Our August reads topic is Stories by the Sea! When you find a book you would like to explore, click on the title and be taken directly to our catalog. Happy reading!


Encounter – Brittany Luby
Encounter reimagines the story of European explorers encountering new land and the people that lived there in 1536. Beautiful illustrations bring this hopeful story to life, and observations of peace and unity bring a sense of comfort. 

The Ocean Calls – Tina Cho
This story features Dayeon and her grandmother- a haenyeo diver on the Jeju Island of South Korea. Though these characters are fictional, the haenyeo tradition of diving for abalone shells reaches back hundreds of years and its fascinating history is explained concisely for young readers in the back of this book!  

Shark Lady – Jess Keating
Shark Lady is the picture book biography of Eugenie Clark, a marine biologist whose work and advocacy inspired generations of animal lovers to protect and research sharks.

Ocean – Britta Teckentrump
Like any of Teckentrump’s books, Ocean is a gorgeous adventure through another world- in this case, under the sea! The peek-throughs in this book explore the ocean and the amazing creatures that live there!

Swashby and the Sea – Beth Ferry
This super cute picture book features Captain Swashby- a somewhat curmudgeon-y retired fisherman whose adorable new neighbors inspire him to reimagine life.

Oona – Kelly DiPucchio
Oona is a beautiful picture book illustrated by Raissa Figueroa about a mermaid and her sea otter best friend who search for treasures in the depths of the ocean. Every page is filled with adorable smiling sea creatures and lively ocean flora that will have little ones dreaming of underwater adventures!

What a Waste – Jess French
What a Waste is a nonfiction book that teaches young readers about the conservation of earth’s resources and how to protect oceans and aquatic life from the harmful effects of pollution.

How to Code a Sandcastle – Josh Funk
MA author and software engineer Josh Funk married his two careers in this fun picture book that teaches basic coding! With the help of her robot friend Pascal, Pearl explains how to use coding to build a sandcastle- complete with a moat and decorations! Look for the follow-up book- How to Code a Rollercoaster for another fun coding adventure!

Song for a Whale – Lynne Kelly
Song for a Whale is a middle grade novel whose protagonist, Iris, is inspired to communicate with a whale named Blue 55. As the only deaf student in her school, she feels a kinship with Blue 55, as he is unable to communicate with members of his own species in the sea. 

The Big Book of the Blue – Yuval Zommer
All of Yuval Zommer’s nonfiction works are gorgeous and informative- The Big Book of the Blue being no exception. Each page is filled with beautiful illustrations and information on a different feature of aquatic life. It is a book young readers will return to, with different discoveries to be made on each return.


Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys
This work of historical fiction is set in the worst maritime disaster in world history- the ill-fated MV Wilhelm Gustloff. Told through the voices of many different individuals whose lives were impacted by WWII, Salt to the Sea immerses readers in history.

Bloom – Kevin Panetta
Despite his parents’ best efforts (and guilt trips), high school graduate Ari has no interest in putting his world-touring band adventures on hold and running their seaside restaurant. That is, until they hire a handsome new baker who shows him a new appreciation for his hometown.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
An exceptional choice for YA readers who love mysteries, We Were Liars is an immersive story with a plot discovery that warrants a reread!

You Know Me Well – Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Anyone who knows me knows my deep love for Nina LaCour and her beautiful, emotional storytelling, and this book- co-authored by YA giant David Levithan is a perfect addition. You Know Me Well features Mark and Kate- estranged classmates on an unexpected adventure or friendship and self-identity in San Francisco.

We are Okay – Nina LaCour
We are Okay introduces readers to its protagonist, Marin, in her new life at college in New York where her past slowly unravels in a beautiful emotional story described as an “intimate whisper that packs an indelible punch” by Penguin Random House.

Starfish – Akemi Dawn Bowman
Starfish is another beautifully emotional read, in this case exploring the relationships and shared wellness between generations in a family, and how to navigate your own way through other’s emotional deficits.

A Song Below Water – Bethany C. Morrow
A unique work of magical realism, A Song Below Water features two sisters, Tavia and Effie, whose lives are changed by the recent tragedy in the siren community. Risking their lives and identities, these chosen sisters prove their remarkable bond.

In Waves – AJ Dungo
In this visually arresting graphic novel, surfer and illustrator AJ Dungo remembers his late partner and the shared love of surfing that endured throughout their difficult times. Dungo explores the beauty and complexity of his relationship with his partner as they face her prolonged battle with cancer. With a passion for surfing at the forefront of this narrative, Dungo intertwines his own story with those of the great heroes of surf in a rare work of non-fiction that is as moving as it is fascinating.*

Girl from the Sea – Molly Ostertag
This gorgeous and fun graphic novel from the author of the beloved Witch Boy series features a budding romance between Morgan and Keltie whose lives are complicated in an unusual, fantastic way!

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed – Laurie Halse Anderson
The debut graphic novel from Speak author Laurie Halse Anderson is part of the DC YA comic world and explores Princess Diana of Themyscira before she became an Amazon and the Wonder Woman we all know and love.


Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Loosely based on a Frank Sinatra-like celebrity and his family, Malibu Rising is a fun, multigenerational story of fame, heartbreak, and family from the beloved author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry
This story is told over summer vacations usually taken between best friends Poppy and Alex, whose relationship is complicated for reasons readers slowly understand as the story unfolds and they come to love each wonderfully complex and frustrating character on their own.

Remarkable Creatures – Tracy Chevalier
This work on historical fiction explores the life of Mary Anning- the fossil hunter who discovered the ichthyosaur and plesiosaur- marine dinosaurs from over 200 million years ago!

The Island of Sea Women – Lisa See
As the little ones in your life are reading The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho, you can do a more in-depth exploration (pun intended) of the Jeju Island sea divers through these fictionalized characters in the real-life island in South Korea.

The Soul of an Octopus – Sy Montgomery
Perhaps the best-known work by Naturalist Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus is a fascinating look into the lives of one of the world’s smartest creatures- and their surprising personalities.

Circe – Madeline Miller
Circe is a retelling of the Greek myths focusing on Circe, the sea witch known for turning Odysseus’ men into pigs and further delaying his return to Ithaca, but that experience was just a short part of her immortal life as the daughter of Helios. Miller’s well-researched story turns Circe into the heroine of her own tale, and gives a new perspective on an age-old story.

Beach Read – Emily Henry
Rom-com author January Andrews inherits a secret lake house from her recently deceased father- complete with former mistress and a neighbor who turns out to be her college rival- literary fiction writer Augustus Everett. As the mysteries unfold, readers fall in love with both characters and cheer them on in their respective challenges.

Something in the Water – Catherine Steadman
Something in the Water is a psychological thriller by debut author Catherine Steadman, about a newlywed couple on their honeymoon when they discover a devastating secret that threatens to derail their new life.

Blue Mind – Wallace J. Nichols
This work of nonfiction explores the psychological effects of being near water and the ways in which bodies of water can improve your emotional, physical, and even professional well-being.

The Guest List – Lucy Foley
This story is told through the perspectives of the guests and hosts of a wealthy couple’s destination wedding on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. Each character is equally intriguing and offers insight into a series of scandals with a fatal end.

*Publisher-provided description

Scroll to Top