Skip to main content
  • Home >
  • News >
  • Essential Summertime Reading

Essential Summertime Reading

| Books

It’s finally summer! Time to grab a cold beverage, find a comfy chair in the sun (preferably by some water), and enjoy a good book to pass the time! We’ve compiled a list of Friesens-printed Essential Summertime Reading for adults and young readers to help find your next seasonal read.


He SEEMED Normal – Mary Gulla
Alazar Press

In this candid and relatable memoir, Mary Gulla shares her experiences navigating the world of dating. As an anxious person with a learning disability, she approaches dating with a unique perspective. From online to offline, Gulla recounts the good, bad, and unforgettable dates, making it a fun read for anyone who’s ever wondered if love can be found in the most unexpected places.

Moon Dust in My Hairnet – JR Creaden
Mythic Roads Press

In this hopeful science fiction novel, we follow Lane, a 20-year-old autistic lunar lunch lady as she navigates relationships, corporate challenges, and life on Lunar Trust One. She deals with survivor’s guilt after tragedy cuts short her sister’s legacy; determined to uphold her sister’s utopian dream, Lane embraces her role as a lunch lady on the moon.

The Errant Husband – Elizabeth Haynes
Radiant Press

A captivating novel that follows Thelma, whose husband Wally goes missing in Cuba. As she searches for him (with few clues), she converses with the ghost of her father, confronts her abandoned dreams, and contemplates the nature of secrets. Along the way she’s joined by a single woman on vacation and two cab drivers who insist on helping her.

Asking for a Friend – Kerry Clare
Doubleday Canada

This is a story about female friendship. The book follows Jess and Clara, who meet in university under stressful circumstances. Their instant connection becomes their foundation, sustaining them through the next twenty years. As they navigate relationships, jobs, losses, and motherhood, their friendship remains a lifeline. The book delves into the joys and challenges of this enduring relationship.

Suspect – Scott Turow
Grand Central Publishing

Set in the city of Highland Isle, this is a riveting legal thriller where Lucia Gomez, the police chief, faces accusations of soliciting sex in exchange for promotions. Turning to her old friend Rik for help, he brings in “Pinky”, his unconventional private eye, who delves into a twisted scandal, taking her deep into the city’s criminal networks and hidden secrets.

Who By Fire: A Dame Polara Mystery – Greg Rhyno
Cormorant Books

This is a mystery novel featuring Dame Polara, a former private investigator’s daughter. She gets an unusual offer from her landlord: dig up dirt on his ex-wife to keep her apartment. As she investigates, she uncovers a deadly arson conspiracy tied to her City Hall job of preserving old buildings. It’s a complex mystery with a witty main character, making the book a compelling read.

Golden Girl – Elin Hilderbrand
Back Bay Books

Set in Nantucket, it follows author Vivian Howe who is tragically killed in a hit-and-run car accident. She ascends to the Beyond and watches events unfold on Earth for one last summer. She’s granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events and her greatest worry is her final book which contains a secret from her youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. The novel weaves together beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and heartfelt messages about how the people we lose never truly leave us.

CAMP ZERO – Michelle Min Sterling
Knopf Canada

This is a dystopian sci-fi thriller set in a near-future northern settlement called Camp Zero, an American building project hidden in Canada’s far north. As climate change wreaks havoc, Rose agrees to travel to Camp Zero to spy on its architect in exchange for housing for her displaced mother. A handful of survivors then find their fates intertwined, discovering disturbing secrets lurking beneath the surface of the camp. The book explores gender, class, and migration in a world where nothing is as it seems.

THE WREN, THE WREN – Anne Enright
McClelland & Stewart

This story delves into the inheritance of trauma, wonder, and love across three generations of women. Nell, a 22-year-old aspiring writer, leaves her mother’s home to find her voice and live on her terms. The family’s legacy is intertwined with her famed Irish poet grandfather, Phil McDaragh, whose love poems resonate with Nell. Phil’s desertion, however, scars Nell’s sister and their cancer-ridden mother. It’s a story of longing, betrayal, and hope, exploring themes of abandonment and sustaining love.


A man’s lifeless body is discovered in a quiet suburban community. Seargent Frank Norris, a 25-year veteran of the police, is determined to unravel the mystery behind the death of John-Henry Hamilton. Norris faces challenges like unsavoury characters, revenge plots, and drug-related complications as he works to solve the case. Yet, he worries that insufficient evidence and complications may prevent justice from prevailing.

Red Hen Press

This is a tale about fame, writers, ambition, and the ups and downs of a creative life. Edna Sloane was a promising author in the 1980s New York literary scene but vanished after her successful debut novel. Decades later, aspiring writer Set Edwards becomes obsessed with rediscovering Sloane, hoping it will boost his own career. Their correspondence explores cultural obsessions with “the next big thing” in literature and the challenges faced by creative individuals.

