summer reading lists and resources

Summer Reading Lists and Programs for Kids

Summer is starting soon and I need to get a summer reading plan for my kids! Usually, my kids are assigned an extensive summer reading project by the teachers in the next grade. One year it was five books AND a book review project!

When my girls started middle school, the summer reading assignments ceased and it was hard to get my girls to read, especially as they were away part of the summer for sleepaway camp. This year, I am going to start strong: a trip to the book store and a summer reading incentive plan. I’ve give my kids their choice since different reading programs have different prizes. (I’ve listed some at the bottom).

I might even try to sneak in a summer book club meeting for my son and middle daughter. It can be tricky to schedule with everyone away at different times, but the kids get excited to see their friends by the end the summer so one right before school starts usually works

What will you do to get your kids reading this summer? Please share!

I’ve finally indexed ALL my book list posts: List of Lists/All 300+ of My Book Lists.  Happy reading!

p.s. I’m going to be starting up my Caught in the Act  … of READING! series again. If you send me a photo of your child reading, I’ll send you a book! Please email me at pragmaticmomblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

summer reading lists for kids and caught in the act of reading



Starting Preschool or Kindergarten

Top 10 Diversity Starting Kindergarten or Preschool Picture Books

Top 10 Starting Preschool or Kindergarten Books


By Entering Grade

Going Into 1st Grade Summer Reading List

Going Into 2nd Grade Summer Reading List

Going Into 3rd Grade Summer Reading List

Going Into 4th Grade Summer Reading List

Going Into 5th Grade Summer Reading List

Going Into 6th Grade Summer Reading List

Going into 7th Grade Summer Reading List

Best Books for Middle School by Our Wonderful Middle School Librarian


Personal Recommendations from Kids

3rd Grade Chapter Books from My 3rd Grade Son

Top 10 Best Books for 3rd Graders by Me — A 3rd Grade Girl Who is Very Picky (PickyKidPix) 

Summer Reading List for Kids (mine!) ages 8 through 13

Best Chapter Book for 5th Grade by my 5th Grade Daughter

5th Grade Recommendations by a 5th Grader (PickyKidPix)

4th Grade Books I Liked When I Was in 4th Grade (PickyKidPix)

4th Grade Chapter Books by a 4th Grader (PickyKidPix)

4th Grade Books Recommended by a 4th Grader (PickyKidPix)

Favorite Book Ever by 90 6th Grade Students

Josh in 6th Grade Shares His Favorite Books

Ajani in 6th Grade Reviews Chapter Books

10 Favorite Books by my 6th Grade Daughter

Best Books for Kids by Middle School Boy

Best Books for Middle School by Actual Middle School Students


Best Read Aloud Books

10 Multicultural Picture Books to Sing

Best Read Aloud Books for Kids: The E. B. White Award

Best Read Aloud Bedtime Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

A Round Up of Read Aloud Books and Resources

Happy Chapter Books for a Young Girl


Summer Reading Lists for All Ages Set During the Summer

20 Great Books for Kids Set During the Summer

10 Best Coming of Age Books for Girls Set During the Summer


More Summer Reading Lists

Best Picture Books You’ve Never Heard Of

Top 10 Beginning Chapter Books

Best Beginning Chapter Books

Best Chapter Books for Newly Independent Readers

Top 10 Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid

More Books Like Percy Jackson

More Books Like Hunger Games

Funny Books for a 3rd Grade Boy

Newbery Books by Grade Appropriateness

Great Science Picture Books

Summer Reading List of Books for Kids

10 Best Chapter Books for Summer Reading for Ages 9 – 12

Best Hockey Chapter Books for Ages 9-12

Best Skateboard Books for Ages 9-14

Top 10 Best Baseball Chapter Books

Best Books for Boy Readers, Reluctant or Otherwise

Top 10 Books For a Florida Beach Vacation

Top 10 Chapter Book with Activity for Boys

World Book Night Books for Kids and Teens

Massachusetts Book Awards for Ages 8 through 14

Best Old Fashioned Conflict Free Families in Chapter Books

Funny Books for Boys with Math or Science Twist

Best Books for Tweens Who Read 2 or 3 Grades Below

20 Gentle Chapter Books for a Young Boy

20 Gentle Chapter Books for a Young Girl

Funny Books for a 3rd Grade Boy

Choosing Books for Advanced Young Readers


Books by Animals or Creatures

Our Favorite Dinosaur Books

Favorite Duck Picture Books

Top 10 Crocodile Picture Books

Our Favorite Pokémon Books


Learn About Different Cultures

Multicultural Books for Children: 40+ Book Lists

Contemporary Native Americans in Children’s Books

Undocumented Workers in Children’s Books

27 Books for Kids About the Arab World

Notable Native American Children’s Author: Joseph Bruchac

Top 10: Native American Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

Top 10: Japanese American Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

Top 10: Best Asian American Books by CoolAsianKids

Bilingual Japanese Books for Kids

Top 10: Chinese American Children’s Books (ages 2-14)

Best Korean American Books for Kids

Multicultural Winners from ALA Awards

Multicultural Books from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Books for Kids


Summer Reading Programs: Read for Free Books or Prizes

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Earn Free Book Program



summer reading lists and resources

This group Pinterest board has great book lists and book reviews from KidLit Bloggers. Search here for more ideas of what to read with your kids.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. The organization of lists is handy; I bet people will be bookmarking this page! Do you think as time goes by, you’ll expand to include high school?

