Here are some great books by a variety of authors that you might like to try this summer! These books are suitable for reading alone or reading aloud with a parent. A * next to a title denotes a new book on the list this year. For more new and recommended books, follow SHBlibrary on Pinterest. This list can also be accessed as a Google Doc.

Note on borrowing or buying these books: All of these books are available in the library and can be borrowed for the summer. If you wish to purchase them and cannot find them locally, Book Depository ( has a wide selection of books and offers free international shipping.


Akimbo and the Elephants by Alexander McCall Smith

When Akimbo sees what poachers do to the elephants on his game reserve, he is determined to stop them. There’s only one way to do it, and that’s to become an elephant hunter himself! But it’s going to take strength and courage, and will involve facing danger.

Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa with her mother, her father, her baby twin brothers, and lots and lots of her family. Join her as she splashes in the sea, prepares for a party, sells oranges, and hopes to see sweet, sweet snow.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs. An affectionate pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, White reminds readers to open their eyes to the wonder and miracle found in the simplest of things.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline has often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes.

Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

Mr. Hoppy is in love with Mrs. Silver, but her heart belongs to her pet tortoise. Mr. Hoppy is too shy to approach Mrs. Silver, until one day he comes up with a brilliant idea. If Mr. Hoppy’s plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. But it’s going to take one hundred and forty tortoises, an ancient spell, and a bit of magic.

The Firework Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman

A thousand miles ago, in a country east of the jungle and south of the mountains, there lived a firework-maker named Lalchand and his daughter, Lila. Lila’s learned from her father almost all there is to know about making fireworks. But he’s held back the final secret, the most dangerous one, saying Lila’s not ready to know.

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

A bulletin board fell on Stanley during the night, and now he is only half an inch thick! Amazing things begin happening to him. Stanley gets rolled up, mailed, and flown like a kite. He even gets to help catch two dangerous thieves. He may be flat, but he’s a hero.

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. Also recommended by the same author: The Magician’s Elephant, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Harry’s Mad by Dick King Smith

Harry isn’t very pleased when he inherits a parrot from Great-Uncle George, but Maddison is no ordinary parrot. Not only can he talk, but you can have conversations with him and he and Harry quickly become great friends – but then Maddison is stolen … Will he and Harry ever be reunited? Also recommended by the same author: Clever Lollipop, The Sheep-Pig

Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne

Noah is running away from his problems, or at least that’s what he thinks, the day he takes the untrodden path through the forest. When he comes across a very unusual toyshop and meets the even more unusual toymaker he’s not sure what to expect.

*Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve

Along with his new friends, a grumpy old albatross, a short-sighted mermaid and a friendly island called Cliff, Oliver goes off in search of his missing parents. But before he can put his rescue plan into action there’s the evil Stacey de Lacey and an army of greasy, green sea monkeys to contend with.

*Operation Bunny (Wings and Co. #1) by Sally Gardner

Emily Vole makes headline news at birth, when she is found in an abandoned hatbox in Stansted Airport. Then, only a few years later, her neighbour Mrs String dies leaving Emily a mysterious inheritance: an old shop, a small bunch of golden keys and a cat called Fidget. It’s the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime as the old Fairy Detective Agency comes back to life. Also recommended by the same author: The Smallest Girl Ever

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell

Meet Ottoline Brown and her best friend, Mr. Munroe. No puzzle is ever too tricky for the two of them to solve. Also recommended by the same author: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

Pirate Diary: the Journal of Jake Carpenter by Richard Platt

The fictional diary of a nine-year-old boy who, in 1716 sets off from North Carolina to become a sailor, but ends up a pirate instead.Curious about life on a pirate ship? Climb aboard this account of adventure on the high seas as told by a feisty nine-year-old carpenter’s apprentice, circa 1716. Historically accurate illustrations of ship and crew, a map of Jake’s travels, and a detailed glossary and index vividly reveal the fascinating — and harsh —life of a pirate in the eighteenth century. Ships ahoy!

Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson

A forgotten door on an abandoned railway platform is the entrance to a magical kingdom–an island where humans live happily with feys, mermaids, ogres, and other wonderful creatures. Carefully hidden from the world, the Island is only accessible when the door opens for nine days every nine years. A lot can go wrong in nine days.

