What my Kids are Reading this Summer

stack-of-booksSo we like books at my house. Getting my kids to read is a little like getting me to eat a Baby Ruth candy bar. Which is to say, not even a little bit hard. I love this about them. I might scold them on the outside when I find them still awake at 10:45 reading a book, but I’m cheering on the inside. Because me? I totally did that too. And sometimes, you really do have to read just one more chapter.

In an effort to capitalize on my children’s love for reading, and because it’s summer time and I don’t want their brains to turn to mush, I’ve compiled a summer reading list for each of my older children. Of course, I consulted with Facebook, Google, and Amazon in making my selections. The goal was to pick books that will entertain, while also broadening perspectives and offering general enlightenment. The titles in bold are required reading while the rest are simply suggestions based on the tastes and preferences of each kid.

For Jordan

  • Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
  • Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
  • Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak 
  • The False Prince, by Jennifer Nielson
  • The Death Cure, by James Dashner (book three in The Maze Runner trilogy. He’s read the first two and loved them both.)
  • Code: A Virals Novel (#3), by Kathy Reichs (another series book… he read the first too Viral books and loved them.)
  • Seeds of Rebellion, The Beyonders Book 2, by Brandon Mull
  • Chasing the Prophecy, The Beyonders Book 3, by Brandon Mull
  • The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, by Trenton Lee Stewart (this is a prequel to the Mysterious Benedict Society books, so it MUST be good. These are great books for smart kids that think a little differently.)
  • Feedback, by Robison Wells (sequel to Variant, which was a big hit with Jordan)
  • The Hunter: Brotherband Chronicles, Book 3, by John Flannagan

For Sam

  • The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker, by Cynthia DeFelice
  • The Coastwatcher, by Elise Weston
  • The Watsons go to Birmingham, by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
  • The Cabinet of Wonders, Kronos Chronicles Book 1, by Marie Rutkoski
  • New Lands: Chronicles of Egg, Book 2, by Geoff Rodkey
  • Dealing with Dragons: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book 1, by Patricia C. Wrede
  • Sky Jumpers, by Peggy Eddleman

For Lucy

  • Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry
  • The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
  • The Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale
  • The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Midwife’s Apprentice, by Karen Cushman
  • Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia, by Barbara O’Conner
  • Out of my Mind, by Sharon Draper
  • Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine

Would you like to see the rest of the books on our list? Call this the overflow list… the books-I-really-want-my-kids-to-read-but-the-summer-is-only-so-long list.

  • Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
  • The Silverwing Series, by Kenneth Oppel
  • A Whole Nother Story, by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
  • Savvy, by Ingrid Law
  • When you Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead
  • Liar and Spy, by Rebecca Stead
  • Wednesday Wars, by Gary Schmidt
  • Okay for Now, by Gary Schmidt
  • Cosmic, by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • Brandon Sanderson’s Alcatraz series
  • Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series
  • Chomp, Flush, Hoot and Stargirl (four different novels) all by Carl Hiaasen
  • Bud, not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare (I’ve already made my kids read this one, but I couldn’t not put it on the list because now maybe you’ll read it too. It’s a good one.)
  • Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly
  • Camille McPhee fell Under the Bus, by Kristen Tracy
  • Franny Parker, by Hannah Roberts McKinnon
  • The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall
  • What the Dog Said, by Randi Reisfeld

Some list, huh? I’m excited to work through many of these titles with my kids. Save one or two of the books on Jordan’s list, these are all Juvenile/Middle Grade fiction, probably around a 4th to 6th grade reading level. If they are on the list, they were recommended by teachers, friends, or fellow parents, so while I haven’t read them all, I feel pretty comfortable in saying they probably all have something worthy to contribute to the literary world.

This summer? I dare my children to tell me they don’t have anything to read…

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4 thoughts on “What my Kids are Reading this Summer

    • jennyproctor says:

      Braden! Penumbras should totally be on this list. I’m sure my boys will want to read the sequel, knowing how much they enjoyed The Kindling… so yes. It’s officially added. 🙂

  1. Bianca Swift (@SwiftyBianca) says:

    It’s so wonderful to have a family that LOVES to read 🙂 I am also very blessed to have grown up in a family full of readers and to now have one of my own. I always find that the best option for summer reading is to read them together with my daughter, either literally, or separately. The point is to discuss the books together. It’s great for connecting with your child and teaching them. I think you can never be too ambitious when it comes to reading over the summer and I try to promote the same type of attitude in my household with my pre-teen! We have both read and re-read “The Beat on Ruby’s Street” by
    author Jenna Zark (http://www.jennazark.com). It is a very unique book in that it takes places in 1958 Greenwich Village *NYC* and follows a young girl, Ruby, growing up with the “Beat Generation.” I can’t say I have ever read a book about the “beatnick” culture or lifestyle before and this book really brings it to life in a fascinating and entertaining way! Ruby’s unconventional upbringing creates obstacles in her young life; a well-meaning social worker, accusations of theft, and time in a children’s home. Ruby proves to be an old soul and her narration is honest and heartfelt. Hope you will give it a read!

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