All ages

Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids. By Carol McCloud.Through simple prose and vivid illustrations, this book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love.

Books by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Kristina Tracy and Stacy Heller Budnick build kids' self-esteem and confidence via rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations.

Farm. By Elisha Cooper. Experience life on a very real farm with very real farmers through the muddy month of March until the next winter.

Younger Readers

Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin. By Duncan Tonatiuh. The universality of childhood experiences is shown through the lives of two cousins, one in the United States and one in Mexico. Belpré Illustrator Honor Book

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! By Grace Lin. Six vignettes chronicle the daily adventures of identical twins as they get haircuts, make dumplings, perform magic and take a trip to the library. Geisel Honor Book

Middle Readers

Ninth Ward. By Jewell Parker Rhodes. In this story of survival, twelve-year-old Lanesha and her adopted grandmother have little choice but to stay in New Orleans and weather Hurricane Katrina. ALA Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

Smile. By Raina Telgemeier. Through artwork showing the details, the reader shares Raina’s pain as the angst of middle school is exacerbated by her disfiguring dental mishap.

Older Readers

Departure Time. By Truus Matti. An eleven-year-old mourns the death of her father in chapters that alternate between the real world and a dreamlike hotel staffed by odd creatures. Batchelder Honor Book

90 Miles to Havana. By Enrique Flores-Galbis. The author’s experience as one of 14,000 children moved from Cuba to a refugee camp in Miami in 1961, is told through engaging, fast-paced writing and well-developed characters. Belpré Author Honor Book

Nothing. By Janne Teller. As classmates struggle to convince a friend that life has meaning, they force each other to prove and provide meaning, with consequences that are deep, dark, and disastrous.  Batchelder Honor Book & YALSA Printz Honor Book

Discover more books that are perfect for each of your kids ages & interests with the Random House Children’s Book FinderKidzmet Recommends the Random House Children's Book Finder

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Summer Reading Recommendations for the “Self Smart” Child