AltSchool's 2017 Summer Reading List
We're pleased to share our summer reading list, curated by AltSchool educators. If you'd like to download a PDF of this list with links to all of the books, you can find it here. Happy reading this summer from all of us at AltSchool!
Vincent Paints His House
by Tedd Arnold
An artist makes his home a canvas.
by Barbara Cooney
One woman’s quest to make the world more beautiful.
Little Red Writing
by Joan Holub, illus. By Melissa Sweet
The tiny pencil vs. the Worlf 3000 sharpener.
Little Blue and Little Yellow
by Leo Lionni
Best friends transform each other.
Tia Isa Wants a Car
by Meg Medina, illus. by Claudio Munoz
Can la familia save enough money to make a dream come true?
Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book
by Yuyi Morales
Grandma Beetie outwits Senor Calavera.
Pheobe & Digger
by Tricia Springstubb, illus. by Jeff Newman
Nothing can stop a girl and her truck.
by David Ezra Stein
Little red chick hilariously corrects Papa’s bedtime stories.
Just a Dream
by Chris Van Allsburg
Wasteful Walter’s fantastic journey reveals the importance of environmentalism.
Don’t Throw It to Mo!
by David A. Adler, illus. by Sam Ricks
Mo loves football, but will he get a chance to play?
Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail
by James Horvath
A canine crew constructs a new high rise.
Ling & Ting: Together in All Weather
by Grace Lin
Discover the fun in all four seasons!
Swing, Otto, Swing!
by David Milgrim
Where there is ingenuity, there is a way.
Lily’s New Home
by Paula Yoo, illus. by Shirley Ng-Benitez
Adventures are waiting around every corner of New York City.
A Cool Drink of Water
by Barbara Kerley
One of the world’s most precious resources.
A Butterfly is Patient
by Dianna Hutts Aston; illus. by Sylvia Long
Fascinating facts about amazing insects.
by Jodie Shepherd
Discover the first African-American female astronaut.
All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel
by Dan Yaccarino
Four generations. One amazing journey.
by David A. Adler; illus. by Barbara Johansen Newman
Fly Guy Presents (nonfiction)
by Tedd Arnold
Pete the Cat
by James Dean & Kimberly Dean
Mr. Putter & Tabby
by Cynthia Rylant; illus. by Arthur Howard
Elephant and Piggie Like Reading!
by various authors
Violet the Pilot
by Steve Breen
Go soaring in a homemade flying machine.
The Man Who walked Between Towers
by Mordicai Gerstein
A daredevil makes the impossible possible.
Sky Boys: How they Built the Empire State Building
by Deborah Hopkinson; illus. by James E. Ransome
A boy and his father watch as history is made.
Pedro, First-Grade Hero
by Fran Manushkin; illus. by Tammie Lyon
From battling bugs to campaigning for class president.
by Tom Angleberger; illus. by Cece Bell
Solve mysteries with a fly-eating plant and a skateboarding goat.
The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut: Bowling Alley Bandit
by Laura Keller
Breaking news: Pastry detects bowling tournament misbehavior!
Marty McGuire Digs Worms!
by Kate Messner; illus. by Brian Floca
Saving the earth - with worms!
Anna Banana, and the Friendship Split
by Anica Mrose Rissi; illus. by Meg Park
Making up is hard to do.
Cakes in Space
by Phillip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre
Carnivorous confections create havoc aboard Astra’s ship.
The Great Pet Escape
by Victoria Jamieson
Classroom critters attempt a jailbreak.
The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future
by George Beard & Harold Hutchins
Prehistoric pals travel through time to save the world.
Why the Sky is Far Away: A Nigerian Folktale
by Mary-Joan Gerson; illus. by Carla Golembe
Taking too much has consequences.
Saving Animal Babies
by Amy Shields
Adorable newborns survive with a little help. Awwwww!
I See a Kookaburra! Discovering Animal Habitats Around the World
by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
Spot creatures in their natural environments
by Nic Bishop
Hatching. Hunting. Eating. Surviving.
Castle: How it Works
by David Macaulay & Sheila Keenan
Experience life in a medieval fortress.
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illus. by Eric-Shabazz Larkin
One man sees a farm where others see an abandoned city lot.
Brick by Brick
by Charles R. Smith, illus. by Floyd Cooper
A true story of the enslaved people who built the White House.
Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau
by Jennifer Berne, illus. by Eric Puybaret
The famous oceanographer and champion of the seas.
Women who Broke the Rules: Sonia Sotomayor
by Kathleen Krull, illus. by Angela Dominguez
From the Bronx to the United States Supreme Court.
Disgusting Critters (nonfiction)
by Elise Gravel
Kung Pow Chicken
by Cyndi Marko
by Monica Brown; illus. by Angela Dominguez
The Princess in Black
by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale; illus. by LeUyen Pham
by Wendy Mass & Michael Brawer; illus. by Elise Gravel
Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth
by Jeff Anderson; illus. by Andrea Miller
A little luck and a lot of chocolate might save the school dance.
The Zero Degree Zombie Zone
by Patrik Henry Bass; illus. by Jerry Craft
Bakari and Wardell try to survive fourth grade - and an impending invasion.
