New Book This Summer

Picture Books

Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry. Learn about a wild and wacky array of vehicles in this rollicking ride through Busytown.

Being Home by Traci Sorell. A heartwarming picture book about a Native American family and the joy of moving back to their ancestral land.

The Perfect Place by Matt de la Peña. At private school, Lucas compares his home life with the supposedly perfect lives of the other students.

Early Reader/Early Chapter

Nat the Cat Has a Snack by Jarrett Lerner. Nat the Cat has a snack. Pat the Rat wants a snack. Nat the Cat can share, right? Nat the Cat does not want to share!

Newbie Fairy by Kate Korsh. When Oona tries to help the Tooth Fairy, the most famous fairy of all time, her sideways magic ends up making things worse.

Surfin' Sharks by Nidhi Chanani. Surfing is Mack's favorite sport, and he's been working really hard on his routine. But after a high-flying performance, he becomes discouraged once he sees a more talented shark and decides to quit for good.

Middle Grade

The Vice Principal Problem by Kekla Magoon and Cynthia Leitich Smith. When cousins Riley, who has a way with people, and Maya, a tech wizard, move in with their activist grandma, they get off to a rocky start until they join forces as superheroes to stop their school culture from being threatened by money, power and lies. 

Bumps in the Night by Amalie Howard. Sent to her grandmother's estate in Trinidad, Rika meets a group of kids with elemental powers called Minders, who reveal that her long-lost mom is in danger, sending Rika on a magical adventure.

Just Keep Walking by Erin Soderberg Downing. Takes place on the Superior Hiking Trail along Lake Superior’s north shore.

Dancing in the Storm by Amie Darnell Specht. Kate’s life takes a drastic turn when shoulder pain reveals she has Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, a rare genetic disorder. She gets support from a pen pal named Amie, who also has FOP.

The Fight for the Hidden Realm by Siobhan McDermott. Twelve-year-old Yeung Zhi Ging gets a chance to prove her worth as a Silhouette, an apprentice to immortals, when an evil spirit called Fui Gwai returns, giving her the opportunity to use her newfound powers to save her friends and the world beyond.

Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice by Anna Lapera. Mani Semilla is determined not to go to Guatemala until she finds letters written between her mother and her journalist aunt who has disappeared, revealing both the beauty of the country and its history of violence against women, which slowly transforms her into a budding activist.

Max in the House of Spies by Adam Gidwitz. To find his way back home to his family in Germany during World War II, Max Bretzfeld, with a kobold named Berg on one shoulder and a dybbuk named Stein on the other, sets out to do the impossible—become a British spy.

Summer at Squee by Andrea Wang. A senior camper at Summertime Chinese Culture, Wellness and Enrichment Experience (Squee), Chinese American tween Phoenny Fang finds her summer even more transformative than she could've imagined, with new friendships, her first crush and a bigger love for, and understanding of, her community.

Blood City Rollers by V.P. Anderson. After ice-skater and Olympic hopeful Mina wipes out at her biggest competition, she gets recruited by a squad of vampires who need a human player to complete their Paranormal Roller Derby team.

Mid-Air by Alicia D. Williams. In this new book by a Michigan author, 13-year-old Isaiah grapples with the loss of his best friend as he strives to fit into a world that expects him to toughen up, which leads him on an exploration of identity and vulnerability.