Mom I’m bored!

Kids books for summertime reading.
Photo by Terri Schlichenmeyer

Books for Kids for Summertime Reading by various authors and illustrators


Various publishers                             

$18.99 – $24.99                          

Various page counts


You’ve played every game in the house – twice – and made up a few, too.

You’ve ridden your bike all over, gone to the pool just about every day, and you’ve finished all your chores ahead of time. So now what do you do?

How about a great new book to spend time with this summer?

Why not dream? In “Willis Watson Is a Wannabe” by Carmen Bogan, illustrated by Charyl “Ras” Thuesday ($18.99 Simon & Schuster), Willis wants to be a superhero because his grandpa says he can be whatever he wants to be. When the neighborhood boys tell Willis that there’s no such thing as a superhero, well, isn’t that a challenge? Your four-to-six-year-old will find it to be so, with inspiration inside this book.

Why not fall in love with a new pet? In “Not My Cat” by Stacey Patton, illustrated by Acamy Schleikorn ($18.99, Simon & Schuster), Staceypants finds something she’d rather not have: a cat. Cats are messy and they scratch things. Staceypants does not like cats one bit. You might ask, but this cat is not hers. Or is it? Based on a true story, kids ages five-to-seven will love finding out – especially if they’re cat lovers.

Why not pick up a new hobby? In “All the Rocks We Love” by Lisa Varchol Perron and Taylor Perron, art by David Scheirer ($18.99, Penguin Workshop, out 7/16), you’ll read about something you probably barely notice: rocks!  “Rocks are everywhere we look,” say the authors, and they’re all very different. Some are cool and smooth. Some sparkle and some even float! Bring some home with you on vacation this year and, if you’re ages four-to-ten-years-old, you can decorate your room.

Why not learn about a new heroine? In “Go Wilma, Go!” by Amira Rose Davis and Michael G. Long, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow ($18.99, Bloomsbury, out 7/16), you’ll read about Wilma Rudolph, who was an athlete in the 1960 Olympics. It’s a great honor, until she learns that her hometown has planned a Wilma Rudolph Day and she’s shocked. Wilma is Black and the celebration isn’t open to people with Black skin. What happens when she “digs in” is a great story kids ages six-to-ten will love.

And finally, for the older (12-and-up) reader why not check out “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi, adapted and illustrated by Joel Christian Gill ($24.99, Penguin Random House)? It’s a long, detailed look at racism in America that takes young readers from the 1600s to modern-day racism, with full stops for important historical events and heroism along the way. This is the kind of book you give your teen, but don’t be embarrassed to borrow it back for yourself this summer.

And if these books aren’t enough to keep your young reader occupied and happy, be sure to check with your favorite bookstore or librarian for more. They’ve got lots of summertime books for kids of any age, and adults, too. They might even have games to play, once or twice.