Reading

Super Summer Reading for Youth, by Youth

Delaney Ruston, MD
June 29, 2022
Girl Surfing Books

Today I’ve compiled recommended summer reading for youth, by youth. I had fun reaching out to several thoughtful teens to see what books they would recommend to their peers. They provided many interesting reads: some classics and others that are lesser-known.

I’ve sorted these recommendations by age range to help families gauge what might work best for their kids. 

If your family is able to get a physical copy of a book instead of an e-reader, this might open up a conversation about cover design and layout. I know I still get a lot of joy from looking at book covers. If your kids are as passionate about book covers as I am, you might want to share this  5 min TED Ed video on the history of books with them. In addition, having a print copy eliminates the pull that can happen when reading on tech devices. 

By the way, I have written several blogs about ideas for summer activities which include ideas about reading, and here is one such example.

For Elementary Schoolers: 

Fiction

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket 

Nonfiction

Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina 

For Middle Schoolers:

Realistic Fiction

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson 

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Dystopian Fiction

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Nonfiction

Shoot Your Shot: A Sport-Inspired Guide to Living Your Best Life by Vernon Brundage Jr. 

Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 

Graphic Novel

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

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For Early High Schoolers: 

Realistic Fiction

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven 

Supermarket by Logic 

Dystopian Fiction

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Maze Runner by James Dashner 

Nonfiction

The Baseball 100 by Joe Posnanski 

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For Older High Schoolers: 

Realistic Fiction

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 

Normal People by Sally Rooney 

White Teeth by Zadie Smith 

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong 

Fantasy / Magical Realism

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie 

The Cloven Viscount by Italo Calvino 

Romance

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven  

Psychological Thriller

SuperMarket by Bobby Hall, a.k.a. The rapper Logic

Questions to get the conversation started:

  1. What books have you read that you would recommend to kids or teens?
  2. Is there a place or person you go to for reading suggestions?
  3. What are some book covers that you like?
  4. What genres interest you most? 
  5. When you read, do you prefer e-books or physical copies? 
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Reading

Super Summer Reading for Youth, by Youth

Delaney Ruston, MD
June 29, 2022
Girl Surfing Books

Today I’ve compiled recommended summer reading for youth, by youth. I had fun reaching out to several thoughtful teens to see what books they would recommend to their peers. They provided many interesting reads: some classics and others that are lesser-known.

I’ve sorted these recommendations by age range to help families gauge what might work best for their kids. 

If your family is able to get a physical copy of a book instead of an e-reader, this might open up a conversation about cover design and layout. I know I still get a lot of joy from looking at book covers. If your kids are as passionate about book covers as I am, you might want to share this  5 min TED Ed video on the history of books with them. In addition, having a print copy eliminates the pull that can happen when reading on tech devices. 

By the way, I have written several blogs about ideas for summer activities which include ideas about reading, and here is one such example.

For Elementary Schoolers: 

Fiction

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket 

Nonfiction

Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina 

For Middle Schoolers:

Realistic Fiction

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson 

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Dystopian Fiction

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Nonfiction

Shoot Your Shot: A Sport-Inspired Guide to Living Your Best Life by Vernon Brundage Jr. 

Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 

Graphic Novel

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

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