Middle Grade Books About Summer Vacation

Oh, the sweet memories of summer vacation. Lazy days on the beach. Canoe rides on the lake. Summer theatre. Siblings. Cousins. Grandparents. Summer friends. Long rides in the car. Sunshine. Rain. Books. Return to those memories with these favorites.

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes

Martha always looks forward to summer vacation with her family on Cape Cod. This year one of the Manning brothers has taken an interest in her as well. He and Martha explore the beach and film scenes for his movie. Martha likes him, but doesn’t know if he feels the same about her. This could end up being the best vacation of her life or a miserable disaster.

Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Delsie has lived on Cape Cod with her grandmother since birth. She has never met her mother. This summer, her best friend is busy and her summer friend has lost interest in her. Then she meets the new city boy, Ronan. Delsie can’t wait to take him crabbing, clamming, fishing, and lobstering. Both of them are about to learn that love can come from anyone, not just mothers.

Summer of Lost and Found by Rebecca Behrens

Nell isn’t happy to learn her mother is taking her to the Outer Banks so she can study a grapevine. She prefers the city, and wants to hang out with her best friend. But when Nell meets a boy re-enactor named Ambrose, she realizes the fun to be had biking around Roanoke island looking for clues to solve the mystery of the Lost Colony.

The Summer of Bad Ideas by Kiera Stewart

Edie and her family are spending the summer in small town, Florida, renovating her deceased grandmother’s house. Joining in on the project are her uncle and cousin, Rae. Edie and Rae find a list amidst their grandmother’s things titled “Petunia’s Good Ideas for Summertime 1962. The cousins get into some serious trouble trying to do the things on their grandmother’s list, but at the same time they form a special bond and get to know the neighbor boy.

The Forget-Me-Not Summer (Silver Sisters) by Leila Howland

Marigold’s summer in L.A. is disrupted when she and her sisters Zinnia and Lily are sent to their Aunt Sunny’s on the New England coast. With no cell coverage or internet, they must make their own fun. Zinnie organizes a talent show. Marigold sails a boat with Peter. Lily learns to swim. Conflict creeps in when a teen actress from L.A. shows up for vacation and Marigold decides to ditch the talent show.

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker

When Stella’s mother is deemed unfit, Stella is sent to live with her great aunt Louise on Cape Cod. It wouldn’t be so bad if Aunt Louise didn’t already have a crabby foster child. Then something unexpected happens to Aunt Louise. Stella and Angel must take care of themselves and hope it all works out.

Summerlost by Ally Condie

While vacationing in her mother’s hometown after the death of her brother and dad, Cedar meets Leo who works at the Shakespeare festival. Cedar decides a summer job with the theatre will distract her from her sadness. While hanging out together, Leo and Cedar become interested in a mystery surrounding the local celebrity and decide to do some sleuthing of their own.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm

When her mother gets a new job as a housekeeper for a woman who doesn’t like children, Turtle must move to Key West to live with her aunt, uncle, and boy cousins. Dealing with the “Diaper Gang,” as they call themselves, is quite an adjustment for Turtle, but soon enough, she’s in on their adventures, looking for treasure, and running around Key West. 

Welcome to Dog Beach by Lisa Greenwald

Remy has spent the summers on Seagate Island, NY every year since birth. She looks forward to spending time with her friends Micayla and Bennett and hanging out at Dog Beach. This summer feels different since her grandmother and her beloved dog, Danish, passed away. Then without trying, she starts a dog sitting business, makes a new friend, and learns that change isn’t bad, just different.

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