As booklovers know, summer reading can be fun—although many children and teens don't exactly see it that way. To help anyone looking for some exciting new choices, we've combed through books published so far this year and come up with our top 10 summer reading selections for 2012 in both the middle grade and teen categories. These books range from fantasy to mystery to contemporary stories. All are guaranteed to keep young readers turning pages all summer long. What books would you add to the list?


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Published by Harper; ages 8 to 12
In Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan, the story is told by Ivan, a silverback gorilla who is the main attraction at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall. Read more>>


Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child
Published by Candlewick; ages 10 to 13
Get ready, puzzle lovers! Author Lauren Child introduces Ruby Redfort, a young code-cracking genius who gets caught up in a great mystery. Read more>>

I Don't Believe It, Archie! by Andrew Norriss
Published by Random House; ages 7 to 10
There are only seven chapters in this funny little book by Andrew Norriss, one for each day of the week.
Read more>>

Summer of the Gypsy Moths
by Sara Pennypacker
Published by Balzer & Bray; ages 8 and up
How do you make the most of an unthinkable situation? Well, tweenage Stella—named after her long-gone father’s favorite song, “Stella by Starlight”—has always been able to make the best of things. Read more>>

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Published by Scholastic; ages 8 to 14
Sage has led a rough life. He arrived at an orphanage five years ago with nothing, the son of a failed musician. His only chance for survival comes from his ability and willingness to steal. Read more>>

The Homemade Stuffing Caper by John Madormo
Published by Philomel; ages 9 and up
Charlie Collier is smart. Really, really smart. Ask him a question like “How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark?” and he’ll be able to tell you in about five seconds that Moses didn’t take any animals on the ark, it was Noah.
Read more>>

King of the Mound by Wes Tooke
Published by Simon & Schuster; ages 8 to 12
It is rare for a small book to have a big impact, but Wes Tooke’s King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige is one that does.
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Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Published by Dial; ages 10 and up
In the town of Tupelo Landing (pop. 148) on the eastern shore of North Carolina, most residents have small wallets but big hearts—and even bigger mysteries.
Read more>>

Libby of High Hopes by Elise Primavera
Published by Simon & Schuster; ages 7 to 10
Almost-11-year-old Libby Thump is told by her teacher at the end of fourth grade that she needs “to live up to her potential.” Libby is encouraged by this since it must mean she has potential, but worries what that is exactly. Read more>>

Bink and Gollie, Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Published by Candlewick; ages 6 to 8
By Gollie, they’re back! And fans of this easy reader series—the first won the 2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award—will be thrilled to reunite with the droll duo of wild-haired Bink and skinny but solemn Gollie in Bink and Gollie, Two for One. Read more>>


The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
Published by Little, Brown; ages 14 & up
Paolo Bacigalupi’s debut YA novel (and Printz Award winner) Ship Breaker imagined a future America dependent on scavengers for survival after global warming and peak oil have irrevocably altered the landscape. The Drowned Cities is not a sequel per se, but a “companion” volume packed with new thrills and provocations. Read more>>


Losers in Space by John Barnes
Published by Viking; ages 14 & up
In the year 2129, the United Nations’ Permanent Peace and Prosperity governs the world and 96% of the global population al lows robots to do their work and lives on the social minimum, a government allowance comparable to two million dollars a year today. Read more>>

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Published by Dutton; ages 14 & up
It would be completely understandable to discover, upon meeting John Green, that he’s tired and hoarse and must sleep with his hands elevated on the softest of pillows every night. Read more>>

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Published by Dutton; ages 14 & up
Colby is about to embark on a year he’s been dreaming of forever: Once he graduates, he’s both driver and roadie for his best friend Bev’s band as they tour the Pacific Northwest, after which he and Bev will take off and spend a year exploring Europe. Read more>>

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Published by HMH; ages 14 & up
Grave Mercy, the first volume in an exciting new trilogy for teens, is set in a 15th-century French convent where the nuns are trained killers for the god of death.
Read more>>

The Vindico by Wesley King
Published by Putnam; ages 12 & up
The League of Heroes would be out of a job if there were no supervillains for them to vanquish, and the Vindico have played that role for a long time now—too long. Read more>>

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Published by Amulet; ages 12 & up
Lena’s hands have a third knuckle and her feet are too long. Her grandmother thinks she’s inherited these traits from her absent goblin father, one of the Peculiars relegated to half-citizenship in a mythical land reminiscent of late-19th-century England. Read more>>

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith

Published by Poppy/Hachette; ages 13 to 17
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?”For Hadley Sullivan, heading from JFK to London as a reluctant bridesmaid in her father’s (second) wedding to a woman she hasn’t met, four minutes means she misses her flight. Read more>>

Double by Jenny Valentine
Published by Hyperion; ages 12 & up
Midway through Double, the novel’s narrator—at this point beginning to fear (rightfully) for his life—thinks about his new family, “Maybe none of them were what they seemed. Maybe it wasn’t just me.” Read more>>

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Published by Hyperion; ages 14 & up
Dystopia, fantasy and science fiction crowd the YA shelves these days, but Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein’s astonishing new World War II novel, is a reminder of the power historical fiction can have in the hands of an accomplished author. Read more>>

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