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10 Great summer reads


Photo by John Morgan licensed CC BY 2.0

School is out, the sun is shining, and you’ve found that perfect tree to sit under to read a good book. No matter what you’re in the mood for - whether it’s a heart-warming story about a mosquito, a harrowing adventure along the underground railroad, or a murder mystery on a train - we’ve got you covered. So sit back and enjoy with our great summer reading list.

book cover1. Adventures with Waffles

by Maria Parr, illustrated by Kate Forrester
Who’s reading this book?: 7-9 year-olds

Hardly a day passes without Trille and Lena inventing some kind of adventure that often ends in trouble. Whether it’s coaxing a cow onto a boat or sledding down the steepest and iciest hill with a chicken, there is always a thrill - and sometimes an injury - to be had. Trille loves to share everything with Lena, even Auntie Granny’s waffles. But when tragedy comes their way, it sometimes seems like nothing will ever be right again. The warmth of friendship and the support of family proves that when times are tough, a little taste of sweetness can make all the difference.

2. Avis Dolphin

by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Willow Dawson
Who’s reading this book?: 9-12 year-olds

Avis Dolphin doesn't want to leave Canada and sail to England on the great ship Lusitania. There’s a war in Europe, and the Germans threaten to sink the ship. Avis is lonely and afraid until she meets a kindly professor whose stories of a magical island help her face an uncertain future. When the Lusitania is attacked, Avis must draw on all her newfound strength to cope with the confusion and despair. Will the people she cares about, especially the professor be alright in the end?

3. Cody and the Fountain of Happiness

by Tricia Springstubb
Who’s reading this book?: middle grades

For Cody, many things are beautiful, especially ants who say hello by rubbing feelers. But nothing is as beautiful as the first day of summer vacation, and Cody doesn't want to waste one minute of it. Meanwhile, his brother Wyatt is moping over a girl, Mom is stressed about her new job as Head of Shoes, Dad is off hauling chairs in his long-distance truck, and even camp has been closed for the summer. What to do? Just when all seems lost, Cody bumps into a neighborhood boy named Spencer who is looking for a runaway cat. With a new friend and a soon-to-be-found cat, Cody is on her way to the fountain of happiness.

4. The Mosquito Brothers

by Griffin Ondaatje
Who’s reading this book?: 7-9 year-olds

A quirky but heart-warming tale about a little insect who nearly drowns and becomes afraid of nearly everything, including flying. But when he's suddenly left behind by his family, Dinnn Needles is forced to confront his fears and go his own way. Along the way, he makes new friends and redefines who he really is.

5. Underground to Canada

by Barbara Smucker
Who’s reading this book?: 9 year-olds and up

Based partially on a true story, Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker follows a young slave girl, Julilly, in the American South. When her master falls ill, she and her mother are separated. What follows is a thrilling story of Julilly's journey as she tries to escape to Canada using the Underground Railroad.

6. This Can’t be Happening at Mcdonald Hall

by Gordon Korman
Who’s reading this book?: 8-year-olds and up

Bruno and Boots are roommates at the prestigious boarding school Macdonald Hall. But they are anything from the model students. They are always getting in trouble. And when they take things too far, the school's headmaster decides to break them up. Bruno and Boots know they have to get back together - and will do whatever it takes. A classic and funny story that introduces readers young and old to two of Canada's most beloved fictional characters.

7. The Crazy Man

by Pamela Porter
Who’s reading this book?: 8-year-olds and up

Twelve-year-old Emaline lost her leg in an accident and also lost her father, who fled with grief. Feeling isolated as a result of the injury, Emaline builds an unexpected friendship with her family's farmhand: the gentle giant Angus, who is a patient at the local mental hospital and gossiped about by their neighbours.

8. Stitches

by Glen Huser
Who’s reading this book? 9-year-olds and up

Travis knows he's different from the other kids: he lives in a trailer park with his aunt, uncle and a bunch of kooky cousins, his mother is always on the road touring as a country-western singer and his father is absent altogether. To add to the list of oddities Travis loves to sew and hopes to one day be a puppeteer. Travis has one best friend, Chantelle, a disabled girl who is the only constant in his life. Together, they put together a puppet production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for their ninth grade class. Travis and Chantelle must contend with the consequences of being different in a society that penalizes them for it.

9. Odd Man Out

by Sarah Ellis
Who’s reading this book? 9-year-olds and up

When Kip has to spend the summer at his grandmother's with his five female cousins, things don't look good. But when he discovers a binder kept by his late father when he was a kid, Kip discovers a weird and wonderful world, and gets to know his dad in a way he never expected.

10. Murder on the Canadian

by Eric Wilson
Who’s reading this book? 8-year-olds and up

There's been a murder on the brand new train called the Canadian and Tom Austen knows it's up to him to solve it. But when he starts talking to his fellow passengers, he realizes that everyone is a suspect. Tom realizes he's hot on the trail when the killer tries to confront him. Can Tom solve the mystery before it's too late?