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Honest History’s Summer Reading Guide Part 1

Honest History’s Summer Reading Guide Part 1

We’re kicking off summer around here, and thought what better way to introduce our Summer Reading Guide! The books are grouped together by genre and we’ll provide a short summary, so you know what you’ll be getting yourself into. 

We’ll have new book suggestions every two weeks during the summer, so pop back by for more fun recommendations! 

There’s even a handy Book Log Guide below so you can keep track of what you’ve read and what you think about each book. There are kid’s books, middle-grade, young adult, and adult books to choose from.  

We love borrowing our books from the local library, so we hope you support yours, too. Many have summer reading programs and guides as well, so be sure to investigate what yours has to offer. Visiting your library is an easy way to encourage lifelong readers in your children and you just never know what books you’ll discover along the way! And if you do purchase the book, we love supporting Book Shop. They source books from independent bookstores from around the country so you can feel good about supporting a locally-owned small business.


We hope this will make your summer reading extra fun, extra magical, and extra special. Please share with us on Instagram which books you chose from the below list and why—we love hearing from you!


Happy reading…


Fantasy Books 


For Kids:


The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer — Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Conner and Alex leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.


A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat (middle grade) — Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat’s twist on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice — and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.


Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes — A coming-of-age tale rich with folk magic, set in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Bayou Magic celebrates hope, friendship, and family, and captures the wonder of life in the Deep South. 


Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega (middle grade) — A charming adventure full of girl power and heart. Young readers will want to be best friends with Lucely, Syd, & Chunk! 


Peasprout Chen series by Henry Lien — A Taiwanese-inspired middle-grade fantasy series about a young girl’s quest to become a champion of Wu Liu, an art form that blends figure skating with martial arts. 


Silverworld by Diana Abu-Jabar — ​​Fall under the spell of this fantasy-adventure story about a Lebanese-American girl who finds the courage to save her grandmother. 


Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston (middle grade) — This book is so much more than a young girl looking for her missing brother. It is a book about friendship and companionship, about perseverance and self-confidence, it’s an exhilarating debut fantasy. 


The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta — A novel about Kiranmala, a 12-year-old living her regular life in New Jersey until her parents go missing and she finds out she's a real Indian princess. 


Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano — Chock full of humor, magic, friendship, and sisterhood, Anna Meriano's debut launches a new series that celebrates Mexican-American culture and traditions. 


For Young Adults: 


Legendborn by Tracy Deonn — An insightful blending of Arthurian legend and Southern Black American history make for an engrossing tale of mystery, romance, and finding your place in the world? 


Fable by Adrienne Young — Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men, Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure. 


For Adults: (Please note that you may want to read synopses for the following books, as they contain adult themes and potential distressing content.)


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab: Schwab crafts the tale of one woman’s desperate drive to be remembered into a triumphant exploration of love and loss. The story hops across time as it follows the life of Adeline “Addie” LaRue from the French countryside in the early 1700s to New York City in 2014. 


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness — A rare historical novel that manages to be as intelligent as it is romantic. And it is supernatural fiction that those of us who usually prefer to stay grounded in reality can get caught up in. 


The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang — An epic historical-military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China's twentieth-century and filled with treachery and magic. 


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig — Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. 


Dune by Frank Herbert — A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction. 


Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon — A spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages. 


Piranesi by Susanna Clark — Introducing an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds. 


Here’s how to log your reads


(Note: Print out the below, or copy and paste into your own document to type out your answers.)


Book title:


Author:


Number of pages: 


List of main characters:


Describe your favorite character:


What is this book about?


What was your favorite part of the story?


Are you satisfied with the ending?


Out of stars (five stars being the best book you’ve ever read), how would you rate this book?