School’s almost out for summer, so it’s time to start thinking about how to fill all those long, lazy days ahead. Make sure your kids’ beach bags and camp duffles are packed with some awesome, engaging books sure to keep them happily reading those warm-weather days away. This month, we’ve picked a couple of brand-new ones from Rick Riordan, an exciting addition to Disney’s Descendants series, and some great new series kick-offs. Check out the best books for young readers in May.
The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo Series #2), by Rick Riordan
Rejoice, Rick Riordan fans! The second book in Riordan’s The Trials of Apollo series is out this month. In the new tale, Apollo is still enduring his father Zeus’s punishment. Dear old dad cast him to Earth as a gawky teen named Lester, and the only way back into Zeus’s good graces is for Apollo to restore some Oracles that have gone dark. And he’ll have to leave the safety of Camp Half-Blood to attempt the mission. Luckily, he’ll have the help of some heroes familiar to Percy Jackson fans in this funny and fast-paced read.
Rise of the Isle of the Lost (Descendants Series #3), by Melissa de la Cruz
The baddies-turned-mostly-goodies Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay are facing another threat to Auradon in this third installment of Disney’s Descendants series. King Triton’s magical trident has passed through the barrier around the Isle of Lost. And Uma, daughter of Ursula, is assembling a villainous pirate crew—including Harry, son of Captain Hook, and Gil, son of Gaston—to get her hands on it before Mal and her gang do. Bonus: This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition includes a pirate contract.
Despicable Me 3: The Deluxe Junior Novel, by Sadie Chesterfield
The upcoming movie Despicable Me 3 hits theaters June 30, but fans of Gru and his crew—including those little yellow Minions—can get their fix early with this deluxe junior novelization of the new film. In it, Gru engages in some sibling rivalry with his long-lost (and more successful) twin brother, Dru, as the pair face off against Balthazar Bratt, an ’80s child star who has stolen a diamond. Plus, the book includes an 8-page full-color insert and poster.
Camp Half-Blood Confidential: Your Real Guide to the Demigod Training Camp, by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson fans, your prayers to the Greek gods have been answered! Percy—along with some other Camp Half-Blood residents—has finally put together a real-deal guide to this infamous demigod training camp, answering important questions like “What is this place?” and “Do I get to keep the T-shirt?” Everyone’s favorite sarcastic, funny, and utterly relatable demigod gives the low-down on the ins and outs of this place, including sections on the Divine Cabins, Magical Landmarks, the not-so-superior efficiency of how the camp is run, and more.
Bodyguard: Recruit, by Chris Bradford
Hello, summer binge-reading! The first four books in Bodyguard, a new action-packed series from author Chris Bradford, are being released simultaneously on May 9. And young readers are going to want to zip through these adventurous reads about a teenage kickboxing champion named Connor Reeves who is recruited into the ranks of a top-secret young bodyguard squad. In this first book in the new series, Connor’s first assignment is to protect the First Daughter from a terrorist group. Is he up for the enormous task?
Wonder Woman: The Junior Novel, by Steve Korte
Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, and Robin Wright, the highly anticipated Wonder Woman movie is coming to the big screen June 2. And young fans of the DC Comics heroine can get amped for the film with this junior novel version. In it, Diana Prince seems like just a regular woman to the outside world, but she’s also Wonder Woman, an Amazon princess from the island of Themyscira. The exciting book also includes eight full-color pages of images from the movie.
Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills, by Greg Rucka
This brand-new Star Wars middle-grade novel is a tie-in to the blockbuster standalone film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The book tells of the unlikely group that comes together to put the greater good ahead of their own by stealing the plans for the Death Star. This important story in the Star Wars timeline comes to life on the page for young readers curious about the events that occurred between Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars film.
Hero: Hurricane Rescue, by Jennifer Li Shotz
The second book in bestselling author Jennifer Li Shotz’s Hero series finds the book’s star, a retired search-and-rescue dog named Hero, back on the job. Jack and his pup, Scout, have gone missing during a terrible hurricane and Hero and his human, Ben, are the only ones who can possibly find them. And they’ll have to face mudslides, alligators, floods, and more to rescue Jack and Scout—and themselves—in this action-packed adventure.
The Pudding Problem, by Joe Berger
Author Joe Berger kicks off his new Lyttle Lies series with this hilarious illustrated middle-grade book all about Sam Lyttle, who has a tendency toward tall tales. And now Sam is being questioned about some strange occurrences—a ping-pong ball in a jar of peanut butter? Two pounds of potatoes in the washing machine? Sam denies involvement, but no one believes him. Is it time for Sam to finally come clean about all his little lies? Find out in this fun book for even the most reluctant readers.
Hardcover $8.81 | $13.99
How to Be a Supervillain, by Michael Fry
Witty text and funny cartoons blend seamlessly in this new series from Odd Squad author and illustrator Michael Fry. Twelve-year-old Victor Spoil comes from a long line of supervillains, but he just doesn’t have an evil bone in his body. Eager to please his villainous parents, he agrees to apprentice with disgraced supervillain The Smear. Is Victor really cut out to be the world’s nicest bad guy? Kids will love the offbeat humor and black-and-white illustrations in the kickoff to the fun new series.
What are your young readers excited to read in May?