Cool Summer Reads 2023 (Grades 3-5)

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

Cats in space, magic, and special grandparents! Enjoy these and much more in our favorite fiction, graphic novels, and nonfiction for kids in grades 3-5.

  • Freddie vs. the Family Curse

    2022 by Badua, Tracy

    Because of a very frustrating, long-standing family curse, Freddie has learned to be extremely cautious. No risks, no trouble. That is, until he finds an amulet in the garage that he thinks might turn everything around. Suddenly his life is nothing but risk and trouble, and Freddie finds himself in a race against time to break the curse.

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  • A Different Kind of Normal: My Real-life Completely True Story about Being Unique

    2021 by Balfe, Abigail

    This excellent book, a collection of notes, comics, information, jokes, and more, reads like spending the afternoon with a new best friend. Like all the best hang outs, you’ll laugh a lot. You'll also learn, not just about Abigail, but probably about yourself too.

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  • The First Cat in Space

    2022 by Barnett, Mac

    The moon is in danger of being destroyed, and there are only three days to save it! Enter Project 47, a technologically enhanced cat destined for greatness. Can Project 47 save the moon? Add a Moon Queen, a toenail clipping robot, and pizza to the mix, and anything is possible.

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  • Swim Team

    2022 by Christmas, Johnnie

    Bree is excited for her first day at her new middle school, but her excitement turns to anxiety when she is stuck taking Swim 101. Bree, who doesn’t know how to swim, finds herself drowning in anxiety and trouble when she skips swim classes. With the help of her elderly neighbor Etta, Bree is surprised to find herself the newest member of her school’s underdog swim team!

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  • A Duet for Home

    2022 by Glaser, Karina Yan

    Through alternating perspectives, this lyrical story will have you singing the praises of June and Tyrell, who find their voices to fight for what is right as they navigate their joys and struggles while living in a homeless shelter.

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  • Killer Underwear Invasion! How to Spot Fakes News, Disinformation & Conspiracy Theories

    2022 by Gravel, Elise

    Not only will this great book set you up with tools and information to protect yourself from being tricked by the media, you’ll laugh a lot!

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  • Aviva vs. the Dybbuk

    2022 by Lowe, Mari

    A beautifully haunting tale about grief, healing, and the power of connection. Aviva is a complicated character who deals with a lot of loss, not just the death of her father, but also lost “living” relationships with her best friend and mother. Will the ghostly dybbuk bring more than chaos to Aviva’s tight-knit Jewish community?

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  • The Secret Battle of Evan Pao

    2022 by Shang, Wendy Wan Long

    Evan Pao escapes a family scandal by moving from California to a small Virginia town where the celebration of the Confederacy and local Civil War history are a part of daily life. Evan wages his own personal battles countering long-held traditions and prejudices when he discovers and shares startling information about Chinese-Americans' involvement in the Civil war.

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  • A Comb of Wishes

    2022 by Stringfellow, Lisa

    Magic and mermaids dominate this smart Caribbean tale with a splash of eerie drama. What would you sacrifice to make your wishes come true?

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  • A Rover's Story

    2022 by Warga, Jasmine

    Resilience is a rover created and built for Mars’ exploration. Over time, “Res,” in addition to functioning the way he was programmed, begins to develop behaviors and feelings he has observed from the robots and humans around him. His journey to Mars, and the time he spends there, is exciting, scary, and amazing!

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  • Maizy Chen's Last Chance

    2022 by Yee, Lisa

    Maizy and her mother spend the summer at her estranged grandparents' home. While initially bummed at being stuck there for the summer, Maizy soon grows to love spending time with her mischievous poker-playing, but ill Opa. When the restaurant is the target of a hate crime, Maizy investigates and learns more about the restaurant's long history of helping immigrants.

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  • My Aunt Is a Monster

    2022 by Yee, Reimena

    After tragically losing her parents, and life as she knew it, Safia is sent to live with her Aunt Whimsey, who was once a famous adventurer. Safia never dreamed she would be able to experience adventures on her own, but she suddenly finds herself in a fantastic adventure and discovering who (or what) her Aunt Whimsy really is.

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