10 Transitional Books to Kick Off Summer Reading | We Are Kid Lit Collective

Part of We Are Kid Lit Collective's 2023 Summer Reading selections, this list features early chapter books, graphic novels, and other transitional books for emerging readers.

School Library Journal has proudly partnered with We Are Kid Lit Collective to share and promote the group's annual summer reading recommendations.

In the next couple of weeks, SLJ will publish individual posts featuring their recommendations for picture books, transitional books, middle grade, and young adult titles.

Part of We Are Kid Lit Collective's 2023 Summer Reading selections, this list features early chapter books, graphic novels, and other transitional books for emerging readers.


10 book covers scrolling by....

Albee, Jay. Riley Reynolds Crushes Costume Day. Capstone/Stone Arch, 2022.
For their school’s book week, Riley and their friends try to come up with costume ideas to celebrate Dress Like Your Favorite Character Day. The unique storytelling format, with chapters composed of prose text followed by wordless comics-style panels, supports transitional readers.

Ali, Marzieh A. Nadia and Nadir: Hurricane Helpers. illus. by Lala Stellune. Abdo/Magic Wagon, 2023. 
After their family gets through a big storm relatively unscathed, Nadia and Nadir and their parents head to their mosque to help those who were not so fortunate.

Brimmer, Larry Dane. Racing Ace: Build It! Jump It! illus. by Kaylani Juanita. Scholastic, 2022. 
Ace builds a skateboard and ramp for the skate park, and now she needs to master her skateboarding skills. 

Guojing. Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home. Random/Schwartz & Wade, 2019.
A stranger in the park sees a friendly-looking stray dog and she throws a ball to play catch. It takes a while, but the two connect and form a permanent bond.

Iwai, Melissa. Gigi and Ojiji. HarperCollins, 2022. 
Gigi is excited for her grandfather (Ojiji) to come from Japan and move in with her family. But Ojiji is not at all how Gigi imagined him to be. How can they make this new living arrangement work?

Kim, Julie. Where’s Halmoni? Sasquatch/Little Bigfoot, 2017. 
Where’s Halmoni? Trying to find her leads to imaginative excitement and adventure.

Loh-Hagan, Virginia. What Is Asian-Black Solidarity? (Racial Justice in American: Asian American Pacific Islander). Cherry Lake, 2022. 
Using straightforward text and eye-catching design, this book shows children ways people from oppressed communities can work to lift one another up.

Novales, Keka. Dance of the Feathers. (¡Hola, Lola!). illus. by Gloria Félix. Capstone/Picture Window, 2022. 
After attending a recital, Lola and her friend Joy are excited to enroll in a ballet class. But, it turns out that this kind of dancing is a lot harder than it looks!

Otheguy, Emma. Reina Ramos Works It Out! illus. by Andrés Landazábal. HarperCollins, 2022. 
It’s wax museum day at school, and Reina’s classmates need to dress up as a famous person. When a friend picks Reina’s choice, Frida Kahlo, she works it out and decides to portray the Queen of Salsa—Celia Cruz. 

Prince, Dorothy H. Jalen’s Big City Life: Friendship Flowers. illus. by Shiane Salabie. Capstone/Picture Window, 2022. 
J.C. is going to the Spring Flower Festival with his grandparents the same day as his friends invited him to the zoo. He wonders if he can make it on time to attend both.

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