Diverse Summer Reading List
Lee & Low Books is committed to meeting the needs of educators by providing award-winning, diverse books for today’s classrooms! Check out our selection of summer reading books for purchase below, and find FREE resources including Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Activity Kits, and more. Download the Print Version Here!
|THE PERFECT GIFT • written by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez • Mei’s little brother is turning 100 days old, and Mei is determined to find the perfect gift for his special day.|
|THE GARDEN • written by Gwendolyn Hooks, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez • Lily and her friends volunteer to help at the public garden, where they learn that plants need water, sun, and—just like them—time to grow.
|THE BUDDY BENCH • written by Gwendolyn Hooks, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez • Padma and her friends create a buddy bench, where kids can sit if they feel lonely and need a friend.|
|FOLLOW THAT MAP! • written by Sheri Tan, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez • Pablo is excited to help his friends find the best route to Coney Island by using different transportation maps.|
|RAFI AND ROSI • written and illustrated by Lulu Delacre • Rafi amazes Rosi with magic he finds everywhere in nature, but he needs her help when his hermit crab runs away. Also available in Spanish.|
|RAFI AND ROSI CARNIVAL! • written and illustrated by Lulu Delacre • Rafi and Rosi celebrate Puerto Rico’s joyous holiday, Carnival. Also available in Spanish.|
|RAFI AND ROSI PIRATES! • written and illustrated by Lulu Delacre • Rafi and Rosi explore Puerto Rico’s famous El Morro Fort and learn about its Spanish history, treasure, and pirates. Also available in Spanish|
DREAMING UP • written and illustrated by Christy Hale • A collection of illustrations, concrete poetry, and photographs that shows how young children’s constructions, created as they play, are reflected in notable works of architecture from around the world.
|UNDER MY HIJAB • written by Hena Khan, illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel • As a young girl enjoys the many female connections in her life, readers come to understand and appreciate the hijab and the Muslim women who choose to wear it.|
|ZOMBIES DON’T EAT VEGGIES • written and illustrated by Megan and Jorge Lacera • In this delightful debut by a talented husband-and-wife team, Mo Romero is a zombie with a deep, dark secret . . . he loves vegetables! Also available in Spanish.|
|BENJI, THE BAD DAY, AND ME • written by Sally J. Pla, illustrated by Ken Min • Sammy is having the absolute rottenest, worst day ever. His little brother, Benji, knows exactly what that’s like in this tender story involving neurodiversity.|
|OUR CELEBRACIÓN! • written by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Ana Aranda • A town celebrates summer with a joyful parade in this rhyming story written in English with Spanish words sprinkled throughout.|
|WHEN AIDAN BECAME A BROTHER • written by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita • This sweet #ownvoices picture book celebrates the changes in a transgender boy’s life, from his initial coming-out to becoming a big brother.|
|GALÁPAGOS GIRL / GALAPAGUEÑA • written by Bill Wise, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth • This charming bilingual picture book introduces the fascinating creatures of the Galápagos Islands through the life of one very lucky girl. Bilingual English/Spanish.|
|A LIBRARY FOR JUANA • written by Pat Mora, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal • An inspiring, award-winning biography of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a renowned Mexican scholar, composer, writer, and feminist who defied convention in the pursuit of education. Also available in Spanish.|
STONE RIVER CROSSING • written by Tim Tingle • From the award-winning author of How I Became a Ghost, a tale of unlikely friendship and miracles. When Martha Tom helps Lil Mo and his family escape from the plantation across the river, it’s just the beginning of a Choctaw adventure of a lifetime.
