The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Kids Ages 9 – 12

I can’t believe summer is almost upon us! Slow summer mornings with tons of time stretched ahead of us mean my middle grade readers will devour book after book. This summer reading list for 5th, 6th, and 7th graders will help fill that need to read.

These books for tweens feature fantasy, mystery, hardships, history, adventure, and lots of fun! This list has something for every kind of reader.

no no 9781984830296 The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat

If you have kids that love spy stories, you don’t want to miss this one! It follows Olive, a girl who feels invisible at home and school and assumes it will be the same at her new boarding school. Come to find out, this boarding school is an undercover academy for special crime-fighting kids!

9780593619308 Daughters of the Lamp by Nedda Lewers

Sahara has her summer plans all mapped out and she can’t wait to get started. But her plans get upended when she has to go with her dad to a family wedding in Cairo. To make matters worse, the necklace her mother gave her before passing on starts to glow, then quickly vanishes. As she goes on the hunt to retrieve the necklace, things get stranger and stranger.

9780593564066 Momo Arashima Steals the Sword of the Wind by Misa Sugiura

Momo’s mother tells her magical stories of goddesses and evil spirits, which she doesn’t believe until a monster attacks her publicly, and a talking fox comes to her rescue. After that, everything goes from completely ordinary to surreal as she learns her mother’s stories are true and that she is half human, half goddess.

9780593112083 Max in the House of Spies by Adam Gidwitz

Set during WWII, this story follows Max, a boy who must leave his family in Germany and move to London. He is determined to find a way back to his family in Berlin and discovers that becoming a British spy is the only way to make this happen.

RELATED: Exceptional World War II Books for Kids Ages 10-12

9780593533260 The Swifts: A Gallery of Rogues by Beth Lincoln, illustrated by Claire Powell

The much-anticipated sequel to the beloved The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels has arrived. Now that Shenanigan Swift’s family is safe from the murderer, she anticipates spending time outdoors and working on projects. This is short-lived when she and a few family members are called to Paris to solve a string of art museum crimes.

9780593226520 Ready or Not! #1 by Megan E. Bryant

Too much is changing in nine-year-old Abby’s world. Her best friend moved away, her mom started working full time, she has to do the dreaded after-school running program, and don’t get her started on the changes happening in her body without her permission. Being stuck between being a little kid and a full-blown teenager is hard.

9780593462393 The Human Kaboom by Adam Rubin

If you have a child who loves a good book series and all things wacky, check out The Human Kaboom! All six books have the same title, each with new illustrators and different stories that will keep your kid hooked!

9780593690529 Would You Rather? Summer Edition by Lindsey Daly

School is out, everyone is relaxed, and the fun is just starting! Get some funny discussions going with this Would You Rather? book on a family road trip, sitting around the campfire, or hanging out at the beach. Your entire family will laugh at the goofy responses you come up with. It’s a surefire way to keep everyone entertained!

9780593325421 Map of Flames (The Forgotten Five, Book 1) by Lisa McMann

Eight supernatural criminals fled to an isolated island to wait until it was safe to rejoin society. But after their unexplained disappearances, all that’s left on the island is their five superhero children. In one of their father’s belongings, the kids find a map and a note explaining to find her mother and give her the map. Will the children be able to leave all they’ve ever known and trust this simple note?

9780593806746 Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit by Clare Harlow

Ista Flit can change her face to look like anyone she has ever seen. When her father disappears, and she goes searching for him, she comes across other gifted kids looking for their lost loved ones. Can they be trusted? Can she use her magical gift for good, or will it become a burden?

9780593564417 Farrah Noorzad and the Ring of Fate by Deeba Zargarpur

If you have a mythology or fantasy lover, this book will be a hit. When 12-year-old Farrah makes a birthday wish for her dad to be around more, it backfires and traps him in a magical ring. Follow Farrah through this story as she tries to free her father from this mysterious ring magic.

