Cardinal REaD

Book covers from recommended summer reading list

Book covers from recommended summer reading list

Carve the Mark

This is the first book in Veronica Roth’s new series (she wrote the Divergent series)--On the planet of Thuvhe, when you hit adolescence, everyone develops a currentgift. The main characters, Cyra and Akos have opposite gifts. When Cyra’s tyrannical brother Ryzek kidnaps Akos and his brother, he makes Akos serve Cyra. Since Cyra resents her brother and Akos is desperate to save his brother, and they end up in an unlikely partnership.

The Distance Between Us

This is a true story of the author’s childhood. Reyna’s parents moved to the US when she was little and she and her siblings are being raised by their grandparents. When Reyna is 10, her dad and his new wife come for a visit and Reyna and her siblings convince him to take them back with them. However, if you can imagine, they hardly know each other and a new country and language is a bit of a shock.

Every Falling Star

This is the true story of how the author escaped from North Korea. After his family was exiled to a remote town and then his parents disappeared, Sungju ended up on the streets in a gang. He had to steal food and fight other gangs of boys to survive. You learn about his escape, but also more about the tough conditions the people of North Korea face.


Castle Crenshaw, a.k.a Ghost is a tough kid, used to getting into trouble. One afternoon, he is running his mouth and challenges an elite sprinter to race--and wins. This catches the eye of an Olympic medalist-winning track coach, who convinces him to join the team, on the condition that he doesn’t get into any more trouble. He finds himself actually caring about being on the team. His mom doesn’t have money for fancy shoes though, so Ghost shoplifts a pair. The shoes seem to help his running, but leaves him feeling terrible. Some of the other characters in this book become main characters in the next books of this series.

Openly Straight

Rafe Goldberg tired of being known as "the gay kid", so when he moves east to go to a boarding school in Massachusetts, he decides to take on a new persona. However, this new double life makes things a little bit more complicated than he expected. The follow-up book to this one, called Honestly, Ben, just came out.


In this book, Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. Isabel is a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction. Each refugee embarks on a dangerous journey, and even though they are separated by continents and decades, their stories are tied together by shocking connections.


In a future world where all hunger, disease, war, misery, and even death have been conquered, to keep the population from exploding and becoming unsustainable, there are scythes who have the only legal authority to kill people. Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentice scythes, a role neither wants, but they have no choice--if they do not master the "art" of ending life, they might lose their own.


Blade Morrison is the wealthy, but neglected son of an addict washed-up rockstar father Rutherford. The only things  he can count on are his guitar ballads and his girlfriend, Chapel. When Rutherford disappoints Blade one time too many and they end up fighting, Blade’s sister reveals a long-guarded family secret. Suddenly the music leaves him and then Chapel is no longer there to anchor him either, Blade sets out to discover more about his own past.

A Study in Charlotte

Charlotte and Jamie are descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson that meet at a Connecticut boarding school. Charlotte makes it clear she's not looking for friends, but when a student they both have a history of problems with dies under suspicious circumstances, they both become suspects. Almost like it is ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, they have to team up and the only people they can trust are each other.

Symptoms of Being Human

Riley Cavanaugh, a gender-fluid teen who struggles with identity, creates an anonymous blog on the topic that goes viral, and faces ridicule at the new school he attends. When someone threatens to reveal Riley's identity as the creator of the blog, Riley must walk away from his lifeline and cause, or risk everything by coming out and standing up for his beliefs.

Taking Flight

The autobiography of Michaela DePrince, who lived the first few years of her life in war-torn Sierra Leone until being adopted by an American family. Now seventeen, she is one of the premiere ballerinas in the United States.

Under a Painted Sky

In 1849 Samantha, a Chinese girl, and Annamae, a runaway slave, disguise themselves as young men named Sammy and Andy and travel along the Oregon Trail to California in hopes of making new lives for themselves.


Identical twin teenagers Giselle and Isabelle Boyer have always been inseparable, and expected to stay that way even though their Haitian American parents are separating--but when the entire family is caught in a car crash, everyone's world is shattered forever.

The Walk On

After moving to a new town his freshman year in high school, Alex Myers is happy to win a spot on the varsity team as a quarterback but must deal with the idea of not playing for two years since the first-string quarterback is not only a local hero, he is also son of the corrupt head coach.

We Should Hang Out Sometime

At the age of twenty-five, Josh Sundquist, who had Ewing's sarcoma as a child and is now a paralympic ski racer, looks back to try to understand why he has never had a steady girlfriend.

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel meet at a Stanford University summer program, Dimple is avoiding her parents' obsession with "marriage prospects" but Rishi hopes to woo her into accepting arranged marriage with him.

COMING SOON: Titles being discussed

OverDrive button
Find e-books and audiobooks in our digital library or the Wisconsin public library collection.

Audiobook SYNC logo
SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens. Returning April 26, 2018, SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week for 16 weeks - pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes. Sign up for email or text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available to download at

Try these resources to find lists and read-alikes... logo