As summer rolls around, panic enters the minds and hearts of many moms out there! How will I keep them entertained? How will I keep them off of their screens? How can we make memories together this summer?
Creating magical summers for your kids might seem impossible, but as Dr. Suess once said, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax all you need is a book!” When we think of summer, reading might not be at the top of our bucket list, but reading together with our kids can create some magic. It opens up topics of conversation, allows us to explore new places without having to leave our living rooms, and creates a bond by simply engaging in an activity together.
So dive into this list and see if you can find something that inspires you to create a reading habit in your home this season!
Tips and Tricks:
Before we dive into the list of books we have compiled here, we want to set the stage for your Summer Reading Plan with some tips:
- While we highly recommend the books on this list, involving your kids in choosing books to read together is fun! So use these as a starting point, then head to the library or bookstore and explore together.
- Just because your children have reached an age where they no longer need you to read to them doesn’t mean your summer reading together has to end. Start a family book club this summer and have weekly goals and discussions about a book you choose to read together.
- Books come in all shapes and sizes and don’t have to be full of only words! Maybe you have a child that would benefit from a book that offers activities, or perhaps a graphic novel or comic book is more their style! Let them know you are interested in what they are!
Books to read with your Itty Bittys:
Where The Ocean Meets The Sand by Beth Costanzo
It’s always fun to read a book with a summer theme: the beach! This brightly illustrated book and the delightful rhyming text is a great one to cuddle up with for afternoon story time.
The Little Blue Truck Series by Alice Schertle
Choosing a book series to read with your little ones is a great way to keep them engaged and help them fall in love with book characters. We love the Little Blue Truck series as it is full of sweet characters and themes of friendship and kindness. Some other favorite picture book series is the Food Group series by Jory John, the Tiny T. Rex Series by Jonathan Stutzman, and the Mr. Mcgee series by Chris Van Dusen.
The World Needs Who You Were Made To Be by Joanna Gaines
If your sweet child needs encouragement or a confidence boost this Summer, try picking up this lovely picture book that focuses on embracing our differences and finding our strengths.
Books for Elementary Ages:
Bushel and Peck’s books have taken this classic written by Kenneth Grahame and broken it down into 20-minute chunks. They have done this with several classics, including Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, and Alice and Wonderland. Choose your adventure and use the discussion questions and definitions in the margins to help guide your time together!
The Magic Treehouse boxed series by Mary Pope Osborne
Introduce your early reader to chapter books with this fun series. Full of magic and mystery, you are both going to fall in love with the adventures of this brother/sister duo.
Dog Man: A Graphic Novel by Dav Pilkey
If you need help to get your little person engaged in reading, try a graphic novel! This particular one is full of silliness and fun as it follows a hero who is half dog and half man.
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
If you are looking for a classic to dive into together, look no further than this hilarious kindergartener who gets herself into all sorts of wacky predicaments.
Books for Middle School Readers:
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This book may not be new, but its message will last forever. All about August Pullman, a child born with a facial difference, and his journey as he enters school for the first time. It will open discussions about kindness and how to treat others and will be one that you will both enjoy immensely.
The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
One of three books, this book is full of adventure, magic, and mystery. When four friends discover a candy shop whose treats give them magical powers, they enter a crazy treasure hunt trying to stop it from falling into the wrong hands.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
You and your tween will get lost in the story of Crow, an orphan who wants to know where she came from.
Odder by Katherine Applegate
Have an animal lover at home? Explore this story about a curious and loveable otter. This story is based on the real-life program the Monterrey Bay Aquarium holds in which they pair orphaned otters with surrogate mothers…. awwwww!
Books for High Schoolers:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This one has been around for a while, BUT it is the perfect book to read with your teenager. It opens up many discussions, offers adventure, and is a must-read for all.
The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
This YA novel dives into the life of a deaf teen who goes to a hearing high school for the first time. This book has received praise for pulling back the curtain on what it is like for teens in the deaf community. This would be an eye-opening book to read together this Summer.
Trust the Grind by Jeremy Bhandari
Have an athlete in your house who only cares about one thing? Sports? Pick up this non-fiction read that dives into 11 different sports and interviews top athletes. Maybe Dad will want to get in on this one too!
Why Do We Say That? by Scott Matthews
For your teen with all the questions… dive into this fun and lighthearted book that delves into the backstories of the sayings we use all the time (ex. “raining cats and dogs”).
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
This fun YA book is part of a series that follows four mysterious brothers and a young girl who is thrown into a game set up by their late grandfather. Pick this one up if your teen loves a good mystery.
Books with Activities:
Catch a Crayfish, Count the Stars by Stephen Rinella
Do you have a little one at home who is constantly seeking adventure? Pick up this book and dig in with your little explorer! Perfect for pulling out on one of those endless Summer afternoons and finding your next outdoor project!
Draw with Mom by Bushel and Peck Books
This fantastic book offers pages of prompts for moms and kids to draw together. Create memories and artwork together this Summer! They also offer versions of this book for dads and grandparents!
If your children are as obsessed with this little blue dog as mine are, this is the perfect pick-up for the summer. It includes all the silly games you see on the TV show (keep yuppy) and other fun activities that only Bluey and her family could come up with!
We hope this list kickstarts summer reading in your home this year! Leave your favorite books to read with your kids in the comments!
Love to read? Check out these other reading posts from Atlanta Mom.