Summer Reading List

As the school year winds down, it’s time to consider great books for students to read over the summer. Here are some titles recommended by Punahou’s librarians and information specialists.

K – 1

Recommended by librarian Marci Johnstone ’87 

Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake
Michael Kaplan 
It’s a story about patience – seen through the eyes of a precocious preschooler. This book is an all-time favorite of mine!

Creatrilogy Series
Peter H. Reynolds 
Creativity, expression and willingness to try are the themes you find in the books that make up this trilogy.

Drawn Together
Minh Le
A beautifully illustrated story that shows how a bond between grandparent and grandchild can develop despite barriers they may have.

Grades 2 – 3

Recommended by librarian Nozomi Ozaki 

Dragon Masters series 
Tracey West 
Dragons, magic and wizards follow Bo, Rori, Drake and Ana as they go on adventures to uncover the powers of each dragon.

I Survived series
Lauren Tarshis 
Based on historical events, learn and enjoy reading about some life-altering historical events through the eyes of a child.

Max and the Midknights
Lincoln Peirce
A laugh-out-loud story of Max going on his quest to become a knight.

Grades 4 – 5

Recommended by librarian Marci Johnstone ’87 

HiLo series 
Judd Winick 
It’s not every day that a robot falls from the sky and you and your best friend have to help it not only figure out who it is and why it is here, but also stop Earth from being destroyed.

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
Stacy McAnulty 
An amazingly realistic fiction book that discusses stepping out of your comfort zone, building friendships and being struck by lightning.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Dan Gemeinhart
A beautiful story about loss, how we all cope differently with tragedy, friendship and hope.

Grades 6 – 8

Recommended by librarians Lori Jones ’04 and Alyssa Okimoto ’06 

Darius the Great is Not Okay 
Adib Khorram 
Socially awkward Darius sets off on his first trip to Iran and discovers himself and friendship. 

Everlasting Nora
Marie Miranda Cruz 
An uplifting story about perseverance against all odds, featuring Nora, who lives in the real-life shanty town inside the Philippines’ North Manila Cemetery.

Ghost Boys
Jewel Parker Rhodes
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer, who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat, and returns as a ghost to observe his family and community.


Recommended by information specialist Susan Clark 

We Are All Made of Molecules
Susin Nielsen 
Wonderful and touching novel about high school kids, their conflicts and how they learn about what they have in common as human beings. 

Living on the Shores of Hawai‘i
Charles Fletcher 
A must-read on issues affecting Hawai‘i’s coastlines: climate change, beach erosion, overfishing and much more.

Symptoms of Being Human
Jeff Garvin
Funny, sad and thought-provoking novel about teenagers and gender issues.

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