Summer is here, and that means it’s time to start creating a summer reading list. Reading exercises the brain, helps teach children about the world around them, and encourages a sense of empathy. Plus, reading along with your child — whether that means reading to them or reading the same book and discussing it book-club-style — is a great way for you to bond. To that end, here are three books to consider adding to your summer reading list this year.
By: Torrey Maldonado
Ideal for ages 10 and up, Tight is a coming of age novella that teaches kids life lessons about friendship and standing firm in their values. The main character, Bryan, finds that his friend, Mike, is becoming involved in risky activities. At first, Bryan follows along, but he soon starts realizing that what he’s doing is dangerous. The reader then follows Bryan as he learns to stand up for himself and be true to his own feelings.
Although Tight has a lot to teach children, it does so in a story-based manner. The inclusion of superhero references and the suspenseful plot will hold your kids’ attention — and your own.
By: Gennifer Choldenko
One-Third Nerd is written at an elementary level, but middle school students will enjoy it, too. It’s the perfect addition to a family summer reading list if you have kids of multiple ages. The book tells the story of Liam, a fifth grader who is dealing with quite the conundrum. If the family dog he and his siblings love does not stop peeing in the house, mom and dad are going to find it a new home. In the challenge of finding a way to save their dog, the kids also learn lessons about navigating other life challenges, such as divorcing parents and making new friends.
One-Third Nerd is heartwarming and will probably have you in tears at least once. Reading it as a family will help teach you all that it’s okay to be vulnerable around each other.
By: Mo Willems
Because is ideal for children ages three to six who are just learning to read. However, it’s a good story for older children to hear, too. Consider having your older child read it aloud with the younger child so they both get some practice and bonding time.
Because details a string of events that lead to a child following her dream and becoming a career musician. Because she hears Ludwig’s music, she is inspired to also create beautiful music. Because she works very hard, she eventually earns a job as a composer… and so forth. The story teaches children the idea of cause and effect and shines a light on how events that are seemingly meaningless at the time end up shaping our lives.
As you’re building your summer reading list, be sure to include one or more of these excellent titles. No matter what you read, you and your children will enjoy expanding your minds together.