The Best Summer Read Alouds

In our house, hot summer afternoons are a perfect time for reading aloud with the kids. Usually by the afternoon, everyone is tired from playing and/or bored with whatever project they started for the day. Plus, it’s too hot to do too much. Over the summers, these moments have become such sweet memories for me.

So, when a Facebook friend recently wanted recommendations for summer-themed books to read with her children over the summer, of course (!), I had to come up with my own list. These books either have a summer theme or remind me of summer. In general, these books are geared toward elementary-aged kids.


Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder – In this Little House on the Prairie book, we learn about Almanzo Wilder’s childhood on a farm in upstate New York. This book gives us a glimpse of what life was like on a farm (the chores, oh my!) and the mischief that was had by the Wilder siblings, especially by Almanzo, was entertaining. And there are lovely horses! As a parent, I liked the images of home and family life during a “simpler time.” The chapter about the 4th of July festival is one of my favorite scenes in a book, ever. There’s a great dialogue between Almanzo and his father about the value of working hard and spending your money wisely. It was good “food-for-thought” for my children. This book is definitely one of our favorites from the Little House on the Prairie series.


George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl – This book isn’t summer-themed but it makes me think of summertime because we read this book together a couple summer ago and for the rest of that summer my kids were busy making “magic potions” inspired by this book. In this story, George is out to help cure his Grandma of her grouchiness. I won’t tell you what happens to Grandma, but I will say this book will cure anyone of grouchiness because it was so entertaining and cute. Roald Dahl will forever be one of my favorite writers.


Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo – My kids love stories about animals, especially dogs and cats. It’s a challenge to find a story about a dog that isn’t too tragic and ends happily. This book has a very sweet story and delightful characters. Also, the movie is as good as the book. We had fun reading it and then watching the movie together.


McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm by Sid Fleischman – This short book packs in a lot of humor and fun. This book is so short that I don’t want to tell you anything about it and give away some of the surprise. It’s a delightful story, though.


Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright – as a disclaimer, we did not read this book together but my daughter has and she insisted that I put it on the list. She really enjoyed this story about Garnet and the “lucky” thimble that turns her summer around. Elizabeth Enright wrote another book set during the summer, called Gone Away Lake.

What books are you reading together this summer?

One thought on “The Best Summer Read Alouds

  1. It may not be summer specific, but my favorite read aloud we have done as a family was Moccasin Trail. Great read with many good lessons….plus I totally would have been a white Indian.


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