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Summer Reading List For a 7-Year-Old

In the summer, we aim for a subtle blend of structure and free-range, allowing plenty of time for the kids to wander and wonder and be, framed within a widely-fenced yard. Those pickets are what keep us from feeling a sense of chaos in the midst of the in-between time of school years.

And of course, my favorite pickets are books. Specifically, set daily reading time, accompanied by a book list catered to our family’s schedule, reading levels, and interests. This list is for my middle guy, Reed—at age 7, reads just a wee bit beyond his age but still enjoys typical stuff for boys his age, like animals, magic, robots, and adventure.

At the end of the post, you’ll find a free downloadable lists, if that sort of thing strikes your fancy—feel free to download, print, and share.

(Here’s the list for our 10-year-old daughter.)

7-year-old, slightly advanced reading level

His recent favorites are Magic Treehouse, Flat Stanley, and Flora and Ulysses.

henry hugginsHenry Huggins

• author: Beverly Cleary
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • IndieBound

“Just as Henry Huggins is complaining that nothing exciting ever happens, a friendly dog sits down beside him and looks pleadingly at his ice-cream cone. From that moment on, the two are inseparable.”


the mouse and the motorcycleThe Mouse and the Motorcyle (any in the series)

• author: Beverly Cleary
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come a lot of obstacles.”



• author: Andrew Clements
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“Nick really just likes to liven things up at school — and he’s always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he’s got the inspiration for his best plan ever…the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen?”


trainyourdragonHow to Train Your Dragon

• author: Cressida Cowell
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“Chronicles of the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.”


mrfoxFantastic Mr. Fox

• author: Roald Dahl
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“Someone’s been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and they know the identity of the thief. Working alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded.”


despereauxThe Tale of Despereaux

• author: Kate DiCamillo
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“Despereaux Tilling is a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro and Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl. These three characters embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon,up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives.”


halfmagicHalf Magic (any in the series)

• author: Edgar Eager
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“Jane finds a coin, and because she and her siblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen. And something does: Her wish is granted. Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true.”


zooedgeofworldThe Zoo at the Edge of the World

• author: Eric Kahn Gale
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“Marlin is not slow, or mute; what he is is a stutterer, and that makes it impossible for him to convince people otherwise. What he is also is a Rackham: the younger son of the world-famous explorer Ronan Rackham, the owner and proprietor of the Zoo at the Edge of the World.”


blissBliss (any in the series)

• author: Kathryn Littlewood
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Singing Gingersnaps. Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke locked away while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up.”


dragonslayerDragon Slayers Academy (any in the series)

• author: Kate McMullan
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“When a traveling minstrel foretells that he is to become a hero, Wiglaf sets out to fulfill his destiny: he signs up at the Dragon Slayers’ Academy. But how can he ever hope to be a dragon slayer when he can’t even stand the sight of blood?”


harrypotterHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

• author: J.K. Rowling
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

Reed’s begged to read this all year, so we’re finally letting him (and at the time of this post, he’s only got four chapters left). But I’m in no hurry for him to move forward in this series—I may let him reading the second one this year, but he’ll pause on the rest for awhile. “Harry, an orphan, lives with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. One day just before his eleventh birthday, an owl tries to deliver a mysterious letter, the first of a sequence of events.”


sidewaystoriesSideways Stories from Wayside School

• author: Louis Sachar
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“There was a terrible mistake—Wayside School was built with one classroom on top of another, thirty stories high! (The builder said he was sorry.) Maybe that’s why all kinds of funny things happened at Wayside-especially on the thirteenth floor.”


encyclopediabrownEncyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (any in the series)

• author: Donald Sobol
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“With a knack for trivia, Encyclopedia solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his detective agency. But his dad is also the chief of police, and every night, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes.”


boxcar childrenThe Boxcar Children (any in the series)

• author: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.”


charlotteswebCharlotte’s Web

• author: E.B. White
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

“Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.”


Reed’s goal is to read six books on his list—if he does it, we’ll reward him with something fun—most likely a family or one-on-one event.

Again—here’s our 10-year-old’s list this summer, and here’s her summer reading list from last year, when she was nine.

What’s on your kids’ summer reading list this year?

A solid summer reading list for 7-9 year-olds: 15 chapter books for the eager reader in your life.

Here’s the free PDF download of the summer reading checklist!

(Affiliate links are used in this post, which means at no extra cost to you, ordering things after clicking on them means you’ll help financially support this site. Thanks!)

