Growing Reader


The Best Children’s Books of
Summer 2016

by Melissa Taylor

Kick off the summer book season with one of these hot new picture book or middle grade chapter book releases! You’ll find books on a myriad of topics, some with valuable life lessons and others with a nonfiction bent. From the latest Harry Potter story to a book featuring superheroes in high school — no matter what your interests, there’s something here for everyone.

  • Ages 3–5

  • Sophie’s Squash Go to School

    by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

    Believe it or not, Sophie’s classmates think it’s strange to have squash as friends. But Steven also wants to be Sophie’s friend — so maybe it’s time for her to consider getting to know humans, too.
    (Available June 28, 2016)

  • My Favorite Pets

    by Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Harry Bliss

    Gus decides to write a report about what his sheep will and won’t do. Being an out-of-the-box thinker means Gus thinks up some totally crazy things for his sheep to try. Skateboarding … climbing a tree … Will the sheep try these crazy antics or not?
    (Available July 5, 2016)

  • Quit Calling Me a Monster

    by Jory John, illustrated by Bob Shea

    Floyd doesn’t want to be labeled or seen as a stereotype for the rest of his life. Sure, he’s a monster with pointy teeth and shaggy purple fur — but he’s more than his looks. You’ll laugh your way through this story with a great life lesson.
    (Available August 23, 2016)

  • Giraffes Ruin Everything

    by Heidi Schultz, illustrated by Chris Robertson

    Many people don’t realize that giraffes ruin everything (including birthday parties, playing in the park, and going to the movies). Sigh. Of course, it’s only because giraffes want to be friends — and they can be really amazing ones once you get to know them.
    (Available August 16, 2016)

  • Bossy Flossy

    by Paulette Bogan

    Flossy bosses everyone around, even her teacher! When she meets her match with equally-bossy Edward, it gives Flossy a chance to learn how to stop bossing and be a kind friend.
    (Available July 19, 2016)

  • Dragon Was Terrible

    by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

    Dragon is quite terrible — he burps, steals, and ruins things. Who will finally tame this naughty creature? Hint: It won’t be the knights, the king, or any of the ordinary blokes and lassies. In fact, it will be the unlikeliest hero you can imagine.
    (Available August 23, 2016)

  • Ages 6–8

  • Freckleface Strawberry and the Really Big Voice

    by Julianne Moore, illustrated by Leuyen Pham

    Windy Pants Patrick, Freckleface Strawberry’s best friend, can’t help his loud, loud voice. Everywhere he goes, he’s told that he’s too loud. Fortunately there is a place that he can he use his loud voice. Kids will enjoy this relatable story about using their inside and outside voices.
    (Available July 12, 2016)

  • NanoBots

    by Chris Gall

    From the creator of DinoTrux come the NanoBots, which help their boy inventor with everything — keeping him healthy, picking up after him, and searching for new microscopic creatures. They may be small, but they can do big things, including saving a super-sized robot in trouble.
    (Available August 23, 2016)

  • The Storyteller

    by Evan Turk

    When the Kingdom of Morocco grew bigger and bigger, it forgot about the storytellers and their stories. When the last storyteller shares his stories, a young boy discovers the forgotten truth — the thirst-quenching wonder of a tale well told.
    (Available June 28, 2016)

  • A Unicorn Named Sparkle

    by Amy Young

    Lucy can’t wait for her mail-order unicorn, Sparkle, to arrive. She’s horrified when a smelly, flea-ridden, long-eared creature shows up instead of what she imagined. Despite her initial misgivings, Lucy learns that Sparkle is just perfect for her.
    (Available July 5, 2016)

  • Return

    by Aaron Becker

    Third in the beautiful trilogy begun in Journey and continued in Quest, Return depicts a lonely girl’s return into the fantastical world of wondrous landscapes and unusual creatures. Once she’s there, she does not want to go home to her too-busy father. It will take something very powerful to convince the girl to return home.
    (Available August 2, 2016)

  • National Geographic Kids Chapters: Diving With Sharks!

    Captivating images in this nonfiction book will entice readers to dive into shark-infested adventure and observe — from a safe distance — the stories of extreme ocean photographers, animal researchers, and cave-divers.
    (Available June 28, 2016)

  • Ages 9–12

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Part I & II

    by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

    In this play (the eighth story in the Harry Potter series), Harry, and his son Albus face mounting struggles as Harry’s past and present collide. Whether or not you can go see the play, you won’t want to miss the book in which we finally meet Harry as an adult and see how Albus gets along at Hogwarts.
    (Available July 31, 2016)

  • Grover Cleveland, Again!

    by Ken Burns, illustrated by Gerald Kelley

    Don’t be fooled, this illustrated picture book explores more than just Grover Cleveland. It shares factual stories and important information about all the American presidents, including President Cleveland — the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.
    (Available July 12, 2016)

  • Supergirl at Super Hero High

    by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Random House

    Imagine a high school for the galaxy’s most powerful teenagers, both superheroes and super-villains alike. In this latest installment of the new middle-grade Super Hero High series, you’ll meet Supergirl, DC superhero-in-training.
    (Available July 5, 2016)

  • The Trouble with Twins

    by Katheryn Siebel

    Henrietta attempts to get even with the twin sister who has abandoned their close friendship, but instead of getting even, she gets exiled to her creepy great-aunt Priscilla’s. Luckily, Henrietta’s twin, Arabella, misses her just as much, so she sets off on a journey to reunite with Henrietta.
    (Available August 9, 2016)

  • Full of Beans

    by Jennifer L. Holm

    It’s the middle of the Great Depression; Bean knows the grownups aren’t telling him the truth about what’s really going on, so he and his gang of friends in Key West, Florida make big plans that will surprise everyone.
    (Available August 30, 2016)

  • Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build, Invent, Create, Discover

    by Jack Challoner

    Bring out your inner inventor and keep learning all summer long with these 28 STEAM education projects. All that’s needed are household materials you already have.
    (Available July 5, 2016)

  • Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey

    by Chris Colfer

    In this fifth addition to Colfer’s addicting fantasy series, we find Conner fighting the wicked Masked Man’s literary army in the strangest place — Conner’s own stories. Can Conner, Alex, and their friends defeat the Masked Man and restore peace to the fairy tale world?
    (Available July 12, 2016)

  • This Is Not a Werewolf Story

    by Sandra Evans

    Raul can’t wait for Fridays, the days he can leave his boarding school and venture deep into the woods. At sunset in the forest, a mysterious shape-shifting phenomenon allows Raul return to his true home.
    (Available July 26, 2016)

Are you looking forward to any of these children’s books? Are there any others your family can’t wait to read? Let us know in the comments below!