BY DONNA DUARTE-LADD
This is a summer like no other, camps are limited, and kids are either learning remote or staying close to home. It may be a ‘new normal,’ but this doesn’t change that reading a great book is an excellent opportunity for kids to keep their minds on the learning path.
We have curated a cool list of books that take you to the moon, show you that you matter to goats contending with a chupacabra, and more!
Here are 11 books for summer reading for kids 3 and up!
Cool Cuts Written and Illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe – Ages 3-7
A celebration of a boys’ natural Black hair that shows eclectic and cool hairstyles. Vibrant illustrations of swirly curls, a fro-hawk, or mini twists — this book celebrates hair with positive messages and joy. $9.67, amazon.com
You Matter Hardcover by Christian Robinson – Ages 4 to 8
A lovely summer read or a bedtime story. While many have been through some tough months, this sweet read is a gentle but essential message accompanied by beautiful illustrations that shows the beauty of our world. $15.89 and up, simonandschuster.com
Love, Sophia on the Moon – Ages 4 to 8
An enduring read, especially now as we have all been tested a bit in quarantine. A book that shows the bond of a mother and daughter. When Sophia decides to live on the moon, she and her mom share their conversations through letters that display the love between family even when there is frustration or anger involved. $12.99, amazon.com
The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra by Marc Tyler Nobleman Illustrated by Ana Aranda – Ages 5 to 8
Vivid illustrations and witty storytelling make for a fun read for your child. The goats have to contend with the chupacabra (who love to eat goats!) with fun wordplay. While this is not a scary monster book, it will elicit more than a few chuckles from your little one. $13.69, amazon.com
Unicorn Academy #8: Ariana and Whisper by Julie Sykes, Illustrated by Lucy Truman – Ages 6 to 9
This cool chapter book series is where girls at the Unicorn Academy have their own unicorn! On Unicorn Island no less. In the eighth series of this book, Ariana adores her unicorn, Whisper, yet they have differences. As all the animals begin to leave the Verdant Forest, both Ariana and Whisper work to bring the animals home and learn that their bond is unbreakable. $5.99, target.com
Confessions of a Dork Lord- by Mike Johnston (Author), Marta Altés (Illustrator)
Wick is the son of Dark Lord and is set to inherit the role of leader of the Grim World. However, he is stuck in Remedial Spell Casting and has challenges of other dramas at school, and on top of this, the bullies at school call him ‘Dork Lord.’ Follow Wick as he journals his plan to defeat his enemies and become great, all while being in Middle Ages School! $12.59, target.com
A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell, Ages 12 to 17
If your teenager loves short stories, they’ll enjoy this anthology book of sixteen fantastical stories. Ranging in sci-fi, fairytale, romance and folklore.
Centered on the Black experience — each of these stories — is the perfect summer book for your teenager. Celebrated authors Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, and Patrice Caldwell are just three of the many talented authors featured in this book. $16.99, target.com
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu – Ages 12 to 17
New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu authors a book that is different from her usual popular novels. A historical fiction story on the two Mozart siblings Wolgang and Nannerl, yes, Mozart had a sister! This story is about their bond, an imaginary world, and the struggle of Nannerl and the passion she has for music. This book has many layers, but it is the perfect book to read when in the time of COVID-19 — a little escapism is a good thing. $13.99, walmart.com
Camp by L.C Rosen – Teenager to Young Adult
A rom-com that focuses on a sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff and his experience at the queer camp for teens, Camp Outland. Determined for fellow camper Hudson to fall for him, he grapples on how much he is willing to change for another person.
The book is a celebration of the gay culture and touches on what so many teenagers go through, which is the struggle with identity and learning to embrace your authentic self. $16.19, amazon.com
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender -Teenager to Young Adult
A beautifully written young adult book that touches on teen angst with an added layer. Felix, Black and transgender, grapples with anger, fear, and the feeling that he is not worth being loved. This story centers on what so many young people deal with and learn from when growing up. Friendship, heartbreak, as well as to how support leads to self-discovery and acceptance. Starts at $11, goodreads.com
The New Girl Code, Written by Niki Smit and Illustrated by Josselin Bijl – Teenager to Young Adult
This book is all about empowering girls to go for their dreams — especially those that are interested in tech. This story is about a 15-year-old girl named Charlie who lives in Brooklyn and is a little uncertain about herself but has an interest in coding and an idea for an app, The Fashionist. Before she knows it, this idea catapults her into fame, both at school and in the tech community, all while experiencing everyday high school hurdles. The New Girl Code is filled with inspiring quotes from female role models and comes with a sheet of colorful and empowering laptop stickers that girls with love!
This is a non-profit book with all proceeds used to distribute the book free to underprivileged girls who would not have access otherwise. Under $12, thenewgirlcode.com
This story originally appeared on newyorkfamily.com.