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July 19, 2017

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.

Miss Rumphius

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.

Interrupting Chicken

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.

Mae Jemison

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.


Bones Mysteries

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.

Inspector Flytrap

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

Lola Levine

by Monica Brown; illus. by Angela Dominguez

The Princess in Black

by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale; illus. by LeUyen Pham

Space Taxi

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?

Mighty Jack

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!


Spy School

by Stuart Gibbs

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales

by Nathan Hale

The Tapper Twins

by Geoff Rodkey

Frank Einstein

by John Scieszka, illus. by Brian Biggs


by Judd Winnick



Greenglass House

by Kate Milford

Milo’s plans for the winter holiday are thwarted when strange guests arrive at his family’s inn.

The Thief

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.


Goldie Vance

by Hope Larson, illus. by Brittney Williams

Mystery to solve? Goldie Vance is the right sleuth for the job!

Power Up

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.


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

March (HS)

by John Lewis

Jackaby (MS/HS)

by William Ritter

Princeless (MS)

by Jeremy Whiteley


Shaun David Hutchinson

Susan Juby

Richelle Mead

Meg Medina

G. Neri

Garth Nix

Jenny Torres Sanchez

Ruta Sepetys

Jordan Sonneblick

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.

Bone Gap

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.


Beyond Magenta

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.

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