|ANA MARÍA REYES DOES NOT LIVE IN A CASTLE • written by Hilda Eunice Burgos • In this sparkling middle-grade debut, a Dominican American girl in New York City juggles an upcoming piano showcase and her hopes of entering an elite private school with her big, boisterous family and community.|
|THE WIND CALLED MY NAME • written by Mary Louise Sanchez • In this heartwarming historical middle-grade novel set in the 1930s, Margarita Sandoval and her family navigate the shifting winds of belonging in their new Wyoming town.|
|THERE’S NO BASE LIKE HOME • written by Jessica Mendoza and Alana Mendoza Dusan, illustrated by Ruth McNally Barshaw • ESPN baseball analyst and two-time Olympic medalist Jessica Mendoza teams up with her sister Alana Mendoza Dusan for this heartwarming, highly illustrated novel for young readers about Sophia’s quest to find her place on a softball team.|
|THE STORY OF CIVIL RIGHTS HERO JOHN LEWIS • written by Jim Haskins & Kathleen Benson, illustrated by Aaron Boyd • Meet John Lewis, a leader in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and a revered Congressman today.|
|THE STORY OF MOVIE STAR ANNA MAY WONG • written by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Lin Wang • Meet Anna May Wong, whose trailblazing career in Hollywood broke new ground for future generations of Asian American actors.|
|THE STORY OF OLYMPIC SWIMMER DUKE KAHANAMOKU • written by Ellie Crowe, illustrated by Richard Waldrep • Meet Duke Kahanamoku, the six-time Olympic swimming champion and a legendary surfer who popularized surfing around the world.|
|THE STORY OF CAR ENGINEER SOICHIRO HONDA • written by Mark Weston, illustrated by Katie Yamasaki • Meet Soichiro Honda, the innovative Japanese motorcycle and car manufacturer and business pioneer.|
|THE STORY OF TENNIS CHAMPION ARTHUR ASHE • written by Crystal Hubbard, illustrated by Kevin Belford • Meet Arthur Ashe, one of the most compelling tennis players, athletes and humanitarians of the twentieth century.|
|THE STORY OF WORLD WAR II HERO IRENA SENDLER • written by Marcia Vaughan, illustrated by Ron Mazellan • Meet Irena Sendler, a social worker who helped save nearly 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Poland.|
ALL THE STARS DENIED • written by Guadalupe García McCall • Guadalupe García McCall tackles the hidden history of the United States’s first mass deportation event, which swept up hundreds of thousands of Mexican American citizens during the Great Depression.
|GRAND THEFT HORSE • written by G. Neri, illustrated by Corban Wilkin • Author G. Neri shares the powerful story of his cousin Gail Ruffu, who stole a racehorse in order to save it, and ended up taking on the whole racing industry to fight for the humane treatment of animals.|
|I AM ALFONSO JONES • written by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings • Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give: An unflinching graphic novel about the afterlife of a young man killed by an off-duty police officer, co-illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist John Jennings.|
|YUMMY: THE LAST DAYS OF A SOUTHSIDE SHORTY • written by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke • A graphic novel based on the true story of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer, an eleven-year-old boy from Chicago’s South Side who was killed by his own gang members.|
|AHIMSA • written by Supriya Kelkar • In this historical novel set in India, Gandhi asks for one member of each family to join the fight for independence from the British, and when Anjali’s mother is jailed for doing so, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work.|
|SUMMER OF THE MARIPOSAS • written by Guadalupe García McCall • In this creative telling of The Odyssey, fifteen-year-old Odilia and her younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, and must outwit monsters and witches to make it back home again. Also available in Spanish.|
|REBEL SEOUL • written by Axie Oh • When Jaewon is assigned to partner with supersoldier Tera in Neo Seoul’s top weapons development division, he must decide where he stands: with the people his rebel father protected or with the totalitarian government that claims it will end all war.|
|UNDER THE MESQUITE • written by Guadalupe García McCall • Lupita, a budding actor and poet in a close-knit Mexican American immigrant family, comes of age as she struggles with adult responsibilities during her mother’s long illness.|
|ETCHED IN CLAY: THE LIFE OF DAVE, ENSLAVED POTTER AND POET • written and illustrated by Andrea Cheng • This older biography in verse reveals the life of Dave, an enslaved potter who inscribed his works with sayings and short poems, in spite of the slave anti-literacy sentiment in the years leading up to the Civil War.|
|CAT GIRL’S DAY OFF • written by Kimberly Pauley • Natalie “Cat Girl” Ng, who has the ability to talk to cats, must save the day when she is the only one who can see the true story of a kidnapped celebrity and the imposter who took her place.|