Just because the school year is almost over, doesn’t mean reading has to end! Having a summer book club is a great way to encourage children to continue reading outside of school. These fast-paced middle grade books are sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats, while also offering plenty of opportunities to discuss characters, themes, and plot with the discussion guides. Look to add these books to your summer book club, or start a book club of your own this summer!

Discussion guide

The Universe of Fair
by Leslie Bulion, illustrated by Frank W. Dormer

For a young science whiz, an eagerly awaited day at the fair turns into a wacky adventure with more twists and loops than the Gravity Whirl ride!

more contemporary fiction:

The Somewhat True Adventures of Sammy Shine by Henry Cole
Do You Know the Monkey Man? by Dori Hillestad Butler
Winners Take All by Fred Bowen

Discussion Guide

Crossing Jordan
by Adrian Fogelin

When African-American Jemmie moves in next door to white Cassie, the two girls must learn how to address their parents’ deeply held prejudices.

more from Adrian Fogelin:

My Brother’s Hero
The Big Nothing
Anna Casey’s Place in the World

Discussion Guide

Quake! Disaster in San Francisco, 1906
by Gail Langer Karwoski, illustrated by Robert Papp

Jacob tries to find his family who are missing in the aftermath of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.

more historical fiction:

Privateer’s Apprentice by Susan Verrico
Chasing the Nightbird by Krista Russell
The Other Side of Free by Krista Russell

Discussion Guide

Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I
by Alison Hart, illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery

When the British military asks families to volunteer their dogs to help the war effort, Darling’s family sends her off to be trained.

more from Alison Hart:

Murphy, Gold Rush Dog
Finder, Coal Mine Dog
Leo, Dog of the Sea

Find these books and more at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble! For more reading suggestions this summer, check out our summertime reading and summer-themed round-ups.