July’s Best Books for Young Readers

Fireworks aren’t the only things exploding onto the scene in July—there’s also an exciting bundle of new books for young readers, and we’ve picked some sizzling suggestions to keep that summer reading spark alive with your kiddos. Minecraft fans are getting their first official book based on the game, Wings of Fire is coming out with its 10th installment in the popular fantasy series, and Star Wars: Jedi Academy keeps the Force coming with its fifth book. Plus, there are two new additions to Chris Colfer’s Adventures from the Land of Stories and a couple of stellar new standalones from authors James Nicol and Ann Dee Ellis. Check out our spectacular selections for young readers in July.

Minecraft: The Island, by Max Brooks
Minecraft fans, the first official book based on the insanely popular game has arrived! A hero is stranded on an island in the world of Minecraft. His priorities are finding food and not becoming food for the armies of zombies that emerge after nightfall. Can our hero unravel the mysteries of this strange place and survive all that’s in store for him? Find out in this exciting adventure book for middle graders.

Darkness of Dragons (Wings of Fire Series #10), by Tui T. Sutherland
Dragon-loving kids have likely been ravenously devouring these books, and they won’t be disappointed by the exciting conclusion to the new prophecy in this 10th installment in the series. “Something is coming to shake the earth/Something is coming to scorch the ground/Jade Mountain will fall beneath thunder and ice/Unless the lost city of night can be found.” Is Pyrrhia destined for darkness, or can the five young dragons save the day once again?

The Force Oversleeps (Star Wars: Jedi Academy Series #5), by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Victor Starspeeder returns to Jedi Academy in this fifth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid–like graphic novel series. And he’s super-psyched for his second year, but things are not going his way. He missed out on the lead in this year’s musical, and he keeps being late for class. Plus, his sis, Christina, who’s getting ready to graduate, might be a Sith?! What?! Thank goodness Victor has the Force and his friends to help him make it through.

Adventures from the Land of Stories: Queen Red Riding Hood’s Guide to Royalty, by Chris Colfer
Dive back into Chris Colfer’s bestselling Land of Stories with this awesome guide to being royal from Queen Red Riding Hood herself. Her majesty provides readers with fun and supremely helpful tips for anyone who is royal or who wishes to become royal after escaping death by wolf like Red did. Fans of the whimsical adventure series will love getting a queen’s education from one of their absolutely favorite Land of Stories characters.

Adventures from the Land of Stories: The Mother Goose Diaries, by Chris Colfer
Stay in Colfer’s enchanting Land of Stories for this next pick, starring another fan favorite from the series, Mother Goose. She’s letting readers in on her innermost thoughts, stories, and secrets with this peek inside her diary. Catch up on the gossip she got from Queen Elizabeth I, the geography lesson she gave to Napoleon, and more—all told with Colfer’s signature wit. Fans of the series will relish the chance to keep the tales going.

The Friendship Bracelet, by Arlene Stewart
Eleven-year-old Olivia is devastated when she finds out her best friend is moving to Paris. The idea of facing middle school without her childhood BFF feels like more than this tween misfit can take until Olivia’s mom suggests a way for the pair to stay connected with an ocean between them—friendship bracelets. With the bracelets come new bonds for Olivia—new friends, a new crush, and a fun new project. But can Olivia find a common thread to hold all of these connections together? Middle-grade readers will love the easily accessible dialogue and pop culture references aplenty in this new series.

Stick Dog Craves Candy, by Tom Watson
Halloween’s coming early this year for Stick Dog fans. The titular pup and his crew are on the lookout for food once again in this latest installment of their adventures. But this time our furry friends notice something strange is going on—all the human kiddos are dressed up in costumes and are carrying around pumpkins?? Once Stick Dog and his pals get a taste of candy, they’ll stop at nothing for more. Can they avoid all the scary witches and ghosts to get the sugary sweetness they crave? Young readers will laugh themselves silly with this latest illustrated adventure.

Ever After High: Once Upon a Twist: Rosabella and the Three Bears, by Perdita Finn
Lovers of fairy tales and Ever After High, this one’s for you! In this spin-off series, Ever After High’s Faybelle has cast a spell on midterm hexams, causing a major mix-up. All of the students are finding themselves in stories in which they don’t belong. In this latest edition, Rosabella Beauty and Cedar Wood are suddenly in Goldilocks and the Three Bears instead of their own stories. Even worse, someone has been blowing down houses in the forest, and everyone is freaking out. Can Rosabella, Cedar, and the Three Bears get this story back on track?

The Apprentice Witch, by James Nicol
Arianwyn Gribble has just failed her witch’s test in this magical middle grade debut. Humiliated, she’s being sent to the town of Lull to continue her education as an apprentice witch. However, there’s more to Lull than meets the eye—its woods are full of dark creatures and mysterious spirits. But just when our likable protagonist feels like she’s starting to get the hang of this whole witch thing, a new darkness begins to haunt her. Readers will love this fast-paced fantasy read and won’t be able to put it down.

You May Already Be a Winner, by Ann Dee Ellis
Despite her grim surroundings at Sunny Pines Trailer Park, 12-year-old Olivia Hales has hope thanks to a resilient spirit and six words—“You may already be a winner.” Her father is gone, her mother is constantly working, and the family doesn’t have much money. Olivia’s responsibilities are far greater than a child should have—she often misses school to watch her little sister, Berkeley, because they can’t afford daycare. But Olivia manages to find time to enter a minimum of fourteen sweepstakes a day, because maybe she’ll win big and her family will be OK. This emotional book is both heartbreaking and hopeful and will appeal to readers of all ages.

What are your kids reading in July?

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