IN THIS POST: Easily Create a Summer Reading List for Kids from this list of wholesome books for tweens and teens. Also download your free Kids Printable Reading Log and get the Summer Reading Challenge Binder!
Spring is finally here and summer is right around the corner! I do believe this was the longest winter ever! Ugh, so ready for some warmth and sunshine. As we head into Summer break, I like to have a few books lined up for my daughters to read over the summer. I think it is all too important to continue reading daily! Even if we are on break. So a summer reading list helps me get organized and prepared. I like to search around find a few books, make a list.
I have a few places that I search often for the best books and I have a Pinterest Board specifically filled with book lists for kids. Finding quality books for them to read, that they are going to find interesting is sometimes a challenge.
To make sure, I’m covered if anything on the summer reading list flops, I make sure to add at least 3 or 4 substitutions. This is also good to do just incase you can’t find the books you need at the library or bookstore that you have on your child’s summer reading list.
Then, when the break is finally arrives, I head to the library to pick up a few. Easy Peasy Summer Breezy!
Books to Add to Your Child’s Summer Reading List
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
This whole series would make a perfect addition to your child’s summer reading list. In the first book of the series, THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, Henry (age 14), Jessie (12), Violet (10), and Benny (6) are orphaned and running away from a grandfather they have never met but think is cruel. In order to escape being found, they decide to live on their own in a boxcar abandoned in the woods.
Here’s a Penny by Carolyn Haywood
From Carolyn Haywood, author of the beloved Betsy series, here are four more classics for young readers. These adorable stories of childhood adventures are as fresh today as when they were written more than a half century ago. And now, thanks to dynamic new covers, they’re ready to charm a whole new generation of readers.
Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do. . . .
Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants.
Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon.
But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow.
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This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.
In Snow & Rose, bestselling author-illustrator Emily Winfield Martin retells the traditional but little-known fairy tale “Snow White and Rose Red.” The beautiful full-color illustrations throughout and unusual yet relatable characters will bring readers back to this book again and again.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.
Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
In Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson
A young girl delights in her grandmother’s stories of days gone by, sparked by keepsakes and simple questions, Grandma shares marvelous stories of mischief , discovery, and laughter, such as the time she accidentally lost the family buggy.
A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla
Featuring a heroine with faith, courage, and a great deal of grit, this acclaimed historical fiction novel portrays the realities faced by three children hoping to find a new home in an unknown land.
Amanda Freebold doesn’t know what to do. Her father left three years ago for the new colony of Jamestown in America, thousands of miles away. But now that her mother has died, Amanda is left to take care of her younger brother and sister all alone back in England.
As the new head of the family, Amanda finally decides to take her brother and sister to America to find Father. The ocean crossing is long and hard, and the children don’t know whom to trust. But with her father’s little brass lion’s head to guard them, Amanda knows that somehow everything will work out.
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
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Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie’s favorite days. That’s because on Tuesdays the Castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the Castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions.
But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it’s up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle’s never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.
Esperanza thought she’d always live a privileged life on her family’s ranch in Mexico. She’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.
Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Add a little mystery to your child’s summer reading list. Join the world’s greatest detective, Nate the Great, as he solves the mystery of the lost picture! Perfect for beginning readers and the Common Core, this long-running chapter book series will encourage children to problem-solve with Nate, using logical thinking to solve mysteries!
Wonder by R.J Palacio
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.
The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.
Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.
Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
Add this whole series to your child’s summer reading list. This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
The moving story of an orphan, determined to know her own history, who discovers the true meaning of family.
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.
Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.
Vivid and heart-wrenching, Lauren Wolk’s Beyond the Bright Sea is a gorgeously crafted and tensely paced tale that explores questions of identity, belonging, and the true meaning of family.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers, her doctors, her classmates—dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can’t tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
A stirring and heart-warming tale of a young deaf girl who is determined to make a difference, the perfect read for fans of Wonder.Iris was born deaf, but she’s never let that define her; after all, it’s the only life she’s ever known. And until recently she wasn’t even very lonely, because her grandparents are both deaf, too. But Grandpa has just died and Grandma’s not the same without him. The only place Iris really feels at home anymore is in her electronics workshop where she loves taking apart antique radios. Then, during a science lesson about sound waves, Iris finds out about a whale who is unable to communicate with other whales. The lonely whale awakens something in Iris. She’s determined to show him that someone in the world knows he’s there.Iris works on a foolproof plan to help the whale but she soon realises that that is not enough: Iris wants to find the whale herself.One stolen credit card, two cruise ship tickets, and the adventure of a lifetime later, Iris and the whale each break through isolation to help one another be truly heard in ways that neither had ever expected.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.
Other Summer Reading List Links
Best Books By Age & Stage:
Best Books by Multiple Ages:
GET THE SUMMER READING CHALLENGE BINDER
The binder includes several different ways to challenge your kids and encourage reading over the summer. Here is what you will receive in this printable.
- Summer At-A-Glance Calendar
- Undated June, July and August Calendars
- Summer Weekly Schedule Sheet so you can pencil in reading times.
- Hole Punch Bookmark Challenge Bookmarks – Give each child his own bookmark. Cut these out on cardstock and for every book your child reads they get to punch a hole, they also can be used to save the place in their current read. You can give incentive for each book or pick a specific amount of holes before they get a prize. I suggest giving them a GRAND PRIZE for all holes punched.
- Hole Punch Challenge Cards – These cards can be used as an alternative to the Hole Punch Bookmarks.
- Book Tracker – Keep track of all of those books your child read.
- Book List – Create a list of great books for your child to choose from.
- Reading Habit Tracker – It is said that a new habit takes 21 days to be formed. Keep track of the days that your child reads.
- Reading Journal – Your child can reflect on the story in this free-write journal.
- Book Report Youth – If you want to add a little more learning use these fun book report sheets for younger kids.
- Book Report Junior – These are designed for older kids.
- Reading Bingo Challenge – Give each child his own bingo card. Print these out on cardstock paper. If they complete one row this is a “bingo”. For each bingo, they earn a small prize. If they get a “blackout” (whole card) they get a GRAND PRIZE.
- Story drawing – This is where the story comes to life. Have your child draw what happened in the story they read each day.
- Coloring Bookmarks – These coloring bookmarks are another little motivator, especially for kids who love to color.
Click the image below to learn more!
Hopefully you’ve found some great books to add to your summer reading list for your kiddos. What would you add to this list?
PIN IT FOR LATER!!
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Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschooling Mama to 3 girls – 10, 13, & 14 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the homeschooling trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a new found hope and joy within, that He alone can provide. Besides blogging, she also loves hanging out at her exclusive Facebook Group “Homeschooling 101 Community” that she started to help new homeschoolers thrive.