Summer reading recommendations for my daughter, Tate

Type of reader: Tate (age 13) taught herself to read at age 4 and has been a voracious reader and bookworm ever since. I used to help her curate her taste in books, but now as a teenager, she’s got that firmly on her own. She prefers mystery, fantasy, dystopian, and occasionally, coming-of-age books and non-cheesy romance (her words). My challenge is finding well-written books that aren’t dumbed down and aren’t full of relationship obsession.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

  • Author: Sherman Alexie
  • Bookshop | Amazon

Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the reservation to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Fahrenheit 451

  • Author: Ray Bradbury
  • Bookshop | Amazon

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Murder on the Orient Express

  • Author: Agatha Christie
  • Bookshop | Amazon

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stopped the Orient Express in its tracks. It was surprisingly full for the time of year, but by the morning there was one passenger fewer—an American lay dead in his compartment, his door locked from the inside. Red herrings galore are put in the path of Hercule Poirot to try to keep him off the scent.

Girl in the Blue Coat

  • Author: Monica Hesse
  • Bookshop | Amazon

Amsterdam, 1943: Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded.

Unbroken (YA Adaptation)

  • Author: Laura Hillenbrand
  • Bookshop | Amazon

On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary sagas of the Second World War.

The Paper Magician

  • Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
  • Bookshop | Amazon

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic forever.

Olivia Twist

  • Author: Lorie Langdon
  • Bookshop | Amazon

Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society.

To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Author: Harper Lee
  • Bookshop | Amazon

Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird—a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus’s children, Scout and Jem Finch, we explore with rich humor and irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the 1930s Deep South.


  • Author: Marissa Meyer
  • Bookshop | Amazon

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. Any in the series.

The Day the Angels Fell

After his mother’s death, twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to bring her back. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Sam begins his search for the Tree of Life–the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back.

Love & Luck

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

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