Best bets to create a warm-weather bookworm
Early readers (ages 5–7)
The Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson (Toon Books, $13) This handsome hardcover comic by Maui native Johnson retells a Hawaiian myth about a shape-shifting god’s precocious son. In an appendix, editor Françoise Mouly provides tips on reading comics aloud with kids.
Amelia Bedelia’s First Vote by Herman Parish (Greenwillow Books, $17) Amelia’s charm lives on for a new generation thanks to original author Peggy Parish’s nephew, Herman. Just in time for a grown-up election year, Amelia learns about voting in school.
Developing readers (ages 8–11)
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Knopf, $16) Palacio examines the old adage of not judging a book by its cover through the poignant story of Auggie, a fifth grader with an extreme facial disfigurement.
The Bee Tree by Stephen Buchmann, Diana Cohn & Paul Mirocha (Cinco Puntos Press, $9) Teach your kid to respect bees with this lushly illustrated, fact-based tale. Cowritten by a beekeeping professor, the story follows an annual quest for honey in the Malaysian rain forest.
Young adults (12 and up)
Above World by Jenn Reese (Candlewick Press, $17) Hungry for a new series? This one blends dystopian-future teen fiction with old-world fantasy. Aluna and Hoku, two young merfolk—er, we mean Kampii—must adapt to land so they can save their underwater city.
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf, $17) Famous Miami-based journalist Hiaasen sends up reality TV in this comedic tale of bogus media stars and Florida animal wranglers. Did we mention the teen heroes are named Wahoo and Tuna?