Summer Reading suggestions...What's Your Favorites?

Updated on May 28, 2010
M.B. asks from Sherman, IL
11 answers

So I 'm gearing up for summer with the kids and one of the "field trips" will be to the libarary. I was hoping you could offer up your favorite books that we may not have heard of.
The ages of the kids are:
Boys: 6, 9 & 11
Girls: 11 & 4
Oh, and myself.

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answers from Columbus on

My 9 year old loves the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series and anything having to do with history. My 11 year old boy read two books out of the Fablehaven series and LOVED them. He has started Harry Potter, but only got to book 4 because it got a little too intense for him. However, he really enjoyed Fablehaven.

For you, if you haven't read Harry Potter, they have to be my all-time faves. I also like the Sophie Kensella books. I really liked The Lovely Bones (read it a couple times). I have horses, so I really, really loved Chosen By A Horse. Even if you aren't a horse-lover, I think you'd enjoy it. In my family, my mom, two brothers and sister had all read Devil in the White City and loved it. It didn't really sound like my kind of book, but they talked so highly of it, I decided to try it. Wow. I loved it. It's about the building of the World's Fair in Chicago. It also chronicles the life of a serial killer at the same time. It was awesome!! I had only wished I had read it before we vacationed in Chicago just weeks before. Oh, and since you have girls, I have to strongly recommend Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons. It talks about girl bullying and how it effects their self-esteem. I recommend it to any mom with a girl!
Good luck and happy reading!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Antonio on

For you: Jodi Picoult is a great author. She wrote My Sister's Keeper but I have read so many more of her books. Always a nice read. OH and I just remembered -- the book THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein was SOOOO GREAT. Strange title, but the book is all from the dog's point of view and a great story, emotional, but very good. Garth's other books were not really worth my time.

Kids: as a child, I loved Nancy Drew and Babysitters Club. Right now I can't think of what else for that age, especially books that you haven't heard of. High school - I liked the author Chris Crutcher, but your kids aren't quite there yet. Maybe the book HOOT (later made into a movie). Also Becaue of Winn Dixie (also a movie). Perhaps you can reward them with the movie after they read the book?

I wanted to post to your question more so that I could share these great summer reading rewards that businesses are doing. See below. Borders has started theirs already. Half Price Books starts soon.

Barnes & Noble - for kids in Grades 1 thru 6, you can earn a free bookafter reading 8 and some locations also have a regularly scheduled story time. Starts May 25 and ends September 7.

Borders "Double Dog Dare" - for kids under 12 you earn a free bookafter reading 10 books There are 10 titles to choose from for your free book. Starts May 4 and ends August 26.

Half-Price Books "Feed Your Brain" - Stop by a Half-Price Books and CiCi's Pizza where your kids can make money on reading! Kids under 14 can earn a $3 Half-Price Books gift cardeach week (up to $27 if you participate every week) for every week they read at least 15 minutes a day from June 1 to July 31. Talk about a rewarding reading program!

Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards Calendar- fill the reading chart for 2 weeks and turn it into Chuck E. Cheese for 10 free tokens (with pizza purchase).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

For girls age 4:
The Adventures of Frog and Toad, a classic book with short stories and easy to read words
John, Paul, George, and Ben-a funny tall tale about the presidents when they were children
Clifford the Big Red Dog, series
If you Give A Mouse a Cookie, and all the other "If You Give A..." series
*Anything by Doreen Cronin* such as Giggle Giggle Quack, Pig For President, Diary of a Worm

For age 11:
American Girl Books
BabySitter's Club, series
Nancy Drew Mysteries, series
Where the Sidewalk Ends
A Light in the Attic
Number the Stars
Ramona, series
*Anything by Judy Blume*
such as Because of Winn Dixie
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
The English Roses, series by Madonna
Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls

Boys 6-11/or girls 11:
Goosebumps, series
Are You Afraid of the Dark?, series
The Boxcar Children, series
Hank the Cowdog
Hatchet-I read it in 3rd grade, very good read
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales...(only if you don't mind your older kids saying or reading the word stupid bc I know some parents with values prefer their kids not to use that word, however some parents find the word stupid to be less abbrassive than other choice words. It's completely up to you, just giving you a heads up of what is in the book. Not here to judge, just to offer good or funny stories!)

