A story of a boy and his sister, a pirate grandfather, poop, boats, and a Florida summer. Easy to read out loud and every single person I've handed it to has loved it.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
All Schmidt novels are an equally good choice, if you've already read this one. The man is a master writer. Holling Hoodhood deals with bullies, his family, Shakespeare, a first crush, and two very large rats. Hilarious and touching. Another one that everyone loves.
Books for a Brooding Teen
If your teen is in the grips of puberty and loves to feel melancholy and deep and like the world is deeply unfair, hand them The Giver. It's a bit dystopian, so if they liked The Hunger Games and all the ensuing knock-offs, this is a good option that is better written and more insightful. I'd recommend it for ages 11-14.
Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt
Another one by the great Schmidt. This story deals with family, tragedy, coming of age, love, and racism. It's beautifully spun and will make you feel all the feels. I'd recommend it for ages 14+.
A Book for the Crushing Teen
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
So you've got a teen obsessed with a crush? Boys and girls will laugh themselves silly over this book. It's not nearly as inappropriate as the title would suggest, and my side ached when I finished it. Follow the foibles and follies of a junior high girl in "love" and laugh at your own mistakes along the way. Delightfully British.
If You Love "Supernatural" and/or "Doctor Who"
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
I don't do scary, but I still loved this book. It's a ghost story, but with enough comic relief to keep me happy. If you're an Anglophile and/or you love a bit of spookiness, this is the book for you. (Let me just say: Jack the Ripper.)
If You're Going on a Road Trip
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
It has nothing to do with road tripping, but it's long enough to hold up to at least 4-7 hours of travel, depending on how fast you read. Good Omens is about the end of the world. A devil and an angel are frenemies, and they really like Earth, so they team up to try to stop Armageddon. Also, someone's misplaced the anti-christ. Funny, witty, and with just enough content to make you think a bit.
If It's Your Turn to Choose for Book Club
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
This one is perfect for a summer book club. It's a lesser-known classic, so many people have not read it before, but every library should have a few copies. The Joy Luck Club is the stories of several Chinese-American mothers and daughters. It's about family, tradition, race, culture, and what it means to be American or Chinese. Ripe for discussion.
If You Love Harry Potter
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Yes, I know Harry Potter never gets old, BUT if you want to branch out a little bit, try Miss Peregrine. It's got a gifted child, magic, some danger and adventure, and a magical home. The story is illustrated with real antique photos, and they are haunting and awesome. It's a piece of writing you won't regret reading.
Paper Towns by John Green
I've loved this book for a long time, and the movie comes out on my birthday. Paper Towns is the story of a boy named Q and how he learns "what a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person." It's about high school and infatuation, and some night time adventures, and an epic road trip, and a mystery. Oh, and it's also hilarious. (I will say, read it before you give it to your kids though, as there is a bit of strong language.) It's got a great plot and easy-to-follow dialogue, so it's easy to doze off intermittently in the sun and then pick up where you left off.
Well, that's it. Enjoy your summer reading, and let me know in the comments what you're reading this summer.