2021 Summer Reading List for Preteens

by | Jun 7, 2021 | Children's Books, Topical Book Lists, Young Adult

Shadow in the Dark & Sequel, The Haunted Cathedral

Historical Fiction / Mystery / Suspense

“Catholicism’s Nancy Drew for boys AND girls”

An attack by bandits in the middle of the night leaves a young boy with no memory of who he is or where he is from. Nursed back to health by the devoted monks in a Benedictine abbey, he takes the name Alexander, or Xan for short. Aided by the kindly Brother Andrew, Xan commits himself to finding out who he really is.

Does he have a family? Are they still alive? And who—or what—is the shadowy figure creeping around the abbey in the dead of night?

Embark on an adventure while reading Shadow in the Dark as young Alexander tries to recover his memory and, with his new friends, uncover the mystery of the shadowy figure in the dark.

Murder Most Picanté & If Wishes Were Dragons

Fantasy / Comedy / Mystery / Action Adventure

“Perfect for fans of The Princess Bride”

It ain’t easy being a Magical creature in the Mundane world.Vern, a Faerie dragon whose size, power and knowledge were diminished after battling St. George, has been called to emigrate to the Mundane. Living in the garage of Little Flower Parish and dealing with neighbors who accuse him of eating cats and ruining their gardens, he’s hard pressed to find a reason to be in our world. Then a field comes to life and starts killing farmhands. While Vern can sympathize with vengeful jalapenos, murderous magic must be managed. He and Father Rich team up solve the mystery. It’s a whole new world with geeky fans, paranoid parishioners, bumptious authorities, zoo incarcerations, and a snickering saint who just wants Vern to do the right thing.

McCracken & the Lost Oasis

Historical Fiction / Pulp Adventure

“McCracken is Catholicism’s Indiana Jones”

Autumn, 1919. At last, the Great War is over. McCracken and his family are safe to take a vacation on the Nile, hoping to see their friend Cristofero Campo di Serpenti the archaeologist. But the calm waters of the Nile seem more and more deceptive, as the McCrackens encounter Egyptian revolutionaries, find themselves trapped in an underwater tomb, captured by Bedouin tribesmen, chasing international jewel thieves, and facing the dangers of the Sahara Desert. In this latest McCracken adventure, you will find yourself catapulted into a world of ancient and mysterious ruins, singing sand dunes, mythological creatures and, above all, the elusive lost oasis, land of wonder and riches beyond imagining . . .

Above the 38th Parallel

Action / Nonfiction / History / Graphic Novel

“If your kid loves Superheroes this an absolute Must-Have”
Saint Michael: Above the 38th Parallel, By Shanti Guy is a full color 32 page Comic Book that tells the story of a Marine in the Korean War who finds himself behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, his only hope is a miraculous apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel.This comic is based on a letter written in 1950 by a young Marine to his mother while he was in a hospital recovering from the injuries he recently suffered. In it, he describes the fantastic events that befell him while on patrol. Navy chaplain Father Walter Muldy personally knew the Marine, the Marine’s mother and the sergeant in charge of the patrol at the time of the apparition. One year later, Father Muldy read the same letter to 5,000 Marines at the Naval Base in San Diego and assured anyone who asked that it all really happened.
 

Saving Mount Rushmore & Saving the Statue of Liberty

Action Adventure

“Heists & Espionage & Fun. Perfect for Artemis Fowl fans”

When John Jenkins’ parents ship him off to stay with his aunt, he’s certain it will be the worst summer ever—until he learns he’s been accepted into a top-secret school. St. Michael’s Academy is home to gifted students with extraordinary talents. Although John has no idea why he’s there, he’s assigned to Team Liberty, who assist authorities with solving low-level crimes. Their first mission: stop a trio of mischief-making teens from vandalizing Mount Rushmore.

