Mrs. Laura Bush's 2021 Summer Reading List for Kids

Recommended reading for youngest, elementary, and middle school readers.

As libraries across the Nation begin to open, parents and caregivers can use this summer reading list as a resource to keep their youngest readers through middle schoolers engaged. Selections highlight books focused on diversity, inclusion, and kindness; and the list features a title by the late Beverly Cleary.


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Books for youngest readers


When Charley Met Emma
by Amy Webb
Illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard


Chicka Chicka 1,2,3
by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson
Illustrated by Lois Ehlert

I Will Be Fierce
by Bea Birdsong
Illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

Me & Mama
by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Books for elementary readers


Lady Bird Johnson, That’s Who!
by Tracy Nelson Maurer
Illustrated by Ginnie Hsu

Warren & Dragon 100 Friends
by Ariel Bernstein
Illustrated by Mike Malbrough

The Mouse and the Motorcycle
by Beverly Cleary
Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World
by Malcolm Mitchell
Illustrated by Michael Robertson

This is Your Time
by Ruby Bridges

Books for middle school readers

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer
by Lamar Giles
Illustrated by Dapo Adeola

The Breadwinner
by Deborah Ellis

Projekt 1065
by Alan Gratz

Return to Sender
by Julia Alvarez

Stella by Starlight
by Sharon M. Draper