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!
My 8-year-old son is “all boy” (as the saying goes). He’s very energetic and loves sports. He loves fantasy, adventure stories. And almost any story set in the jungle. He only started reading chapter books this school year; so long books can easily intimidate him. I’m slowly trying to build up his confidence in this area. My goal for these summer kits was to find books that would be fun, entertaining and play up to his interests. I definitely don’t want our summer reading to feel like a chore.
Here’s what I decided on:
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
I have seen this book on several reading lists and 80% of readers gave it 5-stars on Amazon, so I knew we had to add it to our summer reading list. Plus, the cover is adorable and reminds me of my son. Homer Price is a witty boy growing up in small-town America. Without sounding too cliché, this book sounds like it’s going to be like a slice of American pie. Perfect summer reading!
Hoop Crazy by Eric Walters
Right now, my son’s love language is basketball. I was thrilled to find this book (that’s part of a larger series), which is centered on basketball. Nick, Kia and Mark are ready to ace the NBA-sponsored three-on-three tournament, but when Nick’s cousin is added to the team things get a bit interesting. I like the idea that they all have to work together, even though there are different skills between the boys. I hope it will model good sportsmanship. The author says he created this series because he wanted to encourage boys to read; that’s a goal that I’m willing to support!
Summer of the Monkey by Wilson Rawls
This story comes from the author who wrote Where the Red Fern Grows, which was all the recommendation that I needed to be sold on this book. Ok, the monkeys helped a little. Jay Berry Lee, a 14-year-old boy in rural Oklahoma, finds a tree by the river filled with monkeys. The “Summer of the Monkeys” becomes one that he will not easily forget, filled with lessons on hope, faith and wishes coming true. Also, there’s a movie based on this book so once he’s done reading it then we can watch the movie together.
Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger
The author, Tom Angleberger, also wrote the Origami Yoda series, which is the series that ignited my son’s desire and willingness to read. We met Mr. Angleberger at a book-signing event and we were impressed at how amazing and kind he was to the kids. He seems like a truly stellar person. But somehow we’d missed this book by him. My kids are very interesting and curious about the upcoming elections (aren’t we all?!), so it seems like perfect timing to read a book about a boy that slaps on a fake mustache and runs for president. I’m sure this book will be hilarious.
Do you have any ideas to add to this list? Please share in the comments.
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