2020 Mid-Summer Middle Grade & Young Adult Book List

I’m so happy about the new direction this blog has taken, and we’re all working hard behind the scenes to make this a place of beauty and courage and perseverance. One of the things we’re all passionate about is literacy. So, with that in mind, I’m posting my bi-annual reading list for preteen and teen readers: 2020 Mid-Summer Middle Grade & Young Adult Book List

As I’ve mentioned before, this is NOT a best-seller or new release list. A few of the books on this summer’s list won’t be released until early fall while others were published more than five years ago but only recently discovered. This is an ongoing, cumulative list of books the kids in my reading army have read that is updated twice a year.

We’ve all worked hard this year to read new-to-us authors and to search for books outside our comfort zones. With so many books being published–both traditionally and independently–it’s hard to keep up. So I want to thank my preteen & teen readers for their help and suggestions, as well as my blog readers who’ve made this list such a popular download. The 2020 Mid-Winter List hit 10,000 downloads, and this summer’s list is over 50 pages long. You are all so awesome!

This bi-annual compilation offers a good cross-section of genres for teens and tweens. A lot of new YA Fantasy and Realistic Fiction books were recently released and a few will come out early this fall. (We were lucky to get a few ARCs!) There’s also a journal, a book of poetry, and new collections of short stories. We’ve also added some new Middle Grade Action/Adventure and Non-Fiction books. There are books on the list for all readers just in time for the second half of summer!

Disclaimer: Some of these books are (or once were) controversial. Some older YAs have closed-door or open-door adult situations, and others (YA & MG) deal with harsh issues such as suicide, bullying, war, poverty, and loss of a parent. As a librarian, reader’s advisor, and mother, I’ve learned that tweens and teens tend to read within their comfort zone, both emotionally and reading-level wise. All of these books offer a chance for parents and kids to discuss which topics are appropriate now and which books are best left for another time. But I hope you all find books that will give your family new adventures and imaginary friends.

And if you have any suggestions to add to this list, I’d love to hear about them so I can pass them on to my reading army. 🙂

See you in February for the 2021 Mid-Winter Young Adult and Middle Grade Book List!

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Great List. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great list, Sharon. I shared. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author and commented:

    Sharon Wray​ shares a comprehensive list of books for summer reading on Word by Word​. Stop by and share your favorite Middle grade and YA books-we’d love to hear from you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many great reads- thank you! I would add anything by Emma Scott. She’s my go-to for YA romances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      Thanks so much for the recommendation, Jacquie. We’re always looking for new authors!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. petespringerauthor says:

    I am especially appreciative of your list, Sharon. (I found you from Jacquie’s blog.) As a retired teacher of thirty-one years, I’m going over my first middle-grade children’s novel with my critique group right now. I’m always looking for good examples to learn from, and I appreciate your resource. I’m targeting middle-grades (especially for boys) because I think there is a need in that area.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      There’s a huge need for more middle grade boy books and I wish you tons of luck with your manuscript!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Sharon Wray says:

      Thank you! I agree–there is a huge need for middle grade books for boys. It’s one of the reasons I included a non-fiction middle grade section. In my experience, boys tend to favor non-fiction, adventure-type stories. 🙂


  6. petespringerauthor says:

    By the way, I’m part of a children’s author festival committee, which brings twenty-five children’s authors to our area (northern California) biennially. Last time we brought them out to over eighty schools in our county to speak to children about their books and the writing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      What a wonderful idea! I just hope that once we’re all out and about again that this program continues to grow. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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