The hot summer months provide many reading opportunities. Make your summer reading more summery with books about . . . yes, you guessed it, . . . summer vacation! Here are middle grade chapter books about camp, vacation, friendships, trips, and other summer time adventures. Enjoy!
Summer Vacation Books About Summer Vacation
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer by Megan McDonald (ages 6 – 9)
When their parents leave for a trip, Judy and Stink are left with their wacky Aunt Opal. So Judy comes up with a plan for the best summer ever and it’s lots of laughs when all is said and done.
Babymouse #3: Beach Babe by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (ages 7 – 10)
Summer vacation on the beach isn’t quite what Babymouse imagined — her surfing isn’t so great, and her brother is driving her crazy.
Fish Finelli Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles by E.S. Farber, illustrated by Jason Beene (ages 8 – 11)
Fish makes a bet that he can find the lost pirate treasure over his summer vacation. Will he lose the money he bet or actually find the treasure?
Cody and the Fountain of Happiness by Tricia Springstubb, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (ages 7 – 10)
In this light and warm-hearted story, Cody meets a new friend and even though she doesn’t get to go to summer camp, she has a fun adventure at home.
Cupcake Cousins #1 by Kate Hannifin, illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes (ages 8 – 12)
Summer vacation with these two best friend cousins means baking, being flower girls, and potential disasters.
Campfire Mallory by Laurie B. Friedman, illustrated by Jennifer Kalis (ages 7 – 10)
It’s Mallory’s first time at camp and she’s worried it won’t be as fun as her friends tell her.
Just Jake: Camp Wild Survival by Jame Marionette, illustrated by Victor Rivas Villa (ages 8 – 12)
Jake, his sister, and his dad spend their summer vacation at survivalist camp filled with crazy and hilarious survival situations.
Summer of Lost and Found by Rebecca Behrens (ages 8 – 12)
Nell is forced to spend her summer vacation on Roanoke Island with her mother instead of New York City with her friends. There, she makes a friend and finds an interest in the mystery of the first Roanoke colony.
The Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland (ages 8 – 12)
Three sisters from LA aren’t happy about spending the summer on Cape Cod. It’s a summer of growth and life lessons as the girls discover the importance of family.
Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation by Tommy Greenwald, illustrated by J.P. Coovert (ages 9 – 12)
This reluctant reader is forced to go to summer camp for reading and writing — can life get any worse? Hilarious.
Camp Rolling Hills by Stacy Davidowitz (ages 8 – 12)
Summer camp is Stephanie’s (Slimey as she’s called at camp) favorite time of year. This year is a little different with changes in friendships, boy crushes and kisses, and pranks on other cabins.
What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau (ages 8 – 12)
Clara Luna is sent to live with her grandparents in rural Mexico. There she struggles with her identity, is she American or Mexican or both? While in Mexico, Clara’s indigenous grandmother teaches Clara the magical art of healing. This is one of my favorite books ever!
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (ages 8 – 12)
On summer vacation at a small cottage, the Penderwick sisters meet a lonely boy named Jeffrey who becomes like family to them. This is a warm-hearted story of friendship filled with loads of summer adventures.
The Rabbit Ate My Flip-Flops by Rachel Elizabeth Cole (ages 8 – 12)
Drew’s sister Libby brings her rabbit, Tiny, camping in a caravan which means Drew must help her keep it a secret from their grandparents. Which, as you can imagine, is quite a disaster.
Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Stevenson (ages 8 – 12)
Finally, Annie’s controlling parents agree to give her some freedom. Her freedom arrives with a summer in the country with a new friend and independent adventures.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (ages 8 – 12)
Three sisters imagine that summer with their mom in California will be magical. They don’t expect to attend a Black Panther day camp and their mom to want them out of the way to write her poetry. As they try to connect to their mother, each girl learns more about herself and the world in the late 60s for African Americans.
The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney (ages 8 – 12)
This is the worst road trip of all time — poor Greg. You’ll laugh your way through this hilarious family car trip of misadventures.
Blue Ribbon Summer by Catherine Hapka (ages 8 – 12)
Brooke’s summer sleep away camp (with horses) isn’t as fun as she was hoping. The girls have fancier horses than Brooke and they aren’t very friendly. But, there’s a bigger problem — the camp is closing. Can Brooke help save it?
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen (ages 8 – 12)
It’s summer vacation and our 12-year old narrator needs to earn money. Which he does by starting a lawn mowing business. Not only that, he learns about investing his money and makes a lot more money than he could have imagined.
The First Last Day by Dorian Cirrone (ages 8 – 12)
Haleigh learns she can relive her last day of summer at Jersey shore by painting it with magical watercolors. But her wish, she learns, affects more than her.
Summerlost by Ally Condie (ages 10+)
A new friend, the Shakespearian summer festival, and a mystery help Cedar adjust to life without her father and younger brother.
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar (ages 9 – 12)
Carol and her family move to the New Mexico desert to care of her grandfather who odd. His stories of bees and pride of their common heritage mixed with magical realism show Carol a new way of looking at the world.
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds (ages 10+)
Genie and his brother spends their summer with their blind grandfather in the country. As Genie watches his grandfather and brother, he learns about bravery and forgiveness.
Summer of the Wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles (ages 10+)
The siblings are sent from foster home to live with their uncle, a wolf researcher. When Nika finds a wolf pup, she cares for the pup who teaches her what it means to be family.
I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora (ages 8 – 12)
Lucy is thrilled when her recently deceased English teacher assigns To Kill a Mockingbird for summer reading. She’s determined to get everyone in town to read the book. Their plan is to hide the books all over town and begin a marketing campaign.
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (ages 8 – 12)
Sunny is sent to live with their grandfather in Florida who lives in a retirement village. Luckily, there’s another kid there, the caretaker’s son. Together they form a bond of friendship and adventures all the while Sunny comes to terms with her family situation.
How Tia Lola Saved the Summer by Julia Alvarez
Their cool Tía Lola invents a fun and creative summer camp for Miguel, his sisters, and their friends the Sword family’s kids.
Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord (ages 8 – 12)
Lucy befriends Nate and sets about to capture their lives with her photography. This book tackles important issues about truth, aging, and art.
Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli (ages 8 – 12)
The summer brings big changes for 11-year old twins Jake and Lily as Jake pulls away from their tight bond and Lily feels left behind.
The Applewhites at Wit’s End by Stephanie S. Tolan (ages 8 – 12)
The Applewhite clan is holding a summer camp for creatives hoping that it will save their family from financial ruin. The kids who come to the camp have strong personalities, not unlike the Applewhites themselves, except for E.D. who isn’t all that artistic and doesn’t care for all the chaos. Lucky for everyone, E.D. has a plan to get things under control.
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (ages 10+)
Patty is a Jewish girl in Arkansas during WWII near the site of a prison camp holding German soldiers. Hurting at the way she’s treated by her parents, she befriends a prisoner named Anton. When he escapes from the camp, she lets him stay in their garage. Events ensue (beating, discovery, reform school) making this an engaging coming-of-age historical story.
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