Cardinal REaD

First 8 covers of recommended summer reading booklist

Second 8 covers of recommended summer reading booklist

Being Jazz, by Jazz Jennings

Nonfiction memoir

You might know Jazz Jennings from her reality series on TLC, I Am Jazz. She is a transgender teenager and activist. This is her memoir about the challenges and discrimination she faced as a kid. You also get a behind-the-scenes look at her family, her transition, and her battles to be able to play on the girls’ soccer team and use the girls’ restroom.

Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy

Realistic fiction

Willowdean is a fat girl whose mom runs the Miss Clover City beauty pageant and is always nagging her to lose weight. Suddenly she’s stuck in a love triangle and is in a big fight with her best friend. In an attempt to find herself, she decides to enter the local beauty pageant where nobody expects her to be.

Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir

Fantasy fiction

When Laia’s brother is arrested, she is so desperate to save him that she goes undercover as a slave in the Empire’s military academy. Elias is an elite soldier who is about to graduate that no longer wants to be part of Empire’s military. Laia and Elias become unlikely partners in the first book of this fantasy trilogy.

Gutless, by Carl Deuker

Sports fiction

Even though he’s got good speed and good hands, Brock gets cut from the the varsity football team because he’s not physically aggressive. When his friend Hunter, the quarterback, starts picking on him and this smaller kid named Richie, Brock has to decide if he wants to step up and stop being a bystander.

House Arrest, by K.A. Holt

Realistic fiction

Timothy gets arrested and put on house arrest for an entire year after he steals a wallet. He was just trying to help his struggling family with his little brother’s medical bills, but staying out of trouble is harder than he thought. The story is told in verse (like a series of poems) through his court-ordered journal entries.

Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Science fiction

Don’t be fooled by the size of this book, it’s like nothing you’ve ever read. It’s the story of Kady and Ezra who find themselves on a space fleet fleeing from the attackers of the planet Kerenza. What’s special about this book is that it’s really a collection of hacked documents and clues that uncover the truth of what’s really going on.

In the Country We Love, by Diane Guerrero

Nonfiction memoir

Diane Guerrero is an actress from Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. This is her story about how her parents were deported back to Colombia one day while she was at school. She was 14 years old. As a citizen Diane was allowed to stay in the United States, but she had to completely rebuild her life alone without a support system.

Irena's Children (Young Readers), by Tilar J. Mazzeo and Mary Cronk Farrell

Narrative nonfiction

This is the true story of Irena Sendler, a social worker in Poland during World War II. She smuggled 2500 children out of the Warsaw ghetto and saved them from death in concentration camps. Her incredibly brave story has been mostly overlooked by history until now.

Orbiting Jupiter, by Gary D. Schmidt

Realistic fiction

Joseph is a 14 year-old teen father who has been bounced between group homes and foster care. He just wants to finally meet his baby daughter, Jupiter, but none of the adults in his life think that’s a good idea and will let him. The story is told from the point of view of his foster brother Jack, and it will break your heart.

Outcasts United (Young Readers), by Warren St. James

Narrative nonfiction

This is a story of a female coach named Luma Mufleh who started a soccer team for refugee boys in Georgia. With Luma’s help and her high expectations, her team called The Fugees inspired the community. She actually still coaches in Clarkston, Georgia, today.

Personal Effects, by E.M. Kokie

Realistic fiction

Matt’s older brother T.J. is killed in Iraq and Matt is absolutely devastated. When T.J.’s personal effects arrive from the army, Matt discovers that he might not have known his brother as well as he thought he did. He sets off on a roadtrip to Madison, Wisconsin, to learn more about his brother’s other life.

Playing for the Devil's Fire, by Phillippe Diederich

Mystery fiction

In the small pueblo where Boli lives, weird stuff starts happening one day after they find the severed head of his teacher in the plaza. A few weeks later, there’s another murder and Boli’s parents have gone missing. Boli asks for help from a washed-up luchador to go after his parents and find out the truth.

Tell Me Three Things, by Julie Buxbaum

Relationships fiction

Jessie just moved to LA to live with her father and new stepmother and stepbrother. She doesn’t know anyone and just wants to go back to Chicago. One day she gets a mysterious email from someone called Somebody/Nobody who offers to help her adjust. As they become anonymous friends, she really wants to meet them--but maybe it’s better to leave it alone.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han

Relationships fiction

When Lara Jean wants to get over a crush on a boy, she writes a final love letter and then seals it away in her blue hatbox in her closet. When the hatbox goes missing and she finds out that all of her letters have been mailed to her crushes she is mortified. She cooks up a scheme to cover her embarrassment and make it look like she is in control of her lovelife, but it leaves Lara Jean even more confused.

Wolf by Wolf, by Ryan Graudin

Action fiction

It is an alternate version of 1956 and the Axis Powers have won World War II. After years of being a victim of medical experiments in the death camps, Ya-el has developed some strange abilities--and a plan to get her revenge on Hitler himself. This is a non-stop novel full of action and the first book of two.

A Work in Progress, by Connor Franta

Nonfiction memoir

Connor Franta is a YouTuber with almost 400 million views and over 5 million subscribers. This is his memoir about growing up in the Midwest and how he became famous as an Internet personality. He also talks about his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality as a teenager. His message for readers: don’t be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.

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