Reading Time:

5 minutes





  1. Helen Washington


    You posted a wonderful summer book list last year.
    I happened to share it via email with a half dozen of my then 4th grader’s friends moms.
    They all loved it which made me make the offer to host a boys book club as I had done
    previous with his older sisters.
    Anyway, this past Sunday we had a pancake breakfast and chatted about the current book.
    It has been the most fun to see the boys improve in their ability to discuss books and develop
    their tastes. We read 7 books this past year. Not sure what the future holds with the boys
    entering different middle schools with different demands. We might just have the boys meet
    monthly and share the books they are reading.
    Anyway, seeing your post caused me to remember how the 5th grade boys book club began.
    We never could decide on a name for the club…well, one that didn’t have 5th grade humor if you
    know what I mean…sigh 🙂

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      I know what you mean. 😉 Sounds fun!

  2. Courtney

    What a wonderful list with many favorites and some new ones for me to explore with my boys! Right now my 6 (advanced reader) and 8 year old boys are obsessed with 13 story treehouse. My 6 year old book worm takes it outside and will sit under a tree for hours with it (and 26 and 39 story treehouse). We are eagerly awaiting the US release of the fourth book!

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Cool! I’ll add those to our queue.

  3. Desiree Fawn

    Oh gosh, my second grade teacher read us Wayside Stories and I STILL remember them. They are hysterical!!

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Right? I have fond memories of reading it as well….

  4. Caroline Starr Rose

    So many goodies here, including Charlotte’s Web, which those who work in children’s literature have pretty much decided is the most perfect book of all time.

    Also, Frindle made me cry. Yes, the pen book.

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      It pretty much is a perfect book. By the way, Tate loved May B.! She flew through it and loved every minute. 🙂

  5. Rheagan

    Loads of good choices here! How long is your son’s reading time? How do you structure it? All at once, or broken up into chunks of time throughout the day? Our summer break doesn’t start until July, but I’m already planning to build in some reading time into our days. Thanks in advance! (Oh, and still a wee bit disappointed that you didn’t make it to Ireland on your trip!) 🙂

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Trust us, we’re disappointed, too! It’s one of my favorite countries, and I’d love to show the kids one day. I’m sure we’ll get there eventually, knowing us! 🙂 And he reads in fits and spurts, being Distracto Boy—two hours one day, followed by five minutes the next. It all kinda evens out in the end, which is fine with me in the summer.

  6. Maggie

    Ralph the motorcycle mouse (fist bump!)

  7. Kamille Scellick

    Oh this is perfect Tsh! It’s a perfect middle ground for my 6 & 8 year old. I am intrigued by the Bliss one

  8. Nicole

    Bliss sounds super fun! Thanks for a great list. Lots that would appeal to Gigi and lots that take me back to my childhood. 😉

  9. Linda Sand

    One of my favorite books as a kid was The Borrowers. I always loved anything miniature so the idea of their household furnishings being things they borrowed from “human beans” was great fun. I built many a tiny home using some of those ideas plus more of my own.

  10. Kristy

    I love your reading lists. Thank you for sharing! We picked “Bliss” up at the library today and I have to say, I wasn’t expecting it to be 375 pages!

  11. Alissa

    Love this list! I printed it for my 7-year old voracious reader and challenged him to read 7 NEW books from this list this summer. I was also so pleasantly surprised to learn that his second grade class read 4 of the books during this school year. Yea for teachers choosing quality books!

    A recommendation for your list: 13 Story Treehouse (and the follow-ups of 26 and 39 Story Treehouse) Wacky fun stories at just the right reading level.

    • Mel

      Just any Treehouse! We have up to 78 here in Oz, with 91 being released August 2016. Also Weir Do series (by Anh Do), Zac Power Spy Recruit series, any others by Andy Griffith, The Bad Guys (only 2 here).

  12. Christina Hubbard

    Love these books! I have a 6 year old boy and a 10 year old girl. We will be heading to the library soon! Thanks!

  13. Intentionally Katie

    THANK YOU for this list! This and the girls list are just what I needed for my kids who hate(d) to read this summer. I let them each pick 4 books from the list to reserve from the library and they’ve plowed through them, begging for more. Thanks again for the list with the descriptions!

  14. Clementine Isabella Sophie Florence Cecelia Marie Grace Emily Charlotte Smythe-Worthington

    My daughter has
    -Pride and Prejudice
    -The Hobbit
    -The Lord of The Rings as a trilogy
    -Of Mice and Men
    -The Da Vinci Series
    -Jane Eyre

    and many more that I do not know of.

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