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Top Summer Reading Picks for Italian Students

During their long summer break, Italian students have plenty of possibilities, from summer schools to summer camps, volunteering, and working. As part of these activities, and during students’ “proper” vacations, they often have lists of suggested readings from their teachers, if not from their favorite bookseller(s). In any case, for Italian students—as well as for you—summer days are long and less packed with things to do than usual, so they are ideal for checking off some items from your must-read list or taking advantage of the summer releases. Let’s see what Italians might be reading this coming summer.


As far as children’s and young adult content is concerned, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the main event—nationally and, increasingly, internationally—for discovering new and promising authors, books, stories, illustrations, and animation. The Comics Young Adult 2024 winner is Il racconto della roccia (The Tale of the Stone), by the Italian author BeneDì, which explores the friendship between a Jewish and a Muslim boy in early twentieth–century Yemen. Sticking to Italian authors, in the same category, a special mention was granted to Loops, by Elisa Marcellari, in which a visual conversation between a scientist and an artist simplifies seemingly complex scientific concepts.


If you prefer instead to pick your next reading from the classic students’ summer reading lists, wait no further and keep reading!


I Classici

The classics are, well, a classic on summer reading lists. From the *very very* classic classics—international as well as Italian—to the modern or contemporary classics, Italian students are always advised to devote some time to reading not-to-be-missed titles that made the history of literature. The last couple of years have seen a renewed interest in Italo Calvino’s books. Calvino is definitely considered an Italian classic, and with 2023 marking 100 years since his birth, his most prominent books have been republished with new, captivating graphics. Calvino’s content needs no update, being already incredibly modern and pointing, both in terms of language and concepts. So, the dieci opere di Italo Calvino series, from Mondadori, might be a good starting point to explore this giant of twentieth-century Italian literature.


2024 Summer Picks

If you’d like to explore new titles and trends in the Italian editorial landscape, here are some 2024 summer releases.

It’s worth noting that foreign books are as popular as Italian ones, so don’t be surprised to find Cassandra Clare’s The Sword Catcher, Tanya Byrne’s Afterlove, and Lauren Kung Jessen’s Lunar Love on Italian summer lists, just maybe a little bit “late” due to translation times. To keep things “Italian,” here are some releases from Italian authors you might want to check out: Il giorno in cui cambiò ogni cosa, by Laura Pezzino, tells us about Cora, a young city girl who moves to a small mountain town in Central Italy and starts to learn about her family (and community) history; Heartbreak Hotel, a comic book from Micol Beltramini and Agnese Innocente—said hotel being a refugee for broken hearts; La bellezza della fragilità. Sette passi verso la libertà, from high school professor Mario Varrella (aka O’ Professor on Tiktok), a journey to find our inner selves, refusing to be invulnerable and, in fact, embracing our fragilities.


Finally, a couple of titles that deserve a special mention: One is Lettera alla scuola (Letter to School), written by students of III M (read terza emme, corresponding to tenth grade) from Istituto Amaldi in Rome. Since we often talk about young people, but don’t so often hear from young people themselves, here are some sixteen-year-old boys and girls talking about what it means to be sixteen in 2024. The second notable title is Viaggio oltre l’ignoto, by Pierdomenico Baccalario, Davide Morosinotto, Marco Magnone, Valentina Federici, and a peculiar fifth author: l’Intelligenza Artificiale (AI). The book is, indeed, a writing challenge between men (and a woman!) and AI.


You’ll find many other titles by searching novità libri ragazzi 2024 online, according to your preferences and curiosity. Buona lettura e buona estate!



By Claudia Quesito


Also read:

How Italian Students Enjoy Their Summer Break

What Do Italian Students Read Over The Summer?

What do Italian Students Do over the Summer?


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