Must-Read Summertime Book List

Ok, so we are officially in June and the last days of school are upon us! Just because school is out and lazy summer days are ahead of us, it doesn’t mean we stop reading…no way! I want kids to enjoy reading so much that they’ll want to do it instead of picking up an iPad or TV remote. So, I’ve begun collecting a list of books that will be irresistible to them! Below, I’m sharing some of our summer reads (which are primarily graphic novel/chapter books now) as well as some awesome picture books which I know younger readers will love to dive into all summer long!

Let me know down in the comments if you’ve read any of these and if you have recommendations for me to add to the list – I’m always on the look out for new books! I’ll link to purchase them at bookshop.org (a wonderful way to support local booksellers in your area!).

Victoria Jamieson has quickly become a favorite author of ours. When the Stars are Scattered is a wonderfully eye-opening story about the experiences of 2 brothers living in a refugee camp in Kenya. My 10 year old daughter LOVED this book, read it several times, and I appreciate that we had some conversations we never would have had otherwise. Definitely an empathy-builder. Roller Girl is our current nighttime read – and I am loving how our main character is spending her summer dealing with friendship, supposed enemies, and pursuing a goal. It’s also really cool to read a story about roller derby players! All’s Faire in Middle School is on the shelf and ready to be cracked open. The story revolves around a girl who is heading into public school after being homeschooled. She is faced with navigating this new and unusual and sometimes treacherous new environment. I’m looking forward to reading this one! Even though these books feature middle school aged kids my elementary kids are really enjoying them, they are understanding the trials and tribulations the characters face, and the content seems to resonate with them completely, so don’t worry if you think it will be too advanced or over their heads. The graphic novel style storytelling is very inviting to young (and reluctant) readers.

Camp by Kayla Miller is about the struggle to connect with new friends and the fear of stepping outside of your comfort zone. I love seeing characters deal with these issues because they become great conversation starters with my girls afterwards. The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag is a great choice for kids who might feel like they just don’t fit in. All of the Dav Pilkey Dog Man (Mothering Heights is the latest in the series) and Captain Underpants books are great choices for summer reading – I recommend purchasing a few of them for your kids’ bookshelf rather than borrowing from the library because they will most likely be read over and over again all summer long!

Picture books are always in our reading rotation and one of my all-time favorites for the summer is Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis. Check out my read along video here. Some new picture books that I am looking forward to discovering with my kids this summer are: How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk – it’s entertaining and educational. And then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner is a celebration of the sunny season. The Dinosaur Lady by Linda Skeers is an enlightening biographical picture book. The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw will surely inspire summertime hikes and a deeper appreciation of nature. Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq is about a family’s first ever camping trip – a perfect summertime read! Jory John is one author we always love to read and I know Summer Camp Critter Jitters will not disappoint us.

These books should keep us happy all summer long! Let me know which are your old favorites and which you’ll be reading this summer. The best way to avoid the ‘summer slide’ is to keep books available and accesible to your kids. Select titles and styles they love and mix in some new ones for them to discover on their own…and, keep reading aloud to them every single day!

Happy Reading and Happy Summer!

2 thoughts on “Must-Read Summertime Book List

  1. Hi Michele, You charmed away my heart when I worked with you on the Good Night show. You were the perfect host for that show. ( I was the animator making little popups, bugs, and things on screen). I still have pictures of the set from 14 years ago. Just wanted you to know I’ll always be a big fan of yours.
    Last December I published a book for teens about cats. There are so few current books for girls that explore the nature of cats, so I wrote my own fantasy adventure. It’s called Space Cats, about a stray cat who doesn’t want to have friends until she rescues a disabled cat and reluctantly saves Planet Earth when feline invaders kidnap her new friend. It’s illustrated with 70 of my cat paintings.
    You can see the book website at http://www.spacecats.space, Space Cats may not be the book for your young readers, but I would really love to send you a signed copy because your show was a big inspiration to me as an artist.
    if you could email a postal address to my email: spacecats@spacecats.space β€” I would be delighted to send you a book β€” and I can send you pictures from that Hill Studio shoot if you like. I’ll never forget the thrill of walking though that Good Night world painted floor to ceiling. It was something magical I’ll never forget. You must have felt the same way surrounded in that mysterious fantasy world.
    Kindest regards,
    John Conning

  2. Well this blog comment is SO in the past, haha. But for this summer, I would recommend Captain Tortuga and the Treasure of Sand Key. Description: Journey across the seas with the 36-paged story of Captain Tortuga and his trusty friend Polly as they follow a beautiful sea turtle named Lilly the Loggerhead to the Treasure of Sand Key! This book was written by a staff member of Clearwater Marine Aquarium in the hopes of teaching children the importance of taking care of the beach, and turtles, as they might visit one over the summer. CMA is no longer selling the book, so this is not a marketing comment. We are just so passionate about protecting sea turtles that we want to spread the word, and joy. PS: If Miss Michele would like to read this book, I would be glad to procure and send a copy.

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