A BIT MUCH – Sarah Jackson
Penguin Canada

This debut novel explores the complexity of friendships, the agony of insecurity, and the beautiful yet embarrassing nature of loving someone. The story follows Alice, who’s lost her job, her appetite, and her ability to sleep. Her closest friend, Mia, is being treated for a serious illness. Meanwhile, Alice meets James, but her insecure nature makes her hesitant to pursue a relationship. As Mia’s health deteriorates, Alice grapples with moving forward while knowing that Mia can’t.



This is the first graphic novel in the New York Times bestselling “The Last Kids on Earth” series. The story features the Last Kids crew hanging out in their treehouse. During a boardgame night, a monster attacks, prompting each of them to share their own adventurous tale.

IGGY INCLUDED – Deborah Kerbel
Scholastic Canada

Twelve-year-old Paige and her family win a house in an essay-writing contest. They expected a dream home in rural Ontario, but instead they get an old home in need of repairs. The home also comes with Iggy, a large, unkempt Newfoundland dog. Despite her initial fear, Paige forms a bond with Iggy when she discovers he loves to be read to. When he goes missing, Paige must unravel the mysteries of the old home to find her beloved dog.

AT THE SPEED OF GUS – Richard Scrimager
Scholastic Canada

This story follows Agustus Constantine, a 13-year old boy whose mind (and mouth) operate at a different speed than the rest of us. Gus has ADHD and takes medication for it, but misuse leads to a frenetic, twist-filled day. After being suspended from school he embarks on a wild ferry ride to Vancouver Island where reality blurs with his racing thoughts.

THE CLUB – Eric Walters
DCB Young Readers

Jaxson, an eighth grader, loves to play the trumpet. He’s an only child with an overconfident best friend named Logan. When a new student, Olivia, joins the school band and becomes his trumpet duet partner, Jax’s life takes an unexpected turn. As they rehearse, they discover they share something that will make them rethink what it means to be “family”.

Puffin Books

Eleven-year-old Tilly lives above her grandparents’ bookshop. When classic characters like Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland start appearing in the shop through the magic of “book wandering”, Tilly’s adventures become real. She discovers she herself is a book wanderer…someone who can step into stories. Determined to solve the mystery of her missing mother, Tilly steps into the unknown, ready for adventure and unexpected dangers.

Tundra Books

This is the fourth book in the Megabat series, featuring Daniel’s birthday. Megabat is eager to join the fun but his excitement leads to disaster, jeopardizing the celebrations. When Megabat accidentally breaks Daniel’s best birthday gift, he feels like a bad friend and runs away. However, navigating the world alone proves harder than he thought.

Scholastic Canada

This is the 20th book in the Tom Gates series and in this story, Tom is supposed to tidy up on Saturday but he’s too busy relaxing. Everything changes when he sees the art box of his dreams in a shop window. Suddenly he’s focused on earning extra money and helping with everything, but nothing goes quite to plan.

Dutton Children’s Books

The story is narrated by 9-year-old Peter, who has a 2-year-old brother named Fudge. Fudge is mischievous and is always causing trouble. The book portrays their sibling relationship and the everyday realities of family life.

BE REAL, MACY WEAVER – Lakita Wilson

This book revolves around 11-year-old Macy, who faces the challenges of friendship and identity in a new community. After a friendship breakup and moving to a new home, Macy is lonely. This drives her to create a new persona, complete with fashion and haute couture. As her lies unravel, she must learn to be true to herself and find genuine connections.

THE GREAT BEAR – David A. Robertson
Puffin Books

The second book in The Misewa Saga, this story follows Indigenous siblings Morgan and Eli as they navigate their lives on Earth and their adventures in the alternate world of Misewa, a village in Aski. In the book, Indigenous folklore is woven through modern settings, exploration of cultural identity, resilience, and the relationship between humans and nature.

Orca Book Publishers

This novel follows the journey of Lo and her best friend Jazz. As they approach adolescence, their interests change: Jazz embraces makeup, boys, and bras, while Lo remains passionate about comics and Doctor Who. When Jazz starts hanging out with the “cool girls,” Lo feels left behind. She copes by writing letters to the Tenth Doctor. Along the way, Lo grapples with issues like gender equality, consent, and menstrual hygiene rights. Through newfound friendships and her love for the Doctor, Lo discovers her voice and learns to stand up for what’s right.

This of course isn’t a comprehensive list of great books to dive into this summer. For more reads for you and your family, visit your local library or bookstore to find your next favourite story!

Sign up to receive our newsletter.