Summer 2022 Reading List for Kids (with Canadian Links)

Parent Resources

Digging into a good book offers a calming, self-directed alternative to the plentiful screentime and boisterous activity of vacation days. While getting kids to buy in to summer tutoring or workbook time can be an exercise bordering on bribery, simply offering a few new books might entice them to explore reading when your “official” screentime limits are enforced.

Time spent reading with their grownups or on their own, if possible, is one of the most meaningful ways to improve literacy and academic outcomes for your child. Reading experience helps build vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. This is especially true when children are exposed to a variety of texts and novel texts which challenge them. (Although there’s comfort and learning offered by repeating an old favourite at bedtime or rereading a fave novel every summer, too.)

Summer Book List by Grades

Dig into a new picture book together or order something new for silent reading on lazy afternoons or before bed. These links all point to a Canadian retailer.  Diversity in narrative and culture is a priority in our selections.

Please note that grade recommendations are approximate, based on reading level and content. Choose appropriately for your child’s age and reading level.

Summer Reading List: Kindergarten to Grade 2

How to Apologize, David LaRochelle

For both listeners who are just learning and older readers who need a refresher, this book will come as a welcome reminder that even though apologizing can be hard, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Thunder and the Noise Storms, Jeffrey Ansloos and Shezza Ansloos

When the world gets too loud and chaotic, a young boy’s grandfather helps him listen with wonder instead.

Dad Bakes, Katie Yamasaki

Dad wakes early every morning before the sun, heading off to work at the bakery. He kneads, rolls, and bakes, and as the sun rises and the world starts its day, Dad heads home to his young daughter. 

Sitting Shiva, Erin Silver

A heartwarming story that explains an important Jewish custom in a child-appropriate way, and shows how much more alike we are than different as we seek to comfort and nourish one another in times of need.

Room for More, Michelle Kadarusman

Two wombats, two wallabies, a koala, and a tiger snake humorously squeeze into one burrow—and reveal important truths about environmental disasters, climate change, and the importance of welcoming refugees.

Summer Reading List: Grades 3 to 7

The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan, Salma Hussain

Over the course of one year, Mona falls in love, speaks up to protect her younger sister, loses her best friend to the new girl at school, has summer adventures with her cousins in Pakistan, immigrates to Canada, and pursues her ambition to be a feminist and a poet

The Witness Blanket, Carey Newman and Kirstie Hudson

Thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and sent to residential schools across Canada. This book is a collection of truths about what happened at those schools, but it’s also a beacon of hope and a step on the journey toward reconciliation.

Waiting Under Water, Riel Nason

A beautiful celebration of small town life, friendship, and opening up to change. Hope’s world is shaken when her parents announce that they’re leaving their small New Brunswick town and moving to Toronto for her father’s job.

What to Do When the News Scares You, Jacqueline B. Toner

Scary news is an inevitable part of life. Read and complete the activities with your child to help them to understand the news in context—who, what, where, when, how—as a means of introducing a sense of perspective.

Once Upon a Tim, Stuart Gibbs 

In this laugh-out-loud, illustrated story, a young peasant named Tim gets the opportunity to join a quest to rescue a kidnapped princess and jumps at the chance — even though his knightly skills are just a bit lacking.

Summer Reading List: Grades 8 to 12

A Magic Steeped In Poison, Judy I. Lin

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.

Horror Hotel, Victoria Fulton and Faith Mcclaren

When a group of teenage YouTube stars sneaks into an old, eerie hotel, they hope the spooky atmosphere will garner more followers. But a horrifying discovery and a message from the dead turns their night of innocent fun into a nightmare they can’t escape.

Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions, Navdeep Singh Dhillon

A prom-night romantic-comedy romp about a Sikh teen’s search for love and identity. Sunny G’s brother left him one thing when he died: his notebook, which Sunny is determined to fill up with a series of rash decisions.

Jamilah at the End of the World, Mary-Lou Zeitoun

Set against the backdrop of a brutal Toronto summer heatwave, seventeen-year-old Jamilah Monsour makes plans for what she’s certain is the beginning of the climate change catastrophe that will end the world. 

The Cost of Knowing, Brittney Morris

Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End in this gripping, evocative novel about a Black teen who has the power to see into the future, whose life turns upside down when he foresees his younger brother’s imminent death.


What books or series has your child been loving lately? Share your recent finds below!

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