Having just made it through the first major heat wave of 2024, I think I can confidently say that summer has arrived (in the Midwest U.S., anyway!).

One of my personal favorite ways to spend downtime during hot weather is by the pool or on the beach (super original, right?). There’s nothing like whiling away a few sun-drenched hours with a book from my TBR list.

And though your students have probably been out of school for a few weeks, off on summer adventures near and far, through it all, they’re never far from their school’s digital library in Sora. For long, warm days spent splashing around in the water and lazing around on the sand – or those never-ending vacation road trips! – an ebook or audiobook in Sora is the perfect quiet time companion.

But finding good beach reads to keep your leisure-minded readers occupied is an underrated art – one our Digital Content Librarians are here to help you with, with hand-curated lists of recommended reads like Fun Beach Reads and Summer Reading: Adventure Begins at Your Library!

Check out some of the most popular highlights below.

Beach reads for kids & tweens

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

With 12 installments and counting (#13 is due for release at the end of this year), the Dog Man series from Dav Pilkey (also the creator of the Captain Underpants series) is beloved by young comic enthusiasts for the sweet, hilarious portrayal of its protagonist, a crime-fighting half-dog, half-human hero.

At turns silly and empathetic, these books are a great summer diversion for your Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans. They’re also great for getting adolescent readers to sit still and take a breather once they’re out of the water!

Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel series by Ann M. Martin, various

Some of us are old enough to recall the hours we spent following the original baby-sitting adventures of preteen entrepreneurs (and tight-knit BFFs) Kristy, Stacey, Claudia, Dawn, Mary Anne and all their friends and family.

Now, the Baby-Sitters Club graphic adaptations are the best of both worlds: The charm of Ann M. Martin’s original stories, reimagined in vibrant color for a new generation of tween readers by award-winning contemporary authors and illustrators like Raina Telgemeier, Chan Chau, Gale Galligan and more. They’re the perfect way to spend some time in the shade!

School Trip: A Graphic Novel by Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft returns with a companion graphic novel to his bestselling releases New Kid and Class Act, following Jordan, Drew, Liam, Maury, and their friends from Riverdale Academy Day School through their school trip to Paris. A school trip that takes an unexpected turn when their trusted faculty guides are replaced at the last minute, leaving them with the tricky task of finding their way around a foreign city while navigating the same friendships, fears, and differences that they struggle with at home.

Teen beach reads

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Many of your teen readers have probably already devoured Jenny Han’s series of quintessential beach reads (now adapted into a mega-popular show for Amazon Prime).

But if by chance they haven’t, then there’s absolutely nothing that says sun, sea and sand like this coming-of-age trilogy that chronicles Isabel “Belly” Conklin’s romantic misadventures (the basis for more than a few cafeteria debates between “Team Conrad” and “Team Jere”, probably).

Who needs a vacation when they can travel free-of-charge to Cousins Beach?

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

This New York Times and USA Today bestselling title follows Liz Buxbaum, a hopelessly romantic teen girl desperate for the attention of Michael, her aloof crush. But of course, nothing goes planned – especially when her next-door neighbor and childhood frenemy Wes gets involved!

Tropey fun abounds for teen readers in this romp, great for lazy afternoons floating aimlessly in the deep end.

(Plus, the sequel, Nothing Like the Movies, arrives this fall – so they’ll have something to look forward to for back to school!)

The Summer She Went Missing by Chelsea Ichaso

Set against the backdrop of a small, picturesque beach town that plays double-duty as a playground for the wealthy, The Summer She Went Missing will soothe your students’ itch for twisting, turning tales of mystery, intrigue and – maybe? – murder. (Unfortunately, it won’t do much for that scratchy sunburn).

Savvy crime solvers won’t be able to stop themselves from getting sucked into Paige Redmond’s race to unveil the secrets around the disappearance of her best friend, Audrey Covington – so long as she’s not the next one to vanish. And for your Outer Banks fans, it’s a great option to pass the time until the fourth season comes out!

Bonus beach reads: All Access Comics & Magazines

You’re in luck if your school already has the All Access Comics and Magazines packages – you have a built-in source for beach reads that are regularly updated with the newest issues. The best part is that every issue can be borrowed and read by an unlimited number of students at once – so they never have to wait for what they want!

All Access Comics includes 2,000+ age-appropriate digital comics for every grade level, including titles from Disney, Dark Horse, and popular Marvel properties.

All Access Magazines comprises 200+ of the most popular zines worldwide (including back issues for most titles), catered to students of all ages and interests. Minecraft? Check! Highlights? Check! The Ultimate Guide to Taylor Swift? Check! NatGeo? Check! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – there’s so much more to explore!

Interested in adding All Access Comics and Magazines to your collections before the summer’s through? Check out our Sora Subscriptions hub.

Even more bonus beach reads: Sora Sweet Reads

Did you know? In addition to the books you can add to your collection in Sora, your students also  have access to our free summer reading program, Sora Sweet Reads, through Aug. 26.

There’s something for everyone in this collection of 200+ simultaneous-use titles spanning grades K-12, including popular reads like Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure (Jeff Kinney). Plus, every book is available to read right away!

If your school has opted in to Sora Sweet Reads, don’t forget to let them know these books are available – our free promotional resources are plug-and-play to make it easy for you.

Get beach reads for students in OverDrive Marketplace

Shop OverDrive Marketplace for all the juvenile and YA titles covered today. Check out the lists below for additional reading recommendations.

Fun Beach Reads

Summer Reading: Adventure Begins at Your Library

The Great Outdoors