Kids' Summer Reading Challenge Booklist

Age 0-4

Un Cuento Océano Increíble / An Awesome Ocean Tale

By Michelle Glorieux

Kids will dive right into this talking book that teaches marine-life words in Spanish with just the touch of a finger on magical paper.

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Grades K-2


By: Lee Nordling

Look out! A little yellow fish swims alone in a big ocean. A hungry barracuda searches for something to eat. A school of fish bands together and finds strength in numbers. Under the waves, every fish has its own story.

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Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea!

By: Ben Clanton

Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.

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Jim Curious: A Voyage to the Heart of the Sea

By: Matthias Picard

Jim Curious portrays the fantastical story of a young boy and his thrilling trip to the bottom of the sea in an old-fashioned diving suit. But there are no words telling his tale – only intricately illustrated images in exceptional 3-D.

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Captain Cat and the Pirate Lunch

By Emma J. Virján

Set sail with the brave and bold Captain Cat and her new friends… One brave bird has a plan in this sweet story about misunderstanding and unlikely friendship!

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Vivi Loves Science: Sink or Float

By Kimberly Derting

Vivi loves science! In this STEM-themed picture book, part of a series about girls who love science, Vivi and her classmates go on a field trip to the ocean to investigate tide pools.

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Walrus Song

By Janet Lawler

Learn about how these captivating creatures flop and plop and call and play their way in and out of the icy waters they call home. What’s the ruckus? What’s that sound? Walrus calls and songs astound– Honk, honkkkk! HOOO, HOOOOT! Diving, feasting, twirling–catch a glimpse of the joy found in a walrus’s icy home. Walrus calls and songs astound– Honk, honkkkk! HOOO, HOOOOT!

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The Octopus Escapes

By Maile Meloy

From a New York Times bestselling author comes this poignant, lyrical tale about nature’s great escape artist-perfect for fans of the Oscar-winning documentary film My Octopus Teacher. Maile Meloy and Felicita Sala bring us a story full of excitement and heart, about the thrill of hard-won freedom and the pull of home.

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Grades 3-5

A Comb of Wishes

By: Lisa Stringfellow

Ever since her mother’s death, Kela feels every bit as broken as the shards of glass, known as “mermaid’s tears,” that sparkle on the Caribbean beaches of St. Rita. So when Kela and her friend Lissy stumble across an ancient-looking comb in a coral cave, with all she’s already lost, Kela can’t help but bring home her very own found treasure.

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Treasure Hunters

By: James Patterson

The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents disappear on the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives.

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The Boy Who Met A Whale

By: Nizrana Farook

A Sri Lankan fisherboy is swept up in a thrilling seafaring adventure, complete with a kidnapping, missing treasure, and a huge blue whale!


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A Crack in the Sea

By: H.M. Bouwman

No one comes to the Second World on purpose. The doorway between worlds opens only when least expected. The Raft King is desperate to change that by finding the doorway that will finally take him and the people of Raftworld back home.

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A Tear in the Ocean

By: H.M. Bouwman

Putnam, the future king of Raftworld, wants more than anything to prove himself. When the water in the Second World starts to become salty and his father won’t do anything about it, Putnam sees his chance. He steals a boat and sneaks off toward the source of the salty water.


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Aquicorn Cove

By: Katie O'Neill

Unable to rely on the adults in her storm-ravaged seaside town, a young girl must protect a colony of magical seahorse-like creatures she discovers in the coral reef.


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Deep Blue

By: Jennifer Donnelly

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera’s mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations.


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Compass South

By: Hope Larson

When 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra’s father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans. Neither Alexander nor Cleo realizes the real danger they are in-they are being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure.


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Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery

By Christy Mihaly

Immerse yourself in fascinating facts about water! This comprehensive yet accessible exploration of water will help young readers understand many aspects of one of our planet’s most precious resources – and how they can protect it.

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