July Dive | Reader’s Choice: Summer Vacation, Summer Camp


Summer reading is the perfect time for Reader’s Choice, but we’re keeping divers to a theme.  For our July Dive, choose a book that fits the theme Summer Vacation, Summer Camp.

Staying close to home this summer?  Let your book take you on a journey by choosing a title set in a place you would like to explore.

Need ideas?  The DBR Dive Leaders will add new titles to the list below, so check back for updates.

Suggested Titles

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume

Is Sheila Tubman the outgoing, witty, and capable Sheila the Great? Or is she the secret Sheila, afraid of the dark, dogs, and swimming? Maybe this summer she’ll find out the truth.  Anyone familiar with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing will remember Sheila.  But were Peter’s impressions of her truly accurate?

Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

Scrub goes to work at his grandma’s bed & breakfast in Washington State. At first he thinks it’s going to be lame, but then he learns that the inn is actually an undercover operation that aliens use to vacation on Earth.  What can he do to keep Grandma’s intergalactic secret safe from a suspicious sheriff?

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech

Naomi and Lizzie, two spirited orphan girls in Blackbird Tree, unravel the mysteriously entwined threads of their friendship.  Three locked trunks, the mysterious Dingle Dangle man, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge, and that boy change their lives forever. As the story alternates between their small town and across-the-ocean Ireland, two worlds are woven together, revealing that hearts can be mended and that there is indeed a gossamer thread that connects us all.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm (Newbery Honor, 2011)

Life isn’t like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida to live with relatives she’s never met.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Newbery Medal, 2011)

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.  Discovery of a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler, send Abilene and her friends on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave well enough alone.”

Holes by Louis Sachar (DBR Dive Log, Newbery Medal, 1999)

The trouble started when Stanley was accused of stealing a pair of shoes donated by basketball great Clyde “Sweetfeet” Livingston to a celebrity auction. The judge said, “You may go to jail, or you may go to Camp Green Lake.” Stanley was from a poor family. He had never been to camp before. But Stanley is not going where he thinks he is. Camp Green Lake is like no other camp anywhere. It is a bizarre, almost otherworldly place that has no lake and nothing that is green. Nor is it a camp, at least not the kind of camp kids look forward to in the summertime.

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobsen

Jack never thought his mom would take off during the night and leave him at a campground in Acadia National Park, with no way to reach her and barely enough money for food. Any other kid would report his mom gone, but Jack knows by now that he needs to figure things out for himself.  Can he find his way back to Boston before the authorities realize what happened?

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (National Book Award Finalist 2010)

Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, One Crazy Summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 in search of the mother who abandoned them. It’s an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.

Summer on the Moon by Adrian Fogelin

It is the beginning of summer vacation. The economy is tanking… People are scared… But for Socko Starr, and his mother, Delia, being worried about money is just business as usual. They are living in a cramped city apartment, Socko trying to dodge the notice of the local gang leader, Rapp, when Socko’s great grandfather makes them an offer. “The General” will buy them a house if they agree to take care of him so he doesn’t have to go into a nursing home. “The General,” who Socko has never met, turns out to be a crotchety, bossy old man, who thinks it is a great joke to “play dead” to shake up his great-grandson—and that isn’t the only surprise when the mother and son start their new life. (Will appeal to boys and girls alike)

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