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Memorial Day has passed, meaning summer is here!
Each year at this time, I feel so excited! I love the warm weather and summer weather activities (hiking, biking, swimming, water balloons, etc). Summer brings the change in routines and the chance to slow things down or even get out of town on vacation that I absolutely crave by this time of year. This year we are traveling to Yellowstone, which happens to be my current favorite national park – I am literally counting down the days!
While summer provides a break and a chance to recharge, a drawback of summer for kids is the lack of structure that can exist. In the interest of relaxation or “taking a break”, other things can fall by the wayside: chores, sports, and anything academic.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for a break! For example, we take each summer off from sports. We do that because our kids play a sport of some kind the rest of the year with hardly any break. We need the summer to recharge and explore other activities: swimming, hiking, biking, camping, and anything else that we just don't have time to do during the busy school year.
That being said, I don't believe in taking a break from learning and reading during the summer.
Every summer, we do what we call “summer learning”: workbooks, reading, and various other forms of learning. An example of this is my boys learning to play chess – something that is fun or interesting but still works our brains. Our school year ended a little early, so we have already begun our summer workbooks. Up next on my “to do list” is our summer reading list…
In previous years, I decided to just “wing it” (the reality is that feels like most of my life!). However, this year I wanted to try a different strategy…a little strategy called “having a plan”. 🙂 Whether we actually follow it or not is a completely different story. And only time will tell, because I totally realize how “life” can get in the way of plans!
Last month we shared a list of books for grades K-2 full of “must-reads” for my kids (and for yours)! If you didn't catch that post, check that out here.
These lists are based on teacher recommendations, thousands of book reviews, and our own personal favorites that we read time and again.
Here they are:
- Foxcraft: The Taken by Inbali Iserles – perfect for kids who love fantasy adventure stories
- The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling – perfect for kids who love classic stories
- I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis – perfect for kids who like historical fiction
- Tales of Magic series: Half Magic by Edward Eager – perfect for kids who love fantasy stories
- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo- perfect for kids who like making friends
- Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald – perfect for kids who love humor stories
- Humphrey the Lost Whale: A True Story by Wendy Tokuda and Richard Hall – perfect for kids who like nonfiction and animals
- Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan – perfect for kids who like realism
- Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King by Kathleen Krull – perfect for kids who like to read about real people
- The BFG by Roald Dahl (or any book by Roald Dahl!) – perfect for kids who love fantasy stories
- Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan – perfect for kids who love fantasy adventure stories
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – perfect for kids who love fantasy adventure stories
- Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds by Paula Yoo – perfect for kids who like stories about real people
- How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls – perfect for kids who love classic stories
- Rain Reign by Ann M Martin – perfect for kids who love fiction
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and Richard Howard – perfect for kids who like classic stories
- Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen – perfect for kids who love adventure stories
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle – perfect for kids who love classic fantasy stories
- Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks – perfect for kids who love classic stories
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell – perfect for kids who enjoy historical fiction
- The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice Series) by John Flanagan – perfect for kids who love fantasy adventure stories
- Wonder by A.J. Palacio – perfect for kids who love realism
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen – perfect for kids who love adventure stories
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson – perfect for kids who love classic stories
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – perfect for kids who love historical fiction
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – perfect for kids who love classic stories
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George – perfect for kids who love adventure stories
- The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester – perfect for kids who love fantasy stories
- The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere, Vol. 1) by Jacqueline West – perfect for kids who love fantasy stories
Give it a try
Ultimately, whether your family is traveling or just hanging out at home, plan some time to go visit your library or local bookstore and try these books! I know your kids (and you) will be glad you read them!
Tell us in the comments…what has been your child's favorite book to read (even if it's not on this list!)