Growing up, I couldn’t wait for all the free time I had to be able to dive into whatever books my little heart desired over summer vacation.
I was always on the quest to find all of the best books to read for kids and found myself lost in all kinds of stories throughout the summer months.
While your child may have some assigned summer reading books, these books are guaranteed to get your kids hooked!
Reading over the summer will not only help your kids continue learning over the summer but also help make sure that they are doing something besides watching TV.
Plus take advantage of all of the Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids this year and give them some extra incentives to want to read such as free pizza, movies, books, cash and MORE!
Best Books for Kids to Read Summer Reading List:
- Marc’s Mission: Way of the Warrior Kid
New York Times-bestselling author Jocko Willink delivers a second powerful and empowering Way of the Warrior Kid book about finding your inner strength and being the best you can be, even in the face of adversity in Marc’s Mission.
- Rescue and Jessica
Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog — it’s the family business, after all. When he gets the news that he’s better suited to being a service dog, he’s worried that he’s not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she’d imagined it, too. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And it turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time. An endnote from the authors tells more about the training and extraordinary abilities of service dogs, particularly their real-life best friend and black lab, Rescue.
Shipwrecked on a remote, wild island, Robot Roz learned from the unwelcoming animal inhabitants and adapted to her surroundings–but can she survive the challenges of the civilized world and find her way home to Brightbill and the island?
Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places. So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except for Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”
Narwhal, and Jelly are back and Narwhal has a new obsession . . . peanut butter! He’s so obsessed he even wants to change his name to . . . that’s right . . . Peanut Butter! Ever-sensible Jelly isn’t so sure that’s the best idea but is all for Narwhal trying new things (instead of just eating waffles all the time, no matter how delicious waffles are).
- Sunny (Tracked)
Sunny tries to shine despite his troubled past in this third novel in the critically acclaimed Track series from National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds.Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds, with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics. They all have a lot of losing, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynold’s electrifying middle-grade series.
- Middle School: From Hero to Zero
After a mostly-successful stint at Hills Valley Middle School, Rafe is excited to visit the incredible city of London with his class. Sightseeing around a foreign country sounds like a blast until Rafe finds out his roommate will be none other than Miller the Killer, bully extraordinaire! Then Rafe is forced to work on a class project side by side with his crush Jeanne Galletta and her too-perfect boyfriend, which might be even more torturous than rooming with Miller. And it’s no surprise that Rafe’s bad luck follows him across the pond, putting him in one crazy situation after another–all under the watchful eye of his bad-tempered principal. Out of all of his adventures, this trip could prove to be Rafe’s most embarrassing yet, undoing everything good he has going for him back home!
- The 78-Story Treehouse
Andy and Terry live in a 78-story tree house. (It used to be a 65-story tree house, but they just keep building more levels!) It has a drive-thru car wash, a courtroom with a robot judge called Edward Gavelhead, a scribbletorium, a combining machine, an ALL-BALL sports stadium, a high-security potato chip storage facility, and an open-air movie theatre with a super-giant screen . . . which is a very useful thing to have now that Terry’s going to be a big-shot movie star!
- The Penderwicks at Last
Nine years, five older siblings, a few beloved dogs, and an endless array of adventures–these are the things that have shaped Lydia’s journey since readers first met her in The Penderwicks in Spring. Now it’s summertime, and eleven-year-old Lydia is dancing at the bus stop, waiting for big sister Batty to get home from college. This is a very important dance and a very important wait because the two youngest sisters are about to arrive home to find out that the Penderwicks will all be returning to Arundel this summer, the place where it all began. And better still is the occasion: a good old-fashioned, homemade-by-Penderwicks wedding.
- A Wrinkle in Time
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.”
- The Day the Crayons Quit
Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun.
- How to Babysit a Grandma
When you babysit a grandma, if you’re lucky, you’ll have a sleepover at her house! And with the useful tips found in this book, you’re guaranteed to become an expert grandma-sitter in no time. (Be sure to check out the sections on How to keep a grandma busy; Things to do at the park; Possible places to sleep, and what to do once you’re both tucked in for the night.)
- The Book Thief
When Death has a story to tell, you listen. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
- The Wonderful Things You’ll Be
From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gatefold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids—both young and old.
- Dog Man
George and Harold have created a new hero who digs into deception, claws after crooks, and rolls over robbers. When Greg the police dog and his cop companion are injured on the job, a life-saving surgery changes the course of history, and Dog Man is born. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But can he resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?
- Turtles all the Way Down
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
- Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
- The Way Things Work Now
Explainer-in-Chief David Macaulay updates the worldwide bestseller The New Way Things Work to capture the latest developments in the technology that most impacts our lives. Famously packed with information on the inner workings of everything from windmills to Wi-Fi, this extraordinary and humorous book both guides readers through the fundamental principles of machines, and shows how the developments of the past are building the world of tomorrow. This sweepingly revised edition embraces all of the latest developments, from touchscreens to 3D printer. Each scientific principle is brilliantly explained–with the help of a charming, if rather slow-witted, woolly mammoth.
- After the Fall
Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.
You can find even more great kids’ book suggestions, including some of my all-time faves here.
There is nothing that reminds me of summer vacation like the idea of sitting against a tree on a beautiful summer day getting lost in a new land. When I was a kid book were my way of traveling to far off places and times.
One thing that I suggest when choosing some summer reading books for your kids is to choose books that are easier reading than they are normally used to. There is no reason that they need to read a 500-page novel (unless they want to of course) and summer reading is supposed to be fun….not work!
You might also want to check out the Book Adventure program where your readers can earn fund prizes just for reading!