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Discover New Stories: 2024 Summer Reading List for K-8th Grade Students

It’s time to discover new adventures this summer! Today, the Mission Society is excited to launch our 2024 summer reading list for K-8th grade students and their families. This year, with help from our partners at Scholastic, we’ve curated a list full of deep dives into the lives of individuals who shaped history, invaluable STEAM lessons, and fiction that sparks imaginations and curiosity. We are thrilled to kick off another summer filled with stories to get lost in, learn from, and enjoy with our family and friends. 

We always look forward to encouraging the year-round reading journeys of our young people. Access to a wide range of stories that expand on school day lessons is instrumental to a student’s academic success. Through books, we can give all of our scholars new ways to deepen their understanding of classroom materials and open up pathways to new interests. Alongside these important learning opportunities, reading is fun, providing a meaningful way for us to get creative and connect. 

We hope you join us on an enriching reading adventure this summer, and find your next favorite, family-friendly story on the list below!


Bracelets for Bina's Brothers by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat

Summary: Celebrate math, diversity, and the power of stories! This series weaves together strong cultural connections and math concepts revealing how math is an integral part of everyday life.

 and illustrated by Rafael López 

Summary: Based on Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, this beautiful picture book is an inspiration for dreamers everywhere.

Dragons and Marshmallows: Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro and illustrated by Marion Lindsay

Summary: This buoyant, easy-to-read chapter book introduces a would-be veterinarian who employs the scientific method to help a sick baby dragon. “This book is a natural fit for STEM collections, it deserves a place in all libraries serving young readers." —School Library Journal


Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar

Summary: This vibrant picture book biography is a touching tribute to the legacy of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. “A must-have for all libraries.”—SLJ, starred review

Summary: A group of young animals set out on an adventure to a mysterious local island and learn the value of friendship, family, and loyalty along the way!

Lewis Latimer: A Brilliant Inventor by Janel Rodriguez and illustrated by Subi Bosa

Summary: This fun and engaging series reveals the numerous challenges faced by inventors, scientists, and creatives of color throughout history. Dive into these biographies devoted to their amazing lives and works. 


Forest World by Margarita Engle

Summary: In this verse novel, a Cuban-American boy visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time—and meets a sister he didn’t know he had.

Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani and illustrated by Hilary Schenker

Summary: Meena, an immigrant living in NYC and River, the son of a Kentucky miner, forge a friendship as pen pals that inspires bravery and challenges cultural misconceptions.

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Summary: During the Great Migration an eleven-year-old African American boy finds refuge and encouragement in poetry. 

Thank you to Scholastic for not only curating our reading list, but for ensuring that our program participants received their own books to take home. If you're in high school or have a teen in your life, you can take a look at our summer reading list curated by educator Kecia Dennis.

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