Summer Reading Picks for Children

As children transition into the slower pace of summer days, spending a few hours in the shade or curled up indoors with a good book is undoubtedly a popular seasonal pastime for all ages. Here, teachers and reading specialists from Seacrest Country Day School, a Scouted private school for pre-K through grade 12 in Naples, Florida, share their top picks, from picture books that will delight little ones to YA novels certain to engage even the most reluctant teen reader.



Going Places by Paul A. Reynolds: A go-cart contest inspires imagination to take flight in this picture book for creators of all ages, with art from New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Children will love the fun story based on the classic duck/rabbit visual puzzle, while parents will appreciate the book’s lessons about differing points of view and right versus wrong.

The Thankful Book by Todd Parr: The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, The Thankful Book inspires readers to remember all of life’s special moments. 

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers: When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action… is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that’s only the beginning. 

There’s a Mouse in My House by Ross Collins: The long awaited sequel to the award-winning favorite, There’s a Bear on My Chair. The tables have turned in this fantastically funny rhyming picture book. This time, it’s Bear who has an unwelcome guest, and that cheeky mouse just won’t leave. He’s making a real commotion in Bear’s house eating all the food, listening to loud music and even spilling bathwater all over the floor. But when there’s an unexpected knock at the door, Bear decides that perhaps mice are actually rather nice!

I Am Not a Chair! by Ross Burach: From the acclaimed author-illustrator of There’s a Giraffe in My Soup comes a curious tale about finding one’s courage and standing up for oneself. Full of vibrant and playful illustrations and hilariously absurd logic, kids will want to read it again and again.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld: With simple rhyming text, subtle messages of kindness and compassion, and Tom Lichtenheld’s signature charm, this delightful story about making and helping friends will enchant readers young and old because it’s never too early—or too late—to stick up for your friends.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen: Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat… Evoking hilarity and sympathy, the shifting eyes tell the tale in this brilliantly paced story in three parts, highlighting Jon Klassen’s visual comedy and deceptive simplicity. The delicious buildup takes an unexpected turn that is sure to please loyal fans and newcomers alike.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip E. Stead: Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.

Your Fantastic, Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak: Educator and psychologist Dr. JoAnn Deak offers a fun and engaging introduction to the anatomy and functions of the brain that will empower each young reader to S-T-R-E-T-C-H and grow their fantastic, elastic brain!



Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo: Foiling a robber, driving a car, squeezing into a tutu—is there anything Mercy Watson the porcine wonder won’t do in her single-minded pursuit of treats, buttered toast, or just a rollicking fun time? And who knows what other adventures twinkle in her mischievous eyes?

Jigsaw Jones Mysteries by James Preller: Got a mystery to solve? Jigsaw Jones is on the case. Featuring friendship, school, family, and a diverse community, these early illustrated chapter books from James Preller have it all.

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly: Told in short chapters with illustrations by the author on nearly every page, Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey is a must-have for early elementary grade readers. Erin Entrada Kelly celebrates the small but mighty Marisol, the joys of friendship, and the triumph of overcoming your fears in this stunning new novel.

Leeva at Last by Sara Pennypacker: Award-winning, bestselling author Sara Pennypacker and illustrator Matthew Cordell come together in this hilarious absurdist tale about a precocious girl who transforms her community in surprising ways.

Ghosts, Toast, and Other Hazards by Susan Tan: From APALA Honor award-winning author Susan Tan, a middle-grade novel about a girl who must overcome her worries to find the truth behind her town’s urban legend.



Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendariz: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets Merci Suarez in this smart young middle-grade mystery about a diamond gone missing from the Louvre and the sweet and spunky girl who cracks the case.

Quintessence by Jess Redman: Quintessence is an extraordinary story about friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the inexplicable elements that make you, you.

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston: Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this exhilarating debut middle grade fantasy, the first in a series filled with #blackgirlmagic. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Percy Jackson series, and Nevermoor.

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte: For fans of American Born Chinese and Roller GirlMeasuring Up is a don’t-miss graphic novel debut about food, family, and finding your place in the world.



Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer: In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mount McKinley. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. This is the unforgettable story of how Christopher Johnson McCandless came to die.

1984 by George Orwell: A startling and haunting novel, 1984 creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

Dracula by Bram Stoker: Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

The Firm by John Grisham: At the top of his class at Harvard Law, Mitch McDeere had his choice of the best firms in America. He made a deadly mistake.


Seacrest Country Day School in The Scout Guide Naples

Seacrest Country Day School
7100 Davis Blvd., Naples | 239.793.1986