A Whole New Ballgame: A Rip and Red Story
by Phil Bildner; illus. by Tim Probert
Best friends stick together when their new coach changes the game.
A Nearer Moon
by Melanie Crowder
Luna is willing to believe in magic if it will save her little sister.
The Luck Uglies
by Paul Durham; illus. by Petur Antonsson
When Bog Noblins threatens the village, old enemies must become allies.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
by Kelly Jones; illus. by Katie Kath
City kid + farm + magical fowl = a whole lot of trouble.
by Gordon Korman
Can Eli unravel the mystery in his town before it’s too late?
Dream On, Amber
by Emma Shevah; illus. by Helen Crawford-White
When life gets tough, imagination is the key.
Gone Crazy in Alabama
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Goodbye, Brooklyn! The Gaither sisters spend the summer with Big Ma.
Kid Beowulf: The Blood-Bound Oath
by Alexis E. Fajardo; color by Jose Mari Flores & Brian Kolm
Twins uncover their past and seek their future in this epic tale.
The King of Kazoo
by Norm Feuti
Can Bing stop the diabolical antics of an evil genius?
by Ben Hatke, color by Alex Campbell & Hilary Sycamore
Plant a garden and watch your adventures grow!
Cat Dad, King of the Goblins
by Britt Wilson
You think you have problems?!?
What Was the March on Washington?
by Kathleen Krull; illus. by Tim Tomkinson
Experience this historic event in the fight for civil rights.
Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard
by Loree Griffin Burns; photog. by Ellen Harasimowicz
Step outside and study the world around you.
Hooray for Inventors!
by Marcia Williams
Amazing inventions that changed the world.
Coding Projects in Scratch
by Jon Woodcock
On your mark. Get set. Code!
125 Wacky Roadside Attractions
by National Geographic Children’s Books
See all the weird, wonderful, and downright bizarre landmarks from around the world!
by Stuart Gibbs
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales
by Nathan Hale
The Tapper Twins
by Geoff Rodkey
by John Scieszka, illus. by Brian Biggs
by Judd Winnick
by Kate Milford
Milo’s plans for the winter holiday are thwarted when strange guests arrive at his family’s inn.
by Megan Whalen Turner
Gen, a talented thief, joins a rival kingdom’s hunt for a mythical stone in exchange for his release from prison.
Bright Lights, Dark Nights
by Stephen Edmond
Star-crossed, interracial love in a time when Black Lives Matter.
Not Your Sidekick
by C.B. Lee
Jessica Tran interns for a supervillain, crushes on the mysterious “M,”, and uncovers a dangerous plot.
The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever
by Jeff Strand
Justin struggles to turn a bad script, dream girl, and no budget into film success.
by Hope Larson, illus. by Brittney Williams
Mystery to solve? Goldie Vance is the right sleuth for the job!
by Kate Leth, illus. by Matt Cummings
Can this team of unlikely heroes save the universe?
Be a Changemaker
by Laurie Ann Thompson
Learn how to turn your passions into action.
Surviving Middle School
by Luke Reynolds
Get the lowdown on bullying, peer pressure, grades, parents, and love.
by Jim Ottaviani
The true story of three ground-breaking scientists who studied primates as their life’s work.
Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
A lyrical memoir in verse about growing up in the racially charged 1960s.
RECOMMENDED SERIES FOR TEENS
Black Top (MS/HS)
by LJ Alonge
Seven Realms (HS)
by Cinda Williams Chima
Gotham Academy (MS)
by Becky Cloonan
Princess Jellyfish (MS/HS)
by Akiko Higashimura
by John Lewis
by William Ritter
by Jeremy Whiteley
RECOMMENDED AUTHORS FOR TEENS
Shaun David Hutchinson
Jenny Torres Sanchez
John Corey Whaley
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
A classmate threatens to out Simon and his profoundly private online boyfriend.
The Scorpion Rules
by Erin Bow
Greta questions her role as a Child of Peace and the artificial intelligence that uses hostages to maintain world order.
Killer of Enemies
by Joseph Bruchac
Lozen hunts monsters in hopes of freeing her family in a post-apocalyptic world.
by Julie Murphy
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean reclaims her confidence with her misfit friends when she enters her Texas town’s beauty pageant.
by Laura Ruby
Finn was the only person to see Roza’s abduction, but no one believes him.
Tiny Pretty Things
by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Ballerinas backstab, sacrifice, and manipulate to be the best.
by Corinne Duyvis
When Nolan closes his eyes he is drawn into Amara’s mind and her dangerous world.
Charlie, Presumed Dead
by Anne Heltzel
Two girls discover Charlie’s betrayal at his funeral and together search for answers.
X: A Novel
by Illyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon
The story of how Malcolm Little became Malcolm X.
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol. 1
by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illus. by Brian Stelfreeze
Wakanda is in turmoil and Black Panther must be the king his nation desperately needs.
Jughead Vol. 1
by Chip Zdarsky, illus. by Erica Henderson
Riverdale’s favorite daydreamer is back and lazier than ever.
by Susan Kuklin
Six candid glimpses into the lives of transgender and gender-nonconforming teens.
Diary of a Tokyo Teen
by Christine Mari Inzer
A Japanese-American girl travels to the land of trendy fashion, high-tech toilets, and maid cafes.