    One thing I’ve done to encourage summer reading is read aloud together–especially at the upper grades. It’s worked so well that I’ve proposed it as a program at our town library. If that works out, I may blog about it (even if it doesn’t work out, I may blog about it).
    Asakiyume recently posted…scent portraitsMy Profile

  2. always love your summer reading lists Mia! Natasha starts school in September so I’ve already started digging through your lists. It’s crunch time hahaha.
    vanita recently posted…First Time in Forever…to BlogHerMy Profile

  3. This list is fabulous!!! Thank you so much for putting together such a thorough list.

  4. Thanks for sharing your comprehensive and well-organized lists! Well-done as always!

  5. You are the queen of reading lists, Mia!
    maryanne recently posted…STEM Toys: Sphero, the Robot Kids Can ProgramMy Profile

  6. April

    I can tell you put a lot of work into this. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Hi, Mia. I wanted your readers to know that we are once again opening our PopUp Library for the entire month of July. All children – subscribers or not – can read as many eBooks as they want for free all month long. We have 500 high quality, narrated eBooks for grades K-8, with lots of high interest nonfiction to entice reluctant readers. Parents should give this a try – our eBooks work on any device with Internet access. Teachers can go to our website to find a downloadable flyer to send home with students. We are committed to doing what we can to keep kids reading in the summer. Thanks for your support with these great summer reading lists!

  8. This is such a great summer resource!
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted…Children’s Books with a LEGO ThemeMy Profile

  9. Wow, this is one extensive list. I know you are going to have an awesome reading summer. We will be eating hot soups and warming our fingers by the heater instead, but all the same, it will be an awesome reading winter. Thanks for joining us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop
    Julie Grasso recently posted…Kid Lit Blog Hop #40My Profile

  10. This is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome list!
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou – a Poem and Art for Young ChildrenMy Profile

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We will be using your recommendations this summer.

  12. Love this resource of summer reading lists. I am pinning it to our Summer Reading board. I know it will be handy to all the participants of our Traveling Through the Pages Summer Reading program.
    Pam recently posted…Traveling Through the Pages Summer Reading AdventureMy Profile

  13. Thanks for the great resource! We are going to the library tomorrow and I will be using many of these suggestions/lists. THANKS!
    Meeghan recently posted…Free Father’s Day Worksheets for Beginning ReadersMy Profile

  14. I love the list. And I love the idea of “caught in reading” looking forward to reading more of your posts!!!

    Thank you for sharing your great site and post on the Kid Lit Blog Hop


  15. Renee @ MDBR

    What a great resource! Pinning! My kids always do the library summer reading program – they give a medal at the end of the summer. Apparently that is all the incentive they need. They just love reading, so it’s not much of an issue in our household thankfully. Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop Mia!
    Renee recently posted…Summary of Current Blogger and Author OpportunitiesMy Profile

  16. Jim Westcott

    These are all awesome! I especially like your chapterbook lists, such as your chapterbook and activity lists for boys. Do you have a list of fiction books for older struggling readers? This may be helpful as well. More and more parents are sharing that there is a real need for books and accessible lists like this, I’m finding.

  17. Jim Westcott

    Thanks, Mia.

    I can easily put one together: something really helpful and objective. Yes, I’ve written a book that fits into this category, but it won’t receive any more attention than the many other books that will go on this list. Thanks. Certainly, please add any you feel that belong. There are so many good books written for struggling readers that deserve more attention and can be very, very helpful for this category of reader: publishers like Capstone, Ransom, Orca, Saddleback, publish some excellent books for this specific reason.

  18. Jim Westcott

    Hi Mia,

    I would love to:)

  19. Nice reading lists. It is very importnat your kids read good quality books all summer long.
    Little Lady recently posted…A Book of Questions Book ReviewMy Profile

  20. Funny, we don’t even acknowledge summer reading; in our house it’s just reading. My kids are all voracious readers and we usually have our summer reading sheets filled out before most kids even start. My kids love picking out books at the library and while I understand why we have summer reading lists I find my boys will pick out a wide variety of genres when left on their own.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Teaching While DrivingMy Profile

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