Summer Reading Kits for Smart and Strong Middle School Girls



I want to keep my kids reading during the summer so a few years ago I came up with this idea to give them summer reading kits, individually wrapped books that they could open one at a time when they felt bored during the summer. It worked and it’s been a tradition at our house ever since.


I really have to work hard to find a book that my daughter hasn’t already read. I dig through Amazon, Goodreads and several homeschool curriculum websites looking for something unique and interesting, with strong female characters.

I like to share my picks on the blog in case there are other parents, like me, who are always on the hunt for a good book for their kids. I must give you this warning: I’m giving you this information in real-time and we haven’t read them yet! I can say that I rely heavily on comments, reviews and trusted sources when deciding which books to choose.

Drum roll please…..Here are the picks for my 11-year-old daughter:


The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald – Oh, this story looks like pure fun! Inspired by real-life events and set in the Roaring Twenties, the story follows Martha, the newest servant at the Sewell Mansion. She quickly finds out the house is full of mysterious people, who are not what they seem, and there appears to be a mystery enclosed in one of the rooms.

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey – Is it wrong to admit that I mostly bought this book for it’s beautiful cover? Menolly wants to pursue her music but is forbidden from doing so in her land, so she runs away. She finds herself accompanied by a band of miniature dragons. She realizes her new friends might be the key to saving her land.

Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson – Tabitha, a lonely girl who doesn’t have friends and only annoys her parents, is mysteriously summed to the country estate of Countess of Windermere where a mystery unravels and a big secret is revealed. I had to buy it when several reviewers compared it to Matilda by Roald Dahl (a favorite at our house).

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt –The four Tillerman children have been abandoned by their mother and must survive on their own wits. Not exactly an uplifting premise, but the raving reviews convinced me to give this story a chance.

The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf (The Squire’s Tale series) by Gerald Morris – Lady Lynet is in a pickle: a knight, who beheads her would-be rescuers, is guarding her castle. She escapes on a journey to Camelot to plead help from King Arthur.

What would you add to this list?

Happy Summer Reading!


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