I want to keep my kids reading during the summer without it feeling like a chore. A few summers ago I came up with this fun idea to give them summer reading “kits” on the last day of school. I buy 4-5 books for each of them and wrap them individually. On the last day of school, I present the stack of wrapped books. The catch is that they can only open one book at a time. Once one book is finished, then they can open the next one. I think the element of surprise and suspense really ups the excitement.
Every year I like to share our reading kits on the blog to help other parents, who like me, want to keep their kids reading. BIG disclaimer, we have NOT read these books yet. I’m giving you this info in real-time. I do rely heavily on trusted sources, such as homeschool websites (the best place to find interesting books!), and I review the comment sections on Amazon and Goodreads.
Also, I keep my kid’s interests in mind when I pick out these books. I share the list anyway because even if it doesn’t fit your child and family exactly, it might point you in the direction of another book that will. Researching books is like going down a rabbit hole, it can lead to the most unexpected finds. I think it’s a fun adventure.
I specifically looked for books that are apart of a series. If my son enjoys them, we can look for the rest of the series at the library or the local used bookstore, and keep him reading all summer!
What’s in my 9-year-old son’s summer reading kit:
The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey by Louise Borden – During World War II, the creators of our beloved Curious George were forced to evacuate their home and fled on bicycles with their children’s book manuscripts among their few possessions. This book tells their story and harrowing escape. I’m so glad they did because I can’t imagine a world without Curious George. Also, I love the historical context of this story.
Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier by Michelle Cuevas – Jacques feels invisible in life, only to find out a shocking truth, he is! Telling the story from the perspective of an imaginary friend seems genius and adorable to me. I think I’ll read it when my son is finished with it.
Forest of Wonder: Wing and Claw #1 by Linda Sue Park and Jim Madsen – A young apothecary helps an injured bat with rippling consequences. The combination of science, animals and adventure seems like a perfect fit for my curious son. Linda Sue Park is an author I trust so I have high hopes for this one.
The Case of the Gasping Garbage (Doyle and Fossey, Science Detectives) by Michelle Torrey – Mystery with a bit of science tossed in. The easy-to-read text and fun illustrations will hopefully entertain my science-loving son. If so, there are several more in the series.
The Squire’s Tale by Gerald Morris – Set in the middle ages, a young servant’s life changes dramatically when a stranger shows up and takes him on an unforgettable journey. There are several more books in this series and it seems each book focuses on a different character.
The reading kit I put together last year was a big hit with my son (hoping to have the same results this year!) so if you’d like more ideas, check it out.
I’ll be back soon with ideas for tween girls!
Happy Summer Reading!
What would you add to this list? Please add your ideas in the comments.