RELATED: Books Like Percy Jackson: 18 Super Series To Read Next

9780525646716 Saving Fable by Scott Reintgen

All Indira has ever wanted is to become a character in a story, so when she is asked to travel to Fable and attend Protagonist Preparatory, she cannot believe her luck. Her excitement fades when her audition goes poorly, and she ends up on the side-character track. Will she ever get the chance to be a hero?

9781536230178 The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

We read this story aloud as a family and were blown away by how good it is. Sai works for the most famous mapmaker in the world but is constantly on edge because she fears they will find out she doesn’t have the proper rank. This tale is full of fast-paced adventure and unexpected twists and turns.

9781524715731 When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

This Newbery Medal winner is a sure bet for any child who loves fantasy and folklore. Lily and her family move into her grandmother’s house to care for her. Then, a magical tiger approaches Lily, offering to make her grandmother healthy again in exchange for something valuable.

9780553751369 Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, read by Eden Reigel

This is one of my favorite audiobooks of all time! It’s a funny and clever retelling of Cinderella. Ella was cursed as a baby to obey any order given to her. She’s tried to break the curse on her own but found no success. This leads her to track down the fairy that placed the curse on her and demand she remove it.

9781984815163 Wink by Rob Harrell

Ross only wants one thing: to be a normal kid. But being a wallflower is impossible when his cancer makes his hair fall out, and he has to wear a weird hat. His rare form of eye cancer even makes things uncomfortable between him and his friends. This book is based on the author’s real-life experience and pulls at the heartstrings.

9780823452460 A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

Three siblings have no idea where they will end up after their last living guardian, their grandmother, dies in London during WWII. Their grandmother’s solicitor suggests they go with the other fleeing children to the country to stay safe and find a permanent family there. With no other options, the children leave the city and stick together through thick and thin until they find a loving home with a kind librarian.

9780593375372 Superworld: Save Noah by Yarrow Cheney and Carrie Cheney

There are typically only one or two superheroes in most stories. However, in Superworld, Noah is the ONLY person who didn’t get a superpower after a meteor hit the earth five years ago. Talk about being unlucky. Can he stop the city’s villains as a regular kid?

RELATED: 15 Books That 9- to 12-Year-Old Boys Say Are Awesome

9780593465752 Sparkle by Lakita Wilson

Sparkle Moore is a natural-born superstar, but her life takes a turn when she starts losing her hair and is diagnosed with alopecia. As she navigates middle school, her family’s financial troubles, and her mom’s ambitions, Sparkle learns to accept herself and embrace her talents, with or without hair, in this relatable and heartwarming story.

9780142414330 Savvy by Ingrid Law

I read this more than a decade ago and continue to recommend it! The Beaumont family has something special that happens on everyone’s 13th birthday. On that particular day, the birthday boy or girl receives their savvy (a supernatural power). However, right before Mibs’s big day, her father gets into a horrible accident, and all Mibs can hope for is the power to bring him back.

9780593616772 Penny Draws a Best Friend by Sara Shepard

Things are changing for fifth-grader Penny. She hasn’t seen her best friend, Violet, all summer and can’t wait to rejoin friendship forces in Art Club. Art Club becomes a disappointment when Violet announces it’s for babies and ditches Penny to hang out with the mean girls at school. Can Penny recover from this friendship loss and find new friends?

9780593354711 Warrior Girl by Carmen Tafolla

When Celina Guerrera starts school, she faces pressure to suppress her Chicana heritage. Fortunately, Celina finds strength in her supportive family, particularly her inspiring Gramma who encourages her to celebrate life through art, music, and writing. Despite challenges like her father’s deportation and a pandemic, Celina remains determined to use her voice and talents to make the world a more inclusive place where all cultures are celebrated.

Looking for summer reading ideas for younger or older kids? Check out our 2024 lists for Kids Ages 3 – 5, Ages 6 – 8, and Teens.

The post The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Kids Ages 9 – 12 appeared first on Brightly.

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