John battles feelings of inferiority as he and Team Liberty compete against Devlin Black and his cronies to track down clues and solve puzzles at Mount Rushmore. Along the way, John makes several key contributions, and his self-confidence grows. When he discovers he was admitted to the school due to a clerical error, he’s mortified. Now, he’s strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to save Mount Rushmore, and he learns an invaluable lesson: every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

Will Wilder & the Relic of Perilous Falls

Action Adventure / Fantasy

Fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Peter Lerangis’s Seven Wonders series will embrace this epic adventure in a rollicking new series by a New York Times bestselling author.

 Will Wilder didn’t mean to unlock his otherworldly gift. But that is exactly what happens when Will “borrows” a sacred relic believed to protect the town of Perilous Falls for nearly a century. Even though his intentions are good, the impulsive twelve-year-old unwittingly awakens an ancient evil endangering all of Perilous Falls.

As boats sink and hideous creatures crawl from the rising waters, it is up to Will to confront a nightmarish enemy and set things right before it is too late. Along with his sweet—if lethal—great-aunt Lucille, the curator of a museum of supernatural artifacts, Will proves that the actions of one twelve-year-old boy can change the world.

Standing Strong by Theresa Linden

Keefe hides his call to the priesthood and no matter how much Jarrett tries he still gets into trouble. Can the brothers find their courage?

Someday by Corinna Turner

Ordinary schoolgirls face a terrible fate: abuse, forced marriages, and even death at the hands of Islamic extremists.

A Hero for the People by Arthur Powers

Stories from the front lines of the Church’s mission to protect Brazilians farmers from theft and greed.

Treason by Dena Hunt

When the Queen Elizabeth’s agents are sent to investigate a small town, Protestant & Catholic alike must work together to avert tragedy.

Best Books of 2021

2021 brought many changes but the effects these books had on us remains as stalwart as the rock of Peter.

War Demons by Russell Newquist

Lots of soldiers have demons, but Michael’s follow him back home. And now a secret order of demon-slayers tell him he has to save the world?!

Sister Aloysius Gets Ready for the First Day of School By Linda Etchison Illustrated by Denise Plumlee-Tadlock

Sister Aloysius leans on the Divine Mercy of Jesus as she gets ready for school.

God Made the Moonlight by Erin Broestl, Illustrated by Jean Schoonover-Egolf

A beautifully illustrated bedtime story that helps your child see the beauty of nature as God’s personal love letter to humanity

Where to Begin with G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton will swoop down, carry you away, pour tonic down your throat and tickle you until you start to laugh

The Fisherman’s Tomb; The Story of the Vatican’s Secret Search by John O’Neill

The untold true story of the greatest treasure hunt of the century, all done under the noses of the Nazi invasion.

Battle for his Soul by Theresa Linden

Bereft of a mother & betrayed by his twin, Jarret fights for a place to call home, unaware a supernatural war threatening to damn him to hell itself.

Daughter of Light, by Corwyn Alvarez

A Greek princess from a tiny island kingdom becomes one of the early Church’s most famous martyrs.

Woman: My Confession by Marianne Collins

In her memoir, Marianne Collins pulls no punches in presenting the mistakes she made in her journey to find a fervent and lasting love

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch by T.M. Gaouette

A foster kid learns that sometimes the scariest part of life is accepting love.

Sister Aloysius Arrives at Our Lady of Sorrows By Linda Etchison, Illustrated by Denise Plumlee-Tadlock

Sister Aloysius teaches love and respect in the family through prayers to Mary.

At Heaven’s Edge:  True Stories of Faith and Rescue By Andrea Jo Rodgers

As an EMT Rodgers has seen God work in ways that defy medical analysis.

The Light by Jacqueline Brown

Even as the world & nation she knew winks out of existence, Bria discovers family secrets that leave her questioning everything.

The Joining by J. H. Dierking

The aliens will surprise you and lead you into greater insight into how our own bodily design determines much of what is considered right and wrong.

Climb the Tree by Michael Bertrand

Investigations into a haunted suburban community mixes the fun of Stranger Things with the other-worldly sense of Tales from the Loop and the madness of House of Leaves.

Best Books of 2018

2018 was a fantastic year for Catholic fiction! Check out our best picks of the year and let us know your favorites.