Summer Reading Guide for Kids!

It’s that time of year again, when I share with you my kids’ summer reading list! If you’re new-ish around here, here’s a ten peso backstory…

We’re huge book lovers in our family, and I believe the summer is a fantastic time to read a ton of books. It keeps away the boredom, it’s travel without the cost of a plane ticket, it’s good for our brains, and it’s fun.

Read-alouds are also great for family bonding and culture-creating, so we do a lot of this, too. This past year, we also started Family Reading Nights—after everyone’s ready for bed, we silently each read our own book for 20 minutes or so, next to each other in the living room. It’s become something we all look forward to. (And it’s super nerdy, no?)

Our older two kids go to a school that requires a certain amount of “deep book” reading in their curricula — they choose a book from a comprehensive list, read it, then submit a book critique. I love this about their school, because I know they’re reading quality all year long—these books are well-curated and challenging.

Which means, except for a few, I like to keep their summer reading guides a little on the lighter side — not fluff, just lighter. I mean, don’t we all like to read fun books in the summer? No reason to expect anything different for our kids.

In the past, I’d tempt the kids with a reward for finishing their lists, but I’ve come to learn the older two don’t need this. They love to read. That’s the reward already — this list simply helps them with decision fatigue and overwhelm at the library. (And yes, of course, they’re completely free to stray from this list.)

My youngest, age 8, is my reluctant reader of the bunch. He loves being read to, and has listened to an untold number of audiobooks (he actually listened to the entire Harry Potter series this past year — he’s also not easily scared). But eyes-on-the-page reading has been a slower process for him.

I’m not worried in the least; he’s only newly 8, after all. And he loves books overall. So his summer reading list — his first — is curated with the end game of potentially finding a love of reading with low, low pressure. And so, if he finishes his list, we’ll reward him with something fun.

You can find all three lists here, free:

Happy reading!


My popular Summer of Stories reading guide is back! If you’ve got a budding writer — or even a reluctant one — this might fit the bill for your summer plans. Head here to check it out.

p.s. Here’s Tate and Reed’s combined list from last year.

p.p.s. Here’s two more great resources for creating a culture of reading: one for becoming a read-aloud family, and one for exploring the world through books.


Reading Time:

2 minutes




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  1. Laura

    That’s great! We did bedtime read-alouds until the youngest was 10 and the oldest was 12. Both declared they were done at that point and read on their own at bedtime.

    I also posted a tween reading list last year that I should probably update (take a peek if you want!). My oldest (son) is a reluctant reader and does most of his via Bookshare audiobooks whereas my daughter reads a lot. It’s been interesting to see how their tastes progress!

  2. Barbara Garmon

    Reading tips suggested here are very good for children.Children of today’s generation do not possess the habit of reading. Even their textbooks are available as e-books. All these are completely keeping them away from books. If parents sincerely try to develop a habit of reading in their children, they can succeed definitely. Audio books will be greatly helpful to the beginners. Slowly they can switch to actual books. In this way we develop the habit of reading.

  3. Tyra

    Have you ever gotten Finn’s eyes tested? It might be worth checking that there’s not an easily fixed reason for why he doesn’t like reading in the more traditional sense when he enjoys books/stories overall!

  4. Kain Keeton

    Hi Tsh,
    I agree summer is the best time for reading books. I was looking for some books that I can buy for my kids for this summer. Thanks for the list. Now I know which book is best for my kid.

  5. Wisata Jogja

    during the summer my son always buys a number of books to fill his time

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