Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.

Young Adult Fiction to Read This Summer


I’m just wrapping up my year of teaching, and I just sent off this summer book suggestion list to my middle school students, so I thought I would share it with you as well!

If the review is quoted, it is from Patti Tjomsland and her workshop’s “What’s new in Young Adult Literature” handbook that I received when I attended her workshop.


Shadowcaster (first book) and Flamecaster (second book) – by Cinda Williams Chima

For the second book: “Ash is forced into hiding after his father is murdered and his own life is endangered. On his quest for revenge he meets Jenna who shares his hatred for an evil king.”


Heartless –by  Marissa Meyer

“Ever wonder how the Red Queen became so heartless? Catherine just wanted to be a baker and then she falls in love with Jest which leads to heartbreak.”


Genius: the Game –by Leopoldo Gout

This book has a hanging ending! “First in a new series. Only 200 invitations go out to the best of the techies in the world for a huge competition. Tunde (an engineered genius from Nigeria) and Painted Wolf (an activist blogger from Shanghai) are invited and Mexican American Rex hacks his way onto the list. What is the real reason for this event?”

 And there are more…

Historical Fiction

The Inquisitor’s Tale or, the Three Magical Children and their Holy Dog ­– by Adam Gidwitz

“In 1242, travelers cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children who perform miracles of saints. William, Jacob, and Jeanne chase through France trying to save precious and holy texts from being burned. They’re taken captive by knights, sit alongside the kind, and save the land from a farting dragon, accompanied by Jeanne’s greyhound, recently brought back from the dead.”


Some Kind of Courage –Dan Gemeinhart

“1890, Eastern Washington, 12 year old Joseph, has lost his family, but he’s determined to get back his horse from the unethical horse trader who took her.”


Outrun the Moon –by Stacey Lee

“15 year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break free of the poverty of 1906 Chinatown in San Francisco. In a series of smart negotiations she gets admittance to St. Clare’s but then the devastation of the 1906 earthquake changes her world.”


Wolf Hollow – by Lauren Wolk

“In a small Pennsylvania town during WWII, Annabelle confronts a bully but find that a troubled WWI veteran is the new target.”


The Bronze Bow – by Elizabeth George Speare

I read this historical fiction novel in junior high! It takes place during the time of Jesus, and seeing Jesus through the main character’s eyes gives one insight. There also is some action in this novel. Check it out!


The Book Thief – by Markus Zusak

This story takes place during World War II, so if your students like that time period, this book will interest them.


Realistic Fiction

Last Man Out – Mike Lupica

“12 year-old Tommy is a football player, but when his Boston firefighter dad is killed in the line of duty, he faces a new battle.”


Ghost – Jason Reynolds

“Castle has been ready to run since his dad shot a gun at him and his mom. He’s found a track coach who tries to help him. First in a new series.”


Booked – Kwame Alexander

“Verse. Soccer player Nick’s parents are separating, and an injury puts him on the sidelines.”


13 Reasons Why –by Jay Asher
This book deals with the choices that lead a teenager to commit suicide. If your student was mature enough to watch the Netflix series on this book, then they might be interested in reading the book. If your student has a tendency toward depression, I would not recommend this book.



The Catholic Teen Bible

The Bible is the best book in the world, so reading it will help you feel God’s love and guidance in this sometimes dark and confusing world.

Have a peaceful start to your summer summer!

~Mary Hope


Author: mary.campbell.schuh

Hello Friends, A curious, kind, practical, and energetic writer, wife, mother, and teacher is one way to describe me. I enjoy thinking about transitions--in schools, churches, families, relationships, and even countries. I'm passionate about learning, and I love working with people. Stop by often to see which kind of transition I'm thinking about, and I would appreciate hearing your thoughts. Peace! ~Mary Hope

3 thoughts on “Young Adult Fiction to Read This Summer

  1. I recommended Booked to my mom for the summer (she’s an elementary teacher). I have Ghost on my TBR (I picked it up at last year’s Scholastic Book Sale). Happy summer, and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: School is Out! Happy First Day of Summer | Trees of Transition

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