Summer Reading 2019 | Teen Book Lists

By NYPL Staff
April 17, 2019

Gravitate to great books this summer. Through reading, you can widen your understanding of the world and explore new ones. Check out these lists below, then visit your library for even more great recommendations, plus programs and resources to help you succeed all year round.

Middle School Summer Book List

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Dove Arising by Karen Bao

On a lunar colony, fifteen-year-old Phaet Theta does the unthinkable and joins the Militia when her mother is imprisoned by the Moon's oppressive government.


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See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski, along with his dog Carl Sagan, makes big discoveries about his family on a road trip and he records it all on an iPod he intends to launch into space.


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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

As Will, 15, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.


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Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renee Watson

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.


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Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Indian-American teen, Priyanka "Pri" Das, attempts to reconnect with her mother's homeland through a magical pashmina shawl in this graphic novel.


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Sci-Fu by Yehudi Mercado

Thirteen-year-old DJ Wax scratches the perfect beat and responds to an intersteller challenge that transports him and his entire block to the robot-filled planet of Discopia, where he must battle with music against the Five Deadly Dangers and their leader, Choo Choo.  


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The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag

In 13-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. But Aster hasn't shifted and he's fascinated by witchery. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster must practice his skills and help as a witch. 


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Space Battle Lunchtime Vol. 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion by Natalie Riess

Space Battle Lunchtime is a hit show broadcast all over the universe, and the new season is about to start. When one of the competing chefs drops out at the last minute, an aspiring baker from Earth, Peony, is offered the chance to compete for fame, glory, and a 20,000 Solarbuck prize.


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Hidden Figures: Young Readers' Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly

Explore the previously uncelebrated but pivotal contributions of NASA's African-American women mathematicians to America's space program.


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The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander

Read poetry and inspiring lessons about the rules of life, as well as uplifting quotes from athletes such as Stephen Curry and Venus Williams and other exemplars like Sonia Sotomayor and Michelle Obama in this motivational book illustrated with photographs by Thai Neave.


High School Summer Book List

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The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. She pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook. When she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she can't stop thinking about performing her poems.


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I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

High school senior Desi Lee decides to tackle her flirting failures by watching Korean television dramas, where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. She applies her new tactics to pursue her crush.


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Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Teenaged soldier Noemi and an enemy robot, Abel, who is programmed to obey her commands, set out on an interstellar quest to save her home planet, Earth colony Genesis.


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The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager and the galaxy's most deadly weapon, who masquerades as Sidonia, a senator's daughter, and becomes a hostage of the galactic court.


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Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens edited by Marieke Nijkamp

Check out this anthology of stories in various genres, featuring disabled characters and written by disabled creators, ranging from established best-selling authors to debut authors.


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Mech Cadet Yu by Greg Pak, art by Takeshi Miyazawa

Once a year, giant robots from outer space come to Earth and bond with young cadets from the elite Sky Corps Academy to defend the world from the terrifying aliens known as the Sharg. It's a great honor to be chosen, but this year the wrong kid was picked.


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Check, Please! Book 1 #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. 


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Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi

Sara loves Ethan Hawke and hates her acne. She's also undocumented, but that's not going to stop her.


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#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

#NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman.


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Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition by Julia Kaye

Julia Kaye decided to use her webcomic, Up and Out, to process her transition, depicting her personal ups and downs while dealing with the various issues involved in transitioning,  from struggling with self-acceptance and challenging societal expectations, to moments of self-love and joy.

For more great recommendations from our expert librarians,  check out our Staff Picks tool, or ask your local librarian.