2023 Summer Reading List

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Picture Books

Suggested grade level for all entries: PS–2


My Dad Is a Tree by Jon Agee (Rocky Pond/Penguin)

Ancient Night by David Álvarez with David Bowles; illus. by David Álvarez (Em Querido/Levine Querido)

Yoshi, Sea Turtle Genius: A True Story About an Amazing Swimmer by Lynne Cox; illus. by Richard Jones (Schwartz/Random)

Animals in Pants by Suzy Levinson; illus. by Kristen Howdeshell and Kevin Howdeshell (Cameron/Abrams)

Once upon a Book by Grace Lin and Kate Messner; illus. by Grace Lin (Little, Brown)

My Powerful Hair by Carole Lindstrom; illus. by Steph Littlebird (Abrams)

Hey Otter! Hey Beaver! by Brian Pinkney (Greenwillow)

The Last Plastic Straw: A Plastic Problem and Finding Ways to Fix It [Books for a Better Earth] by Dee Romito; illus. by Ziyue Chen (Holiday)

Wild Blue: Taming a Big-Kid Bike by Dashka Slater; illus. by Laura Hughes (Candlewick)

Jump In! by Shadra Strickland (Bloomsbury)

Little Land by Diana Sudyka (Little, Brown)

Off the Wall by Theodore Taylor III (Roaring Brook)

Dark on Light by Dianne White; illus. by Felicita Sala (Beach Lane/Simon)



Beginning Readers and Primary Grades

Suggested grade level for all entries: 1–3


Rica Baptista: Llamas, Iguanas, and My Very Best Friend by Janet Costa Bates; illus. by Gladys Jose (Candlewick)

The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker (Candlewick)

Shark Princess by Nidhi Chanani; color by Elizabeth Kramer (Viking)

Evergreen by Matthew Cordell (Feiwel)

Let’s Go! [I Like to Read: Comics] by Michael Emberley (Holiday)

Lemon Bird: Can Help! by Paulina Ganucheau (RH Graphic/Random)

Remember by Joy Harjo; illus. by Michaela Goade (Random House Studio/Random)

Bear and Bird: The Picnic and Other Stories by Jarvis (Candlewick)

Dogs: A History of Our Best Friends by Lita Judge (Abrams)

Elena Rides by Juana Medina (Candlewick)

Violet & Jobie in the Wild by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow)

The Song That Called Them Home by David A. Robertson; illus. by Maya McKibbin (Tundra)

Beaky Barnes: Egg on the Loose by David Ezra Stein (Penguin Workshop)




Suggested grade level for all entries: 4–6


Odder by Katherine Applegate; illus. by Charles Santoso (Feiwel)

To Catch a Thief by Martha Brockenbrough (Scholastic)

Total Garbage by Rebecca Donnelly; illus. by John Hendrix (Holt)

The Grace of Wild Things by Heather Fawcett (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)

Second Chance Summer by Sarah Kapit (Holt)

Squished by Megan Wagner Lloyd; illus. by Michelle Mee Nutter (Graphix/Scholastic)

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega; illus. by Rose Bousamra (First Second)

The Lizard Scientists: Studying Evolution in Action [Scientists in the Field] by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent; photos by Nate Dappen and Neil Losin (Clarion/HarperCollins)

Leeva at Last by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Matthew Cordell (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)

Link + Hud: Heroes by a Hair by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey (Norton)

Big Tree by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)

Ghosts, Toast, and Other Hazards by Susan Tan (Roaring Brook)

Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)



Middle School

Suggested grade level for all entries: 6–8


Unbreakable: The Spies Who Cracked the Nazis’ Secret Code by Rebecca E. F. Barone (Holt)

School Trip by Jerry Craft (HarperAlley/Quill Tree/HarperCollins)

The Ghosts of Rancho Espanto by Adrianna Cuevas (Farrar)

Freestyle by Gale Galligan; color by K Czap (Graphix/Scholastic)

When Clouds Touch Us by Thanhhà Lại (Harper/HarperCollins)

Camp QUILTBAG by Nicole Melleby and A. J. Sass (Algonquin)

Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors edited by Yamile Saied Méndez and Aida Salazar (Candlewick)

Holler of the Fireflies by David Barclay Moore (Knopf)

The Carrefour Curse by Dianne K. Salerni (Holiday)

A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat (First Second)

Come See the Fair by Gavriel Savit (Knopf)

A Long Way from Home by Laura Schaefer (Carolrhoda)

The Language of Seabirds by Will Taylor (Scholastic)



High School

Suggested grade level for all entries: 9 and up


Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley (Holt)

The Epic Story of Every Living Thing by Deb Caletti (Labyrinth Road/Random)

Throwback by Maurene Goo (Zando)

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert (Joy Revolution/Random)

Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)

An Appetite for Miracles by Laekan Zea Kemp (Little, Brown)

I’ll Take Everything You Have by James Klise (Algonquin)

Sunshine by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix/Scholastic)

When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb (Levine Querido)

Four for the Road by K. J. Reilly (Atheneum)

The Notorious Scarlett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud (Knopf)

¡Ay, Mija!: My Bilingual Summer in Mexico by Christine Suggs (Little, Brown)

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas (Feiwel)


From the April 2023 issue of Notes from the Horn Book: Summer Reading. For past years’ summer reading lists from The Horn Book, click on the tag summer reading.

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