The eight books on the KidsPost Summer Book Club reading list all invovle the “Joy of Summer Reading,” this year’s theme. (Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

Here’s the list of books we’re featuring in this year’s club. Each Wednesday beginning June 27, we’ll talk about what makes that week’s book a perfect summer read. We’ll also suggest other titles that are in keeping with the “Joy of Summer Reading” theme. Most of the books are available in major public library systems. All titles also will be available at Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington and on the store’s Web site.

June 27

Three Times Lucky

By Sheila Turnage. Age 10 and older.

Mo is a rising sixth-grader, would-be detective and a future businesswoman. Her summer in North Carolina promises to be filled with spending time with her best friend. But when a mystery surfaces just as a hurricane is about to hit, her summer takes an exciting, unexpected turn.

July 4

Summer of the Gypsy Moths

By Sara Pennypacker. Ages 8 to 12.

This is a story of two very unlikely friends: Stella, who wants more than anything to live with her great-aunt on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and Angel, the foster child whom that aunt has taken into her home. At first it seems as though the two girls have nothing in common, but over the course of one remarkable summer at the beach they learn how the desire to be part of a family can unite them.

July 11


By Arthur Salm. Ages 8 to 12.

The asterisk in the title points to an explanation that says, “A story about me, with 138 footnotes, 27 exaggerations and 1 plate of spaghetti.” What this story is really about is a boy who takes advantage of going away to camp to assume another identity — Mad Max, a wild and reckless guy. Everything about this book screams summer fun.

July 18

The Secret Tree

By Natalie Standiford. Ages 9 to 12.

Minty’s neighborhood is filled with mysterious things and people: a spooky old farmhouse, the frightening Man-Bat and mean boys who torment Minty and her best friend. But none of that is nearly as mysterious as the tree that she discovers in the woods near her house. It’s a tree that holds the secrets of everyone in the neighborhood.

July 25

Stars in the Shadows

By Charles R. Smith Jr. Ages 6 to 12.

Baseball’s all-star game is called the Midsummer Classic, and this book takes readers to Chicago during the summer of 1934, when the Negro leagues held their annual all-star game. In 1934, blacks and whites didn’t play together, but some of the game’s greatest players, including Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, played in the Negro leagues. This book takes you back to a time when America was different but baseball was just as special.

August 1

The Summer of May

By Cecilia Galante. Ages 9 to 13.

It sure seems as though May’s summer won’t be much fun when she pulls a prank on her English teacher and her punishment is one-on-one summer school with the teacher she hates. But May’s spirit and her willingness to be open to lessons that are sometimes hard to learn make for a memorable summer, indeed.

August 8


By Leslie Connor. Age 10 and older.

Dewey Marriss has a plan for the summer. He’ll manage his family’s bicycle repair business — because, after all, how can you enjoy summer if your bike isn’t working? But Dewey finds himself in a crunch (as in the title) when everyone needs a bike at the same time and he’s stuck watching his younger siblings. Can he keep all the wheels spinning and still have a great summer?

August 15

Absolutely Normal Chaos

By Sharon Creech. Ages 9 and older.

Mary Lou Finney is totally bummed with her assignment to keep a journal over the summer. But when Mary Lou’s summer suddenly gets exciting, she has plenty to write in the journal. But she also has a problem: What if her teacher actually reads it?