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With summer comes relaxation, vacation, camps, boredom, and lack of recall of everything our kids learned in school this year. Our family emphasizes summer homework to keep our kids’ minds from turning to a bowl of mush. Summer reading lists are a big help in finding age-appropriate books to keep your kids reading all summer long.
Why Read in the Summer?
“Students who don’t read or read infrequently during their summer vacation see their reading abilities stagnate or decline,” according to the US Department of Education. Don’t let your kids get into the summer slump. When they return to school in the fall, it will be much easier to gain traction if they’ve been keep up with their reading during the summer months.
Summer Reading Lists
In doing some research I found several great resources to help you find age-or grade-level appropriate book titles for your kids this summer.
Summer Reading List for Tweens
This is a very specific list for tweens, but is a good list of books that will engage your young reader and maybe even make them enjoy reading for fun. She’s got a really beautiful, printable PDF for convenience too.
Chapter Books to Read After Diary of a Wimpy Kid
This is my list of books that I compiled from asking my friend’s what my son would enjoy after reading the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. It’s a list of 20 books for ages 8-12.
Barnes & Noble Summer Reading
This site breaks its list up by age range, but also offers a free book for children who read 8 book and keep a journal of what they read. Can’t beat that.
A Diverse Summer Reading List for Kids
This list starts with, “In children’s books, it can be easier to find talking pandas than characters of color. Only six percent of children’s book published in 2012 featured diverse characters.” The list contains 25 books.
Association of Library services to Children
Includes PDFs broken down by grade level.
Scholastic’s Summer Reading Lists
The site offers a summer reading challenge to schools who read the most, striving to set a new world record. It also has summer reading lists for each age range.
A collection of summer reading lists from all over.
And, be sure to check our local school and library to see if they publish a list.
Ways to Keep Your Kids Reading in the Summer
These are from the US Department of Education:
- Encourage your children to read books they enjoy for at least 30 minutes per day. Your child will likely be more engrossed in material they choose themselves than material that is forced on them.
- Provide incentives for reluctant readers. For example, if your child enjoys basketball, agree to take them to the local court if they do their “daily reading.”
- Make reading a social act. Establish a time during the day when all members of the family gather and read on their own, or take turns reading the same book aloud.
- Connect your reading to family outings. If you take your kids to an aquarium, consider reading a book about fish or the ocean with them later that day. The outing can help place the reading into a broader context.
My own personal experience is to let kids pick their own books. Like, bullet item number 2 above, find books the kids will enjoy, not just books they should read. If they want to read the Wimpy Kid series and are willing to sit and read, then by all means let them read it! I found by letting my children read what they were interested in, they eventually branched out and started reading more books.