Every year, on the last day of school, I give my kids a “summer reading kit.” It’s a stack of individually wrapped books to slowly open throughout the summer. It’s a fun surprise at the end the school year, it’s great for those “I’m bored” moments during summer, it’s educational and the kids love it. It’s a win for everyone!
This year, I knew I had my job cut out for me. Finding books for my tween daughter is no easy task. She’s at the transitional age where she’s read most of the children’s literature that she’s interested in, but isn’t quite ready for the adult-themes of young adult books. She spent this year reading through classics like Heidi, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, etc., which were entertaining, but also age appropriate. I wanted to find her fun, entertaining, easy-to-read books for her summer reading, but that were smart enough to keep her interested. After doing some research, here are the books I decided on for her summer reading kit.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
We are big Kate DiCamillo fans in this house. We love her bittersweet story lines. We usually read her books aloud as a family but this one sounds like a good book for my daughter to read on her own. Set in the summer (perfect!), it tells the story of Raymie Clarke and her quest to become Little Miss Central Florida in hopes that will bring her father home again. Unfortunately, she has some big competition. Once again, Kate DiCamillo tackles some tough issues (loneliness, disappointment, loss, etc.) with grace and infused with hope.
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
My daughter loves mysteries, but it’s a delicate balance between suspenseful and too scary. This book seems like it’ll be a good compromise and has great reader ratings. The main characters and friends, Sophie Young and Grace Yang, are spies-in-training until they stumble upon what might be a real mystery.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Ever since we read The Hobbit this year, the kids have been obsessed with fantasy stories. One day September, an average girl from Omaha, is whisked away to Fairyland, where she finds things aren’t all lollipops and good times. She’s invited into a magical adventure. I’ve heard many good things about this book, especially how well written it is, and I’m eager to get this book in my daughter’s hands.
Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles
Ten-year-old Comfort is no stranger to death and funerals since her family owns the town’s funeral home, but it’s a little different when there’s been a death in her family. Although it’s a difficult topic, the book sounds like it’s filled with zany, eccentric characters to lighten the mood and help Comfort learn the lessons she needs. Any book with a dog sidekick is always an added bonus for my animal-loving daughter. My daughter enjoyed the other book written by this author: Love, Ruby Lavender.
Do you have any book recommendations for savvy tween girls? Please share in the comments!
P.S. I’ll be posting about summer reading kits for boys later this month. Stay tuned for more!
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