Summer Escape Reads for Kids

By White Birch Books

By White Birch Books

Got an 8-12 year old who needs a new read? Browse our specially curated middle grade staff picks, which include graphic novels too.

Doodleville

Chad Sell

$20.99 $18.89

Drew is an incredibly skilled artist, but her imagination tends to run off the page. Drew’s drawings become living breathing “Doodles” and cause mayhem in her art class, but she always manages to wrangle them back into her notebook. Until the day she draws a Leviathan. This monster of her own creation devours every drawing in its path, leaving destruction in its wake. How will Drew and her friends stop the rampaging beast? With the power of friendship of course! And some more drawing.

Snapdragon

Kat Leyh

$12.99 $11.95

Snap's town had a witch. At least, that's how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online--after doing a little ritual to put their spirits to rest. It's creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it's kind of cool, too. They make a deal: Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the baby opossums that Snap rescued, and Snap will help Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to get to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic--and a connection with Snap's family's past.

Investigators

John Patrick Green

$9.99 $9.19

For fans of Dog Man and Captain Underpants comes Mango and Brash. With their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, the InvestiGators are undercover and on the case! And on their first mission together, they have not one but two mysteries to solve! Can Mango and Brash uncover the clues, crack their cases, and corral the crooks--or will the criminals wriggle out of their grasp?

The Witch Boy

Molly Knox Ostertag

$12.99 $11.95

In thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted . . . and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire

John August

$7.99 $7.35

A new fantasy adventure trilogy about a 12-year-old boy who joins a special scout team to learn how to survive in both the wilds of the forest and the magical world that lies within it.

Witchlight

Jessi Zabarsky

$24.99 $22.49

Lelek is a witch. That's all Sanja knows when she meets Lelek in the marketplace. But Lelek is hiding something -- and as her life begins to intersect with Sanja's, all that she's kept to herself starts to come to light. Secrets, friendship, and magic all come together as Lelek gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth about her past. . . . Witchlight is a wonderful adventure filled with friendship, family, falling in love, and dealing with the hardest bits of your past all along the way.

The Cardboard Kingdom

Chad Sell

$12.99 $11.95

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again. In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be--imagine that!

City of Ghosts, Volume 1

Victoria Schwab

$7.99 $7.35

Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn't like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost. So things are already pretty strange. But they're about to get much stranger. When Cass's parents start hosting a TV show about the world's most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her gift, she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil -- and herself. And she'll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 1 the Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 1)

Rick Riordan

$9.99 $9.19

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and truant officers. One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants, and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

The Hidden Oracle (Trials of Apollo, Book One)

Rick Riordan

$9.99 $9.19

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. He must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favor.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Jessica Townsend

$8.99 $8.27

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each with an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate. Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.

The Wishing Spell

Chris Colfer

$9.99 $9.19

Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Conner 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.

Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, Volume 1

Ryan Calejo

$8.99 $8.27

Steeped in Hispanic folklore since childhood, middle schooler Charlie Hernâandez learns the stories are true when, shortly after his parents disappearance, he grows horns and feathers and finds himself at the heart of a battle to save the world.

Lumberjanes Vol. 1, Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, et al.

$14.99 $13.79

Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together ... and they're not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! It's Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls as five butt-kicking, rad teenage girls wail on monsters and solve a mystery with that has the whole world at stake.

The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1)

Kazu Kibuishi

$12.99 $11.95

Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Lured into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals, they face the most terrifying monster of all.

Stargazing

Jen Wang

$12.99 $11.95