Top Ten Sizzlin’ Summer Reads for 2022

10 Diverse Books Perfect for Kids

By Shawna Della Cerra, Ed.D.

With no homework or school to worry about, summer can be the perfect time for kids and teens to crack open a great book. These Top Ten Sizzlin’ Summer Reads are sure to entertain, influence, and make you want to learn more.

Up in the Air

by Jody Armstrong

Use this beautiful nature guide to nourish your child’s curiosity about subjects like meteorology, botany, and more. Topics such as weather patterns, tiny insects, and stars will build their knowledge about nature and the world above their heads. If it’s in the air, it’s in this book.

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet

by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

Omar and his family just moved, which means being the new kid at school. Omar worries that his teacher will be an alien (she isn’t), he won’t make friends (he does), and that the kids will be mean (one student is). Muslim prayers, family rituals, preparing for Ramadan, and his mother’s commitment to wearing a hijab make this a great mirror and window book for elementary schoolers. Omar’s imagination and his quirky family make this book light and joyful, even in the face of racial bullying by Omar’s new nemesis, Daniel.

Please, Baby, Please

by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

It’s never a dull moment with this baby girl. Kids and parents will love all the playful antics that this toddler puts her parents through.

Dory Fantasmagory

by Abby Hanlon

Dory Fantasmagory is an adorable beginner chapter book. Dory is the youngest of the family with a HUGE imagination, which drives her big siblings crazy. She has a fairy godfather named Mr. Nuggy and an imaginary friend named Mary who often leads her astray (like taking off her shoes and losing them at school). Yes, there is fighting and ignoring, but this is the way real kids act, and it provides a moment where we can stop and talk about feelings and what would be better ways to act on them. There are currently five books in this series to enjoy this summer.

Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero

by Kelly J. Baptist

Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero is a moving, realistic portrayal of the poverty and housing insecurity that can impact a family after the death of a parent. Featuring a likable male protagonist with a love for poetry and a desire to support his mother, Isaiah learns that perseverance and vulnerability are real superpowers and that family and community are the real wind beneath a superhero’s cape.

Child of the Sea

by Maxine Rose Schur

Child of the Sea will sweep you into a sea of love. Through lyrics, this poetic folktale artfully creates a story experience of the fisherman and his wife who long for a child of their own, and their journey of love and letting go. Their dreams come true when the fisherman discovers a baby girl in his fishing net. Though their family is happy and united, their daughter, Merella, longs to return to the sea.

Curious World of Dandy-lion

by Lorraine Hawley

Meredith Smart, a gifted and curious fifth-graders, has some imaginary friends. Meredith is on a mission to help her widow neighbor who’s been trapped in his house since his wife passed away. This lovely tale honors the importance of showing kindness and compassion to the sad and lonely people around us. It teaches children to believe in themselves, embrace their uniqueness, and the importance of friendship.

Gullible Gus

by Maxine Rose Schur

Lawley Publishing is thrilled to be working with Maxine Rose Schur. Her writing is sophisticated. You’ll be slapping your knee as you read this hilarious Junior Library Guild selection, Gullible Gus. Cowboy Gus is sweet but naïve. Gus often gets teased and tricked, and this makes him sad, so he goes to see Doc Hickory. Doc Hickory sends him to the town of Fibrock, where he must find the biggest liar to tell him the tallest of tall tales, so he can learn how to decipher truth from fiction. Hokum Malarkey tells Gus of outlandish people like Cantankerous Clem, whose only friend is a parlor chair, and Backwards Hannah, who, as sheriff, rounds up criminals before they commit crimes. Find out if Gus says the words “I don’t believe it,” so he can be cured of gullibility.

The Very Impatient Caterpillar

by Ross Burach

When a group of caterpillars scamper up a tree to metamorphosize, one of them is still learning about this whole transformation thing. Who knew that with a little time, and patience, he could become a beautiful butterfly? But the two-week wait inside his chrysalis feels like FOREVER! His fellow caterpillars all tell him to be patient and let nature take its course, but the waiting is just so hard. Can he do it??

My Life as a Ninja

by Janet Tashjian’s

Derek Fallon becomes a ninja-in-training in Book 6 of the bestselling My Life series by Janet Tashjian. Derek has expanded his taste in cartoons to the world of manga and anime. Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek has fun learning about all the cool aspects of ninja culture. When someone starts vandalizing their school with graffiti of a mischievous troll-like figure, these ninjas-in-training are convinced they’ll be able to crack the case. But it turns out that being a ninja is a lot more work than they thought, and this adventure brings about new opportunities for Derek to embarrass himself.

My Life as a Ninja

by Janet Tashjian’s

Summer reading should be both pleasurable and thought-provoking. With that in mind, this reading list reflects a range of student interests and readability levels. Lawley Publishing wishes each of you an amazing page-turning adventure as you enjoy these Top Ten Sizzlin’ Summer Reads.

Use our Race Into Reading chart to keep track of your reading in a fun way!

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