Kids Summer Reading Recommends

I love reading to my kids. As a new parent I did it because everyone told me that’s what I should be doing. So even when my youngest couldn’t sit still until she was five (or six), I continued to read (with high levels of frustration). Now, years into it, we’re all quite addicted to our nightly routine. As a lover of books, I treasure our tradition of reading together nearly every night. It’s the one time of day we all just stop and savor the simple joy of words.

My girls are now ages 7 and 10 and will likely soon lose interest in my reading to them. They’ll want privacy, they’ll shut the door and beg me to please stop talking to them in character voices (I loved reading Harry Potter in an English accent replete with voices for Dumbledore, McGonagall and Hagrid…). So, alas, I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

Now that summer is here, we plan to blow through many books, ones I’ll read to/with them, and ones they’ll read on their own. I thought I’d share some of our favorites over the years, while avoiding the obvious ones (Harry Potter, Wind in the Willows, Little House, etc). I find the recommended ages really depend on your reader – some kids are earlier than others, some are later. Either way, whenever you stumble upon them…we hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Please share your favorites in our Comments Section!!!

Reading Tip

Despite being an Amazon Prime member for years, I found out last week I’ve been missing out on a key feature of the Prime Membership. I hope you can benefit from this tip as well! Amazon Prime Reading

  • Enjoy more than a thousand (yes, more than a thousand) novels, magazines, children’s books, and more – FREE on any device – with Prime reading.
  • Choose one of Amazon’s six Kindle First books to download for free each month BEFORE they’re released to the public at full price.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Amazon Prime Reading

Our Favorite Books

(Books for kids age 3 – tween, sorted by age)

Note: Regarding the chapter books for kids 7+, it very much depends on the reader
at this level, and also on parents’ preferences for confronting certain subject matter

Cheery persistence wears down a curmudgeonly bear in a wry comedy of manners that ends in a most unlikely friendship. Bear is quite sure he doesn’t like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But when Bear goes to the cupboard to get a bowl, there is the mouse — small and gray and bright-eyed. In this slapstick tale that begs to be read aloud, all Bear wants is to eat his breakfast in peace, but the mouse just won’t go away! (Ages 3 – 6)
Gerald the tall giraffe would love to join in with the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can’t dance…or can they? A funny, touching and triumphant picture book story about a giraffe who finds his own tune and confidence too. There’s also a simple moral about tolerance and daring to be different. (Ages 3 – 6)

Julia Donaldson is one of our all-time favorite kids authors. We’re recommending this one but honestly, anything you can find of hers you will love!

When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend? (Ages 3 – 6)

The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon? (Another one by Julia Donaldson – I couldn’t help myself.) (Ages 3 – 6)
When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works in this classic Caldecott Honor book from Tomie dePaola. Strega Nona—”Grandma Witch”—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, Big Anthony recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results. (Ages 3 – 6)
Ernest, a bear, and Celestine, a mouse, live together and go on heartwarming adventures. This is one in a series (that is originally French), that is an older book but so memorable. My kids still talk about it and recently we watched the movie, that was wonderfully done. (Ages 5 – 8)
This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just getting started. (Ages 5 – 8)
A #1 New York Times bestseller, this innovative and wildly funny read-aloud by award-winning humorist/actor B.J. Novak will turn any reader into a comedian. You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . .BLORK. Or BLUURF. (Ages 5 – 8)
A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend… Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine. (Ages 5 – 8)
A classic tale by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo, America’s beloved storyteller Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . An extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle – that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again. (Ages 8+)
The New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series – A war has been raging between the dragon tribes of Pyrrhia for years. According to a prophecy, five dragonets will end the bloodshed and choose a new queen. But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Starflight, and Sunny discover the truth about their unusual, secret upbringing, they might choose freedom over fate — and find a way to save their world in their own way. (Ages 8+)
I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. (Ages 8+)
Raina Telgemeier’s #1 New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award-winning graphic memoir based on her childhood! Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. (Ages 8+)
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow. (Ages 10+)
As twelve-year-old Marlee starts middle school in 1958 Little Rock, it feels like her whole world is falling apart. Until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is everything Marlee wishes she could be: she’s brave, brash and always knows the right thing to say. But when Liz leaves school without even a good-bye, the rumor is that Liz was caught passing for white. Marlee decides that doesn’t matter. She just wants her friend back. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are even willing to take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families. (Ages 10+)
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Author: Holly

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