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2020 Middle Grade Summer Reading List

This may be a summer like no other in recent memory. With many schools being closed, learning happening remotely, or schools ending the academic year early, summer vacation is arriving in a very anti-climatic manner. So, although there are no end of the year parties and graduations, summer will come. And there is never a wrong time to read! Perhaps, more than ever it is important to do some reading over the summer for younger readers. So, here is a personally curated eclectic list of our favorite recent reads.

These books have a content level of 5 or less in all three categories.

Click on book cover or book title to go to the full review.

Bad Best Friend, Book Cover

Bad Best Friend
by Rachel Vail

This is a coming of age story and the protagonist is in 8th grade, so perhaps this book is a little on the upper end of middle grade. What this book has in spades is dry humor, sarcasm, and a gaggle of great characters.

A Time Traveler's Story, Book Cover

A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity by Nicole Valentine

This is a mix of fantasy and science fiction. Uplifting, intense, and entertaining! Even if you can’t physically travel this summer, maybe you can vicariously travel through time with this read.

The Colossus of Roads, Book Cover

The Colossus of Roads
by Christina Uss

Set in L.A., this is a fast-paced and energetic story with several entertaining people. With a boy and girl main character, this is a great option for any young reader looking for a contemporary adventure.

Wink, Book Cover

Wink
by Rob Harrell

Some more contemporary fiction! This one has comic panels and spot art to compliment the narrative. This book addresses some tough issues (such as, surviving middle school with cancer), but with plenty of humor so it doesn’t feel weighted down.

Super Potato and the Mutant Animal Mayhem, Book Cover

Super Potato and the Mutant Animal Mayhem
by Artur Laperla

Need a little summer silliness? This graphic novel is for you!

The Wish and the Peacock, Book Cover

The Wish and the Peacock
by Wendy S. Swore

Wanting to get out into the country? Pick up this book and be transported to a farm. Entertaining and realistic, this is a great read for any age with plenty of heart and hope.

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet, Book Cover

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet
by Zanib Mian

Omar is a ten-year-old with the focus of a gnat. This is an eye-catching book with doodles and fun art work. Light-hearted, but with lots happening, this would be a good option for younger readers looking to move into chapter books.

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, Book Cover

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
by Kwame Mbalia

What summer reading list is complete without an awesome, action-packed fantasy stuffed full of mythical gods? (Well, not a very good list.) This is the first in a two book series. Book 2 will be out this fall so read this now and be ready!

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!

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