The dog days of summer, coinciding with the alignment of the constellation Sirius with the sun from July 3-August 11, are upon us. The dog days of summer are typically the hottest days of the season, so lean into the heat with these summer reads for adults and youth:
SAG HARBOR by Colson Whitehead (DB 69066; BR 18616)
Long Island, 1985. Upper-middle-class African American teenager Benji spends another summer at the beach with his brother and his parents, a Manhattan doctor, and a lawyer. Benji finds relief from prep school and a part-time job and learns a few lessons on growing up. Strong language. 2009.
DANDELION WINE: A NOVEL by Ray Bradbury (DB 12385)
Evocative novel of childhood set in a small Illinois town during the summer of 1938. A boy marvels at his discovery that he is alive and acutely aware of the life about him.
PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry (DB 103191)
Travel writer Poppy and her friend Alex could not be more different, but they bonded on a road trip home from college and afterwards took annual vacations together. Unfortunately, their last vacation ruined everything between them. Two years later Poppy talks Alex into one more trip together. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021.
SUMMER ON THE BLUFFS: A NOVEL by Sunny Hostin (DB 103563)
Thirty years ago, Amelia Vaux Tanner and her husband built a house in Oak Bluffs, an exclusive African American enclave of Martha’s Vineyard. She invites her three goddaughters to spend the summer, as she decides which woman will inherit the house. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid (DB 103564)
In the summer of 1983, Nina Riva was hosting her annual celebrity-filled party, despite the impending end of her marriage. Nina and her three siblings, all connected to the world of surfing, might have survived their unconventional upbringing, but each is hiding secrets. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME by Andre Aciman (DB 65344; BR 22904)
Each summer Elio’s parents host a scholar in their home on the Italian Riviera. Oliver, a young academic from America arrives, igniting in seventeen-year-old Elio a passionate longing and desire. Years later Elio recollects his search for intimacy during that transformative season. Some descriptions of sex. 2007.
LIFEGUARDS by Amanda Eyre Ward (DB 107638)
Whitney, Annette, and Liza have raised their children together for fifteen years. Their friendship is as safe as the Austin neighborhood where they’ve raised their sweet little boys. Or so they think. One night, the boys share a secret that will shatter the perfect world their mothers have so painstakingly created. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2022.
YOUNG ADULT FICTION
LOVE IS A REVOLUTION by Renee Watson (DB 102792)
Harlem teenager Nala is looking forward to a summer of movies and ice cream until she falls in love with the very woke Tye and pretends to be a social activist. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
BLACKOUT (DB 104186)
Six interconnected short stories of warmth and electricity of Black teen love in New York City during a summer blackout. Acclaimed, award-winning authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS by Ann Brashares (DB 53252; LB 04827; BR 13765)
Four fifteen-year-olds, “Bridget the athlete, Lena the beauty, Tibby the rebel, and Carmen, the one with the bad temper”, have been friends since childhood. During this first summer apart, they share a pair of used jeans that magically fits each of them perfectly and helps them through tough times. For senior high readers. 2001.
WHAT IF IT’S US by Becky Albertalli (DB 92949)
When Arthur, a summer intern from Georgia, and Ben, a native New Yorker, meet, it feels like fate. But after three failed attempts at dating, they wonder if the universe is pushing them together or apart. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2018.
HARLEM SUMMER by Walter Dean Myers (DB 65655; BR 17320)
Harlem, 1925. Sixteen-year-old saxophone-playing Mark Purvis is hired by an African American magazine one summer. But when he does a shady delivery job for his idol, musical genius Fats Waller, something goes wrong, and gangster Dutch Schultz comes after Mark for money. For senior high readers. 2007.
WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart (DB 79109; BR 20594)
Spending the summers on her family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2014.
HOLES by Louis Sachar (DB 47444; LB 04941; BT 03955)
Stanley Yelnats IV finds himself in a detention center for possessing stolen property that he didn’t take. While digging holes under the summer Texas sun, he sees a fellow inmate running away—and follows him. Legends, loyalty, and buried treasure are revealed as Stanley learns to survive. Newbery Medal Winner.
THREE WILLOWS: THE SISTERHOOD GROWS by Ann Brashares (DB 68648)
In the summer before ninth grade, three longtime friends explore separate paths. Jo deals with her parents’ divorce, her interest in an older boy, and an awkward visit from Polly. Meanwhile academic-minded Ama feels out of place on a wilderness trip learning to rock climb. For grades 6-9. 2009.
GIRLS OF JULY by Alex Flinn (DB 95793)
Four girls—Britta, Meredith, Kate, and Spider, only two of whom had met before—spend an unforgettable July with Spider’s aunt in the Adirondacks. Told in separate voices. Commercial audiobook. For grades 6-9 and older readers. 2019.
MARE’S WAR by Tanita S. Davis (DB 70850; BR 18763)
Teens Octavia and Tali reluctantly take a cross-country road trip with their eighty-year-old grandmother. But Mare’s stories about growing up black in 1940s Alabama and running away from home to join the army during World War II make the journey worthwhile. For grades 6-9. Coretta Scott King Honor Book. 2009.
Stay cool, and happy reading!