What to Read Next: June Kids' Books for Summer Travels

Sail away with bears, follow one tween girl to China and another on a beach vacation, and track teen sweethearts around the globe.
Regan McMahon Senior Editor, Books | Mom of two Categories: We Recommend
Senior Editor, Books | Mom of two

Before you head out to the beach, hop on a plane, gas up for a road trip, or send the kids off to camp, make sure you pack some books along with the sunscreen and mosquito repellent. We've found some excellent choices that in varying ways strike a travel theme -- perfect for reading on vacation. 

Here are our picks for June: 

  • For kids age 4 to 8, check out David Soman's Three Bears in a Boat, in which three sibling bears sail the open seas to find and replace their mother's beloved blue seashell. This gorgeous picture book from the illustrator of the Ladybug Girl series is about fixing mistakes and working together. And for the chapter book crowd, don't miss The Year of the Fortune Cookie, Anna Wang's third installment in the series that started with The Year of the Book. Here, protagonist Anna, now in sixth grade, travels to China to see where her adopted sister came from, contemplates her Chinese heritage, and organizes a community service club at her new school that knits items for the orphanage. It's a refreshing change from the many books about sixth grade in which girls are plunged into friendship dramas and budding romances. This short, satisfying novel is also a great pick for those looking for books with diverse characters
  • For kids age 9 to 12, there's Lisa Greenwald's Welcome to Dog Beach, a light, engaging story of two 11-year-old girls who stumble into a dog-sitting business and learn a lot about responsibility and friendship -- and a bit about crushes on boys -- over the course of a vacation spent on the idyllic island where her family goes every summer. On a deeper level, protagonist Remy is learning to accept change as she grieves the loss of her pet dog and notices differences in the behavior of her girl and guy friends now that they're all getting older. A wonderful beach read for tweens.
  • For teens age 13 to 17, try Jennifer E. Smith's The Geography of You and Me, a coming-of-age story packaged as a romance that offers plenty of food for thought on fate, faith, and the strength (and fragility) of long-distance bonds. This is a teen read that would be appropriate for 12-year-olds, too, and is especially appealing for kids going -- or thinking about going -- off to college. It's also a treat for world (or armchair) travelers, as the characters' journeys offer a peek into different locations around the globe making it tailor-made for vacation reading. 

About Regan McMahon

Regan has been reviewing children's books for more than a decade. A journalist and former book editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, she cites as one of her toughest assignments having to read and review the 784-page... Read more

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