Summer Learning: Mysteries & Camping

Get Campy with Summer Learning

Alright folks, we have over a month left of Summer Learning! There’s still plenty of time to sign up, log your reading, and win prizes. I can't think of a better way to spend my summer than delving into a mystery or a summer camp story. Pre-Readers, Readers, and Pre-Teens should check out our Summer Camp Stories list for fun (and a few creepy!) titles. Readers of all ages will enjoy our intergenerational Mysteries booklist, and Pre-Teens can check out the Young Detectives list, where they can explore sleuths, disappearances, and whodunits. Here are a few staff favorites...

Summer Camp Fun

Summer Camp Critter Jitters, book cover
Stand Up, Yumi Chung!, book cover
Camp Murderface, book cover
Be Prepared, book cover

  • Summer Camp Critter Jitters by Jory John Illus. Liz Climo. For Pre-Readers. Animals have anxieties about summer camp and receive reassurance. A great story about the sometimes scary feelings you get when going to a new place.  
  • Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim. For Readers. When eleven-year-old Yumi Chung stumbles into a kids' comedy camp she is mistaken for another student, so she decides to play the part.  
  • Camp Murderface by Josh Berk. For Readers. The year: 1983. The place: Ohio. The camp: Scary as heck. Camp Sweetwater is finally reopening, three decades after it mysteriously shut down. Campers Corryn Quinn and Tez Jones have each had more than enough of their regular lives--they're so ready to take their summer at Sweetwater by storm. But before they can so much as toast one marshmallow, strange happenings start...happening. Can they survive the summer? Or will Camp Sweetwater shut down for good this time--with them inside?
  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol. For Pre-Teens. Believing Russian summer camp will be the place she finally fits in, Vera jumps at the chance to sign up, but very quickly discovers that camp is nothing like she imagined.

Find more recommended reads on the Summer Camp Fun booklist.


Not An Alphabet Book, book cover
The Goldfish Boy, book cover
Firekeeper's Daughter, book cover
The Last Story of Mina Lee, book cover

  • Not An Alphabet Book: The Case of the Missing Cake by Eoin McLaughlin. For Pre-Readers. When Bear's cake goes missing from page 5, he attempts to track down the culprit, in a book where each letter of the alphabet represents a clue to the mystery.  
  • The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson. For Readers. Emotionally crippled by his obsessive-compulsive disorder, teenager Matthew Corbin rarely leaves his room on a cul-de-sac in London, and he passes the day observing and writing down his neighbors doings from his window--but when a toddler staying next door disappears Matt is the key to solving a mystery and possibly saving a child's life... if he can manage to expose himself, and his secret guilt to the outside world.  
  • Firekeeper's Daughter by Tiffany D. Jackson. For Teens. Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.  
  • The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim. For Adults. Margot Lee's mother isn't returning her calls. It's a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown and finds her mother dead under suspicious circumstances. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the facts of Mina's life as a Korean War orphan and undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Find more great mysteries on the Mystery booklist.

Young Detectives

Welcome to Dweeb Club, book cover
Drew Leclair Gets a Clue, book cover
Julieta and the Diamond Enigma, book cover
Wreck at Ada's Reef, book cover

  • Welcome to the Dweeb Club by Betsy Uhrig. For Pre-Teens. Jason Sloane and his seventh-grade friends are the first to sign up for a strange new club that monitors school security footage, but when the new computers show the club members themselves as unlikable high school seniors five years in the future they scramble to solve the mystery.  
  • Drew Leclair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury. For Pre-Teens. When a cyberbully posts embarrassing rumors about other students at school, Drew, to protect her own secret, puts her sleuthing skills to good use to find the culprit, who just might be one of her closest friends.  
  • Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz. For Pre-Teens. When a diamond goes missing from the Louvre, it is up to nine-year-old Julieta to identify the thief, exonerate her father, and return home to Boston before her baby brother is born. Includes glossary of French and Spanish words and notes about the Regent Diamond, Athena, and works of art mentioned in the book.  
  • Wreck at Ada's Reef by Michael D. Beil. For Pre-Teens. Twelve-year-old Lark Heron-Finch inherits a house on Swallowtail Island in Lake Erie, where she untangles a decades-old mystery and saves the island from unscrupulous developers.

If you've read any of these titles, we'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts on Beanstack (the site to log your summer reading) by writing a review. You can check out some reviews from earlier this summer here!