What is it about summer?
Something-it almost feels tangible-compels me to immerse myself and my kids in books, book, BOOKS!
With year-round homeschooling, our summer is as busy (if not busier) than any other season of the year… and yet I conjure up these irrational visions of my children lounging around the living room on hot summer days, sipping on cold smoothies and indulging in good books!
Well, our life doesn’t look quite like that.
Okay, not even in the least bit like that.
But I get ridiculously excited about piles of books on the table, my summer reading list for kids, and the annual reading club at our local library.
If you’re looking for wholesome, fun, and just plain wonderful reading material for your kids, here’s my “ultimate” summer reading list.
I compiled a list similar to this last year (80+ books to read to your kids this summer), and this year I added quite a few new favorites.
These are titles you could pull off our personal book shelves, or find in my Amazon shopping cart!
just for fun
- The Bee Tree, by Patricia Polacco
- The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Don and Audrey Wood
- Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney (We also love the the read-along CD. Beautifully narrated with whimsical music.)
- Toby’s New Brother, by Cyndy Szekeres (The sweetest book for a little one who’s adjusting to the birth of a new sibling!)
- How to Make Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman
- How to Make Cherry Pie and See the USA, by Marjorie Priceman
- Imogene’s Antlers, by David Small
- Ira Sleeps Over, by Bernard Waber
- Moonbear’s Shadow, by Frank Asch
- Katy No-Pocket, by Emmy Payne
- The Very Hungry Bear, by Joan Nodset Lexau
- Little Bear, by Else Holmelund Minarik
- We’re Going on a Book Hunt, by Pat Miller
- Happy Birthday, Moon, by Frank Asch
- Stone Soup, by Marcia Brown
- Love You Forever, by Sheila McGraw (a personal favorite)
- Cowboy Small, by Lois Lenski (my little boys love this simple board book)
- Fritz and the Beautiful Horses, by Jan Brett (both my girls and boys enjoy this beautiful book)
- I Spy on the Farm, by Richard Powell (this is a great book for my preschooler and early reader)
- “Henry” books by Robert Quackenbush (these were my childhood favorites!)
character & faith
- The Princess and the Kiss, (a sweet story of purity by Jennie Bishop. A suitable story for all ages, beautifully illustrated. I wrote a review here, if you want to read it.)
- The Squire and the Scroll, also by Jenni Bishop. (A tale of purity and the importance of God’s Word, written especially for boys. Very engaging!)
- The Princess and the Three Knights, by Karen Kingsbury
- The Brave Young Knight, by Karen Kingsbury
- I’d Be Your Hero, by Kathryn O’Brien
- His Mighty Warrior, by Sheri Rose Shepherd (a great devotion book to read with boys)
- His Little Princess, by Sheri Rose Spepherd
- Sara Sue Learns to Yell and Tell, by Debi Pearl.
- Samuel Leans to Yell and Tell, by Debi Pearl (I highly recommend the Yell and Tell books)
- A Little Girl After God’s Own Heart, and
- A Little Boy After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George. (I love these books! Both titles explore the nine Fruit of the Spirit in child-friendly terms, and with beautiful illustrations. My “little” kids are ages almost eight, six, and three, and they thoroughly enjoy these books.)
- Just in Case You Ever Wonder, by Max Lucado
- “Trusty” books by Mark Hamby: (our little boy loves these books!)
- You are Special, by Max Lucado (one of our family favorites)
- You are Mine, by Max Lucado
- My Big Book of 5-Minute Devotions, by Pamela Kennedy
- The Beggar’s Blessing, also by Mark Hamby
history & educational
- Henry’s Freedom Box, by Ellen Levine (one of my favorite stories about the Underground Railroad)
- Goin‘ Someplace Special, by Patricia C McKissack (a great book for Juneteenth)
- Looking at Lincoln, by Maira Kalman (contains a lot of interesting facts about Lincoln)
- A Picture Book of George Washington, by David A. Alden (beautiful pictures and interesting facts
- A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln, by David A. Alden (definitely a favorite)
- The Voyage of Ludgate Hill, by Nancy Willard (a humorous rhyming story about Robert Louise Stevenson)
- What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?, by John Morris and Ken Ham
- The Storm Book, by Charlotte Zolotow
- Red, White, and Blue, by John Herman (the story of the American flag)
- The 4th of July Story, by Alice Dalgiesh (great for Independence Day!)
- Amost Home, by Wendy J. Lawton (Daughters of the Faith series)
- Saint George and the Dragon, by Margaret Hodges (my 9-year old son’s favorite!)
- The Making of a Knight, by Patrick O’brien
- “My First Little House” books, based on the stories by Laura Ingles Wilder (these are wonderful for younger children)
Chapter Read Alouds
These books are great for reading during family devotions, or for older kids to read on their own.
- Pilipinto’s Happiness (the Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot), by Valerie Shepherd
- The Green Ember series, by D.S. Smith
- Christian Heroes: Then & Now, by Janet & Geoff Benge (a comprehensive series of missionary biographies… excellent books!)
- The Sugar Creek Gang series by Paul Hutchens
- Grandma’s Attic series, written by Arleta Richards. (easy-to-read stories)
- Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingles Wilder (my ten-year old daughter loves these books!)
- The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Door in the Wall, by Margeurite Angeli (an adventurous Medieval tale!)
- The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dalgliesh
- Sarah Whitcher’s Story, by Elizabeth Yates
- Kingdom Tales, by David and Karen Main
- The Calico Captive, by Elizabeth George Speare
- The Witch of Black Bird Pond, by Elizabeth George Spear (a personal favorite!)
- The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Spear
- The Tanglewood’s Secret, by Patricia St John
- Treasures of the Snow, by Patricia St John (a family favorite)