Summer Camp Reading List

by Kirsti Granholm

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for; summer is finally here! School is almost out, and soon the summer break will begin for all of the students. How are you planning on spending your summer? How about your kids, grandchildren, nieces or nephews? Here at the CCBC, one of our favourite things to do on a hot summer day is to hang out by the water with a Canadian book in our hands. That’s why we put a list together of Canadian summer camp reads for you to share with the special people in your life.


Camp Average by Craig Battle (Owlkids Books, 2019) Ages 10-13

Have you ever been to a summer sports camp? Mack certainly has. Every year he and his friends meet up at Camp Avalon. Their camp has never had much luck at sports competitions so they earned the name “Camp Average,” which none of them seem to mind. But something is different this year at Camp Avalon, a new director has arrived. Instead of losing at this year’s competitions, new director Winston has a new plan for the campers. Will Mack’s beloved “Camp Average” ever be the same again?


Franklin’s Canoe Trip (Kids Can Press, 2002) Ages 3-8

Canoe trips are all fun and games until someone gets tired. In this Franklin edition, follow Franklin, Bear and their dad’s into the forest for a boys camping trip to Spruce Lake! Franklin and Bear are thrilled to use a canoe instead of a motor boat. They feel like real-life explorers! That is until they realize how hard it is. Grab this book for your camping trip this summer to see if you learn the same lessons Franklin does while out in the wilderness.


How to Spot a Sasquatch by J. Torres, illustrated by Aurélie Grand (Owlkids Books, 2018) Ages 7-10

Jay is convinced that Sasquatches are real. He is determined to spot one while on a camping trip, but none of the other campers believe they exist. Jay doesn’t understand why they won’t listen because the clues are everywhere! Disappearing food, abnormally large footprints. What else could it be from? Jay knows there’s one out there. And he will find that Sasquatch, if it’s the last thing he does!


I Want To Go Home by Gordon Korman (Scholastic Inc., 1981) Ages 10-13

While most kids look forward to spending their summer at Camp Algonkian, Rudy Miller does not. In fact, there’s nothing more he would rather do then disappear. But after his parents send him to camp at the request of his school guidance counsellor, he doesn’t have very many options. Rudy will do anything to escape, no matter what kind of drastic measures he has to take. This hilarious book is a perfect read for you or your kids at camp this summer.


Scaredy Squirrel: Goes Camping by Mélanie Watt (Kids Can Press, 2013) Ages 3-7

Oh, the joys of camping! Swimming, sitting around a bonfire, roasting marshmallows, spending the day under the sun, exploring nature. All of that sounds like a wonderful weekend away to the majority of us. But not for Scaredy Squirrel; instead he would much rather watch camp-themed television programs at home. His plan seems like a great idea, until it’s actually time to plug the television in! Scaredy Squirrel is then sent on his own outdoors adventure to locate the electrical socket. But not without a few disturbances.


Stories form the Magic Canoe of Wa’xaid by Cecil Paul, as told to Briony Penn (Rocky Mountain Books, 2019) Ages 12+

Summer is one of the best times of the year to get out and appreciate nature. Especially right now, the future of our animals, forests and lakes are unfortunately uncertain with rising temperatures across the world.

Stories form the Magic Canoe of Wa’xaid will introduce you to a new form of appreciation. For both Cecil Paul, and nature. Cecil is a captivating spiritual guide, Environmental Award Winner, and an Indigenous culture and environmental activist. He is recognized for his contributions to preserving his language and Kitlope Lake — the largest protected temperate forest in the world. Follow along his lifelong journey of suffering, perseverance and passion, in what he calls the magic canoe.


Summer Days, Starry Nights by Vikki VanSickle (Scholastic Canada, 2013) Ages 10-13

Life was always pretty simple for 13-year-old Reenie. She had spent her childhood at Sandy Shores, full of under the sun camping, fishing, swimming and just being a kid. But now that she’s getting older, more complex issues are beginning to take precedence: boys and teenage drama.

Reenie’s mother, Mimi wants to bring more tourism to their family resort, so she brings in Gwen — a trendy dance instructor. Finally, Reenie has a role model to look up to, someone to introduce her to her teenage years. Even though this book was set in the 1960s, the themes of love, heartbreak and teenage confusion remain universal.


The Canadian Kids’ Guide to Outdoor Fun by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Claudia Dávila (Scholastic Canada, 2019) Ages 5-10

In the overwhelming age of technology, parents are making extra efforts to get their kids outside. Contrary to a few years ago, when gaming consoles, computers and cellphones were not as popular, it wasn’t as hard to get your children to go play outdoors.  But don’t fret! The Canadian Kids’ Guide to Outdoor Fun is here! No matter what your kids’ interests are, this book is filled with loads of fun ideas to spark their outdoor imaginations. From simple individual projects, to lively team games, this book is bound to have your kids playing outside all summer long!


If your reading Canadian at the cottage this summer, let us know! Tag us on Instagram @kidsbookcentre