How Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

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Article in Young Adult Fiction and Setting categories.

What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

Share in the adventures of these weird, wonderful, crazy, or important summer vacations:

I Traveled Around the World

  • Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid, by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout. Fifteen-year-old Leigh, is not thrilled to be packed off for a summer in Ireland acting as personal assistant to her self-absorbed film-star mother Annika, but finds consolation in Annika's hunky young co-star, and in her own budding acting career.
  • Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell - Sixteen-year-old Vassar Spore's detailed plans for the next twenty years of her life are derailed when her bohemian grandmother insists that she join her in Southeast Asia for the summer.
  • How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, by Simone Elkeles - Amy, a 16-year-old spoiled American, goes to Israel for summer vacation with a father she barely knows – and a summer she’ll never forget.
  • Four Things my Geeky-Jock-of-a-Best-Friend Must Do in Europe, by Jane Harrington - Brady writes letters back home to her best friend Delia, telling her of adventures while on a Mediterranean cruise with her mother, including the search for a "code-red Euro-hottie."
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson - When seventeen-year-old Ginny receives a packet of mysterious envelopes from her favorite aunt, she leaves New Jersey to criss-cross Europe on a sort of scavenger hunt that transforms her life. Also try Girl at Sea by the same author.
  • Monsoon Summer, by Mitali Perkins - Secretly in love with her best friend and business partner Steve, fifteen-year-old Jazz must spend the summer away from him when her family goes to India during that country's rainy season to help set up a clinic.
  • Spanish Holiday by Kate Cann - After months of planning a summer vacation in Spain with her friends Yaz and Ruth, Laura finds the "perfect getaway" marred by the presence of Ruth's obnoxious boyfriend who insists on sticking to the well-beaten tourist track. Try this author’s other “Holiday” books: California Holiday and Grecian Holiday.

I Hung Out with Friends, Went to the Beach, & Fell in Love

  • Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson - Three teenaged girls from very different backgrounds, thrown together to pick peaches in a Georgia orchard, spend a summer in pursuit of the right boy, the truest of friends, and the perfect peach. Follow it up with The Secrets of Peaches and Love and Peaches.
  • The 3 Willows, by Ann Brashares - From the same author who brought us the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, comes another great summer read. Three girls, in the summer before ninth grade, used to be best friends but now find themselves growing in very different directions. Each will have a summer to remember, in a different setting.
  • Maine Squeeze, by Catherine Clark - Colleen Templeton spends a romantic summer before starting college working at Bobb's Lobster, sorting out her feelings for two possible boyfriends, and sharing a house with friends on the tiny Maine island she calls home.
  • Summer Boys by Hailey Abbot - Cousins Ella, Beth, and Jamie are at their family's beach house for the summer and first kisses, last dances, new loves, and old flames all add up to one unforgettable summer. Try the sequel: Next Summer.
  • The Clique Summer Collection, focusing on the summer experiences of Massie, Dylan, Claire, Kristen, and Alicia.
  • The Au Pairs series by Melissa de La Cruz: Au Pairs, Skinny Dipping, and Sun-kissed.

I Had to Get a Summer Job

  • Keeping the Moon, by Sarah Dessen - 15-year-old Colie spends the summer working as a waitress in a beachside restaurant, staying with her eccentric Aunt Mira. Also try The Truth About Forever by the same author.
  • Acceleration, by Graham McNamee Stuck working in the Lost and Found of the Toronto Transit Authority for the summer, seventeen-year-old Duncan finds the diary of a serial killer and sets out to stop him.
  • Dunk, by David Lubar - While hoping to work as the clown in an amusement park dunk tank on the New Jersey shore the summer before his junior year in high school, Chad faces his best friend's serious illness, hassles with police, and the girl that got away.
  • My Almost Epic Summer, by Adele Griffin - Stuck babysitting during the summer while her friends take glamorous vacations, fourteen-year-old Irene learns some lessons about life after meeting a beautiful, yet troubled, girl.
  • Pool Boy, by Michael Simmons - When his father is arrested for insider trading and his family loses all their money, Brett takes a job as an assistant to a pool cleaner in his former rich neighborhood.
  • Full Service, by Will Weaver - In the summer of 1965, teenager Paul Sutton, a northern Minnesota farm boy, takes a job at a gas station in town, where his strict religious upbringing is challenged by new people and experiences.
  • The Manny, by Sarah L. Thomson - A sixteen-year-old New Yorker looks forward to his summer job as a manny, or "male nanny," to an affluent couple's four-year-old in the Hamptons.
  • Summer Intern, by Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman - Kira Parker lands a job as an intern at Skirt, the hottest fashion magazine. Now she has to survive a summer on her own in the city, battling the bratty daughter of the magazine's owner for her dream job … and her dream guy.

I Spent Time with My Family

  • The Canning Season, by Polly Horvath - 13-year-old Ratchet spends a summer in Maine with her eccentric great-aunts, hearing strange stories from the past and encountering a variety of unusual and colorful characters.
  • The Trap, by Joan Lowery Nixon - 16-year-old Julie has the perfect summer plan, but then gets sent to spend the summer at her great-aunt and uncle's ranch in Texas, where she must solve a mystery.
  • The Watsons go to Birmingham, 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis. - The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.
  • Harris & Me, by Gary Paulsen - An 11-year-old boy is sent to live with relatives on their farm.
  • Armageddon Summer, by Jane Yolen & Bruce Coville - 14-year-old Marina and 16-year-old Jed accompany their parents' religious cult, the Believers, to await the end of the world atop a remote mountain.

The Weirdest Thing Happened…

  • L.O.S.T. , by Debbie Federici and Susan Vaught - Pulled from an ordinary life the summer before his senior year in high school, Bren is meets the queen of all witches, who believes that he is destined to help her defeat a terrible evil.
  • Summerland, by Michael Chabon - Ethan Feld, the worst baseball player in the history of the game, finds himself recruited by a 100-year-old scout to help a band of fairies triumph over an ancient enemy.
  • Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator, by Jennifer Allison - During the summer before ninth grade, intrepid Gilda Joyce invites herself to the San Francisco mansion of distant cousin Lester Splinter and his thirteen-year-old daughter, where she uses her purported psychic abilities and detective skills to solve the mystery of the mansion's boarded-up tower.
  • Twisted Summer, by Willo Davis Roberts - 14-year-old Cici hopes for a romantic summer at the beach but instead finds herself trying to solve a murder.
  • Interstellar Pig, by William Sleator - Barney's boring seaside vacation suddenly becomes more interesting when the cottage next door is occupied by three exotic neighbors who are addicted to a game they call "Interstellar Pig."