12 YA Beach Reads to Tan by This Summer

Summer 2016 is right around the corner. What better way to enjoy a day at the beach than to bring a good book to soak up the sun? Here are 12 YA books on the SCBWI “Summer Reading List” by California writers. With each book you’ll find its category, author, brief description, and link to Amazon.com.

Realistic Fiction Goodbye Tchaikovsky

Goodbye Tchaikovsky by Michael Thal

A twelve-year-old violin virtuoso is plunged into the deaf world. How will he adapt to survive?

Good Enough by Paula Yoo

Patti Yoon’s Korean parents expect the best from her. But she prefers her violin and a cute guy over the Ivy League. Will she ever be “good enough” in her family’s eyes?

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Blind sixteen-year-old Parker Grant navigates friendships, romantic relationships, and trying out for the track team, while coping with her father’s recent death.


Science Fiction

Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

Elena Martinez is sent to the future, but discovers she’ll be murdered when she returns—and only has twenty-four hours to change her fate.

Starters by Lissa Price

In a near-future Los Angeles, desperate teens rent out their bodies to senior citizens so they can be young temporarily.

Koolura and the Mayans by Michael Thal

Koolura uncovers a mysterious device that hurtles her 2,000 years back in time. Invaders from another star system have enslaved the Mayans. Can she stop them in time?


Mystery 51lF2kP1A2L._SX346_BO1,204,203,200_

Playing Juliet by JoAnne Stewart Wetzel

Beth Sondquist is breaking so many theater superstitions as she tries to keep her Children’s Theater from closing, she may never get onstage again.

The Mystery of the Missing Ming (Cedar Creek Mystery, Book 2) by Anne Loader McGee

Thirteen-year-old paranormal sleuth Mallory Gilmartin must solve the strange mystery of a missing antique vase and its connection to a ghostly World War II airplane.

Playing With Fire (School for S.P.I.E.S., Book 1) by Bruce Hale

When orphan Max Segredo lands at Merry Sunshine Orphanage, little does he suspect that it’s a school for junior spies.


Careers in Sports and Fitness by Debra Schmidt

Highlighting seven fast-growing sports and fitness careers, this book features quotes from practitioners, education requirements, salary, internships, and professional organizations. Full-color photos.

She Takes a Stand: 16 Fearless Activists Who Have Changed the World by Michael Elsohn Ross

Megan designed a better bra. Sampat summoned a gang. Leymah demanded peace. Kalpona contested giants. Discover sixteen bold, brave women who stood up for change.


The Night Olympic Team: Fighting to Keep Drugs Out of the Games by Caroline Hatton

A science adventure of Olympic proportions: walk in the shoes of scientists catching cheaters who doped themselves with forbidden performance-enhancing drugs to win medals.

Now that you’ve picked a book, enjoy!

Michael is the author of four published novels—Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and The Koolura Series—The Legend of Koolura and Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Examiner writing articles about parenting and education. His blog features YA authors and books.

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