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

The story of a sniffer dog and the Afghan boy he works for. Also recommended by the same author: The Butterfly Lion, Animal Tales, Pinocchio and many others.

The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo

This is the story of Desperaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other’s lives.

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

Mildred Hubble is a trainee witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy, and she’s making an awful mess of it. She’s always getting her spells wrong and she can’t even ride a broomstick without crashing it. Will she ever make a real witch?

Graphic Novels and Picture Books

Asterix the Gaul by Rene Goscinny

The year is 50BC, and all Gaul is occupied. Only one small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders. But how much longer can Asterix, Obelix and their friends resist the mighty Roman legions of Julius Caesar? Anything is possible, with a little cunning plus the druid Getafix’s magic potions!

The Children Who Smelled a Rat by Allan Ahlberg

In this thrilling and amusing Gaskitts story, Mrs. Gaskitt finds a very peculiar package, Mr. Gaskitt loses a baby in a shopping cart, Horace the cat has mixed feelings about a bird, and the twins’ beloved teacher, Mrs. Fritter is not herself. Why? How? When? And why does everyone keep looking the other way?

*Fairy Tale Comics edited by Chris Duffy

From favorites like “Puss in Boots” and “Goldilocks” to obscure gems like “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper, and more.

*Hildafolk (Hilda #1) by Luke Pearson

Hilda sits in her tent listening to the thunder passing overhead when she hears a bell. As she hurtles towards the vanishing tinkling sound, Hilda unwittingly embarks on an adventure into strange worlds ruled by magical forces.

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

A little mouse documents his fears in the pages of this book – from loud noises and the dark to being sucked down the plughole.

Yotsuba&! Vol. 1 by Kiyohiko Azuma

The story of the new kid in town – little Yotsuba, a green-haired and wide-eyed girl who doesn’t have a clue… about anything! With no knowledge of the world around her, and an unnatural fear of air conditioners, Yotsuba has her new neighbors’ heads spinning.



*Bugged: How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee

Once you begin to look at world history through fly-specked glasses, you begin to see the mark of these minute life forms at every turn. Beneficial bugs have built empires. Bad bugs have toppled them.

*Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cat by Sy Montgomery

Since the year 1900, cheetah footprints quickly dwindled in African dirt as the species plummeted from more than 100,000 to fewer than 10,000. At the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF) African headquarters in Namibia, Laurie Marker and her team save these stunning, swift, and slender creatures from extinction. Since the organization’s start in 1990, they’ve rescued more than 900 cheetahs, most of whom have been returned to the wild.

Chocolate: the Bean that Conquered the World by Vivian French

Describing the historical progress of the miraculous bean – from the Aztecs to Nestle – with a mixture of facts, speculation, personal recollections and recipes, this book takes us on a journey that aims to give us chocolate in all its glory.

Geeta’s Day: From Dawn to Dusk in an Indian Village by Prodeepta Das

In Geeta’s Day, the reader is taken on a short insightful journey through a day in the life of an Indian village. The story is told from the perspective of a 6 year old child and focuses mainly on her family and immediate surroundings.

How to Make a Universe from 92 Ingredients by Adrian Dingle

What do cars, stars, skyscrapers, and ice cream all have in common? They’re all made from the same 92 ingredients…and so are we. And so is everything in the entire universe!

*Shackleton’s Journey  by William Grill

A detailed visual narrative of Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica. This book takes the academic and historical information behind the expedition and reinterprets it for a young audience.



*101 Poems for Children: A Laureate’s Choice edited by Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, has chosen her favourite poems for children for this stunning collection of classic and modern verse, exquisitely illustrated by multi-award-winning illustrator Emily Gravett.

*Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

You Wait Till I’m Older Than You! by Michael Rosen

What would you say if your brother kept whacking you with a spoon, or the spider made it all the way up the toilet bowl or your mum made you wear that horrible shirt? Find out in this fantastically funny collection of poems all about growing up from the brilliant Michael Rosen, Children’s Laureate 2007-2009.