Also books that are also movies are great because you could reward your child with a movie night after they finish the book! An incentive to read! You may be surprised that children often like what they have read in a book better than what they saw in the movie.
Such as:
Charlottes Web
Stewart Little

Hopefully this should get you started!

Oh yes, and for Moms- Twilight series, and just in time for movie 3 to come out on June 30th! Before Twilight I haven't read since I was in highschool so that's all I can think of for now.
But I do like to read Biographies. You can learn a lot about people that way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I love , Where the Red Fern Grows.
it's a little sad in spots, but overall WOW.. so beautifully written..
Also.... Cricket In Time's Square << for the 6 or 9 year old

The Goosebump books are a big hit with the 3 rd graders..

oh and Charlotte's Web.. another well written story...
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water

as for Adult reading. The Shack was SUPER good .. I loved that book
and , Eat , Pray, Love..
White Oleander
She's Come Undone

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

For the 11 year old boy: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

My boys loved this book, but review it first to be sure it is your son's kind of thing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from State College on

For the kids Boxcar series, they were one of my favorites growing up. Ronald Dahl also has some great books- Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and Chocolate factory series. Some of these are nice if they want to see the movie that goes with the book.

For the 11 year old girl anything Judy Blume or the Romona series by Beverly Cleary (watch out for her young adult books though, they can very different). Where the Red Fern Grows and Bridge to Terribeatha (sp? sorry) are two of my favorite books of all time. Both are sad, but really really good and ones I reread many, many times.

For you depends on what you like , but a few authors I enjoy are (some of these may be good for the 11 year olds too, depending on what they enjoy): Patrica Cornwell, Carol Higgins Clark, Mary Higgins Clark, Donna Andrews (she has two series, I don't really like the computer one, but the other series is funny and also a mystery), Lori Avacato, Laurien Berenson, Debbie MacComber (Blossum St series), Linda Francis Lee (jut finished the ex debutant and it was funny.), Janet Evanovich, Catherine Coulter. You have probably heard of most of those, but they are some of the ones I have read recently and some of my favoites, where I am always waiting for a new book to come out.

Have a fun summer reading!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have an eight year old girl and eleven year old boy. Their favorites are "Big Book of Girl Stuff" and "Big Book of Boy Stuff". They take the books with them everywhere. They're not story books - more informational. But the authors accurately target what the kids are interested in. Check them out.

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answers from Lake Charles on

For you I can Highly recommend Karen Kingsbury! She is a Christian Fiction author and she has some awesome books, oh wait...every single one is awesome. Also Nicholas Sparks in a great author, and Patricia Cornwell, Beverly Lewis, and then I love Chicken Soup for the Soul books!
Eat, Pray, Love is a good book and my sister's Keeper!

For you youngest daughter- Berenstein Bears, Clifford, Care Bears, and Dr. Suess are great.

Your older girl- Ramona series, Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew books, Charlotte's Web, Bridge to Terabeathea, Secret Garden, Where the Red Fern Grows. ( I like the idea of a movie night reward also..their are lots of books that have movies to follow...I named some)

And I don't have boys, so I really can't help there. But I am sure the oldest would like the Harry Potter Series or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Goosebumps series.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

For you: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Good book!

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answers from New York on

Dear M.B.,
I do my summer reading with my children, I read the books they have to read for school :)
We have read Holes, Hachet, George Washington's Socks, and some others. Frindle is a good book, my oldest son read all these books for and during his 5th grade. Now in 6th grade he is doing Holes again with the class.
For the 9 and 11 year olds you can read all these books, they are very nice. I really liked each and everyone of them.
For the 4 and 6 year old, the librarian should be able to help you. Our library for the summer has books on shelves by the kids ages so you can go and pick one for a child of a specific age. Maybe your library has something like that.
I hope you enjoy your summer reading. I'll be reading Hachet all over again with my 10 yrs old boy who will be going to 5th grade next school year.
Have a blessed summer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

For the little boys, how about the magic tree house series?
Not sure on the 11 year olds, but for the 4 year old, my neice loves anything with horses/dogs, like clifford, or the henry the horse books. Also, chicca chicca boom boom, where the wild things are, the giving tree, rainbow fish, or learning books like telling time, days of the week, etc.
For you, have you read the time traveler's wife? A great book, although a heartbreaker, is A Child Called It and the 2 following books which are The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave. All great reads!

1 mom found this helpful
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