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Up To Date

Summer Reading Recommendations For Kids & Teens

Penguin Books

From haunted hotels, to the real life story of Nazi hunters in Argentina, these summer reading picks are sure to get your young ones' imaginations churning.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, Johnson County librarians Kate McNair and Dennis Ross, and retired librarian Debbie McLeod bring their recommendations to keep kids and teens occupied during the dog days of summer. 


You can find Kate McNair's list of books for young adults here.

You can find Dennis Ross' list of books for young adults here.

Here are Debbie McLeod's picks:

Revolution by Deborah Wiles:

Suggested age range: Grades 5-8

During Greenwood, Mississippi's summer of 1964, young Sunny adjusts to all sorts of invasions: a new stepfamily, young people from the North coming to organize Black voter registration, and the Beatles' coming to America!

Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan:

Suggested age range: Grades K-2

The young queen loves the ocean, but she cannot let her subjects see her in her bathing suit. Prince Albert comes to the rescue and builds her a bathing machine!

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage:

Suggested age range: Grades 4-6

When Miss Lana mistakenly buys a haunted inn at an auction, young Mo and her fellow Desperado Detective, Dale, set out to solve the mystery of the ghost haunting the inn. 

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat:

Suggested age range: Preschool- Grade 2

An imaginary creature decides not to wait for his rael child to choose him, and he sets off into the real world to find his special friend. 

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by Anne Isaacs & Kevin Hawkes:

Suggested age range: Grades K-4

After she inherits a large amount of money, Tulip moves to Texas and is courted by one thousand untamed cowboys. How will she ever get rid of them all?!

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko & Melissa Sweet:

Suggested age range: K-4

Short poems describing the sights and sounds of the various seasons.

The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett: 

Suggested age range: Grades 5-8

While living with their uncle in the country during the war, Cecily, Jeremy, and May find two mysterious boys hiding in the ruins of a nearby castle.

Credit bethanyhagen.com
'Landry Park' by Kansas City author Bethany Hagen is one of our librarians' summer reading picks.

Learn more!
The Johnson County Library has an online summer reading program for all ages. Readers can earn badges for reading and reviewing books all summer long.

  • Kate McNair is a librarian at the Johnson County Library
  • Dennis Ross is a librarian at the Johnson County Library
  • Debbie McLeod is a retired librarian from the Johnson County Library.
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.