It’s every kids favorite time of the year…SUMMER VACATION. That means that they will have a lot of time on their tiny little hands. Reading is a great way to spend some of their newly discovered free time. Reading will help them increase their reading level and it will also help them calm down from the excitement of the summer.
Some of these books are weird and funny while others are full of fantasy and adventure. You will be able to help your children find the books that they love to read. The books on this list are targeted for grades K-5. Each section of this list is separated into two grade levels because we know that reading levels fluctuate. These are the Best Summer Reading books for Kids.
1. Big Cat
Big Cat is by Ethan Long. This book is perfect for anyone that is just starting to read because it has a very simple vocabulary. The main character is an oversized cat who has a loving family. There are two kids that love to smother him with hugs and kisses. They also like to dress him up in silly clothes and dance around the house with him. Big Cat does not enjoy these kind of activities but he continues to go along with it because he loves his family very much.
Little Big Horse Where's my Bike? Is by Dave Horowitz. This book is about a little horse that wants to go on a big adventure. He just got a new bike and one of his friends took it without asking. Of course the friend breaks the bike and then Horse has a big decision to make. Should he stop being friends with Pablo or should he forgive him? This book has a very simple vocabulary that is perfect for level 1 readers. Your children will also learn a valuable lesson about forgiveness.
Trucks Line Up is by Jon Scieszka. This book is about the trucks in Trucktown lining up when they hear different colors and characteristics. The main truck in this book is Pete. He is a very unique truck that does not have any of the characteristics called by Jack truck. Once Pete makes it to the line there is a huge parade of all the trucks in the town. This fun read will teach your kids that it is ok to be different.
See Pip Point is by David Milgrim. This book is about a cute little robot who has to save his friend Pip the mouse when he is taken away by a strong wind. Pip wanted to borrow Otto’s red balloon the only problem is the balloon is way too big for the tiny little mouse. Otto needs to find help from Zee the Bee to save his friend Pip from flying away. This book is perfect for k-1 reading level because it has a simple vocabulary and a very entertaining plot.
Aggie the Brave is the third book by Lori Ries. The first two books showed us the friendship between Ben and his pet Aggie. Now Ben has to learn how to be brave when Aggie has to go to stay at the vet for a whole night. These best friends have never spent a night a part so now he will have to come up with a way to survive a night without Aggie. After Aggie comes back home Ben will have to take care of her and make her feel better. This book will be perfect for your level one readers. It has a very simple vocabulary and the pictures are very cute.
Meet Mo and Jo is a very simple chapter book written by Sarah Lynn. This is a book about two cavemen brothers. Each short chapter of this book will take your children on a different adventure. The first chapter is about the two brothers trying to find the source of a peculiar stench. The second chapter of the book is about Mo and Jo’s favorite game, hide and seek. Your children will absolutely love these two cave brothers and all of their wild adventures.
Mr. Putter & Tabby Walk the Dog is by Cynthia Rylant. Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby volunteer to walk the neighbor’s dog Zeke for a week after his owner hurt her foot. After a few days of being pulled around the neighborhood and being wrapped around every tree Mr. Putter has had enough of that crazy dog Zeke. Mr. Putter and Tabby have to find way to make it through the rest of the week of walking Zeke. Your children will love laughing along with these silly characters as they try to come up with a way to survive a week with Zeke.
Junie. B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus is by New York Times bestselling author Barbara Park. This book is about a kindergarten girl named Junie B Jones. In this book she is starting school for the first time and she is a little nervous about it. She is also scared to ride the bus because she thinks it is full of mean people. This book will help anyone who is a little nervous to ride the bus for the first time. This is a short chapter book and is perfect for level 1 readers.
The Princess in Black is by award winning writer Shannon Hale. This book is about a princess named Magnolia. She is a regular princess by day but she has a secret. She turns into her alter ego The Princess in Black when the monster alarm sound. Then she becomes a tough Princess who saves the day by stopping monsters. This book will show anyone that even a princess can be tough.
Mercy Watson to the Rescue is by Kate DiCamillo. This book is about a pig named Mercy Watson who lives inside the house with his family. He is full of adventure and loves hot buttered toast. He goes on an adventure in his neighborhood to look for fresh toast. He gets into all kinds of trouble on his big journey. This book is short and your kids are sure to fall in love with this silly little pig.
Second and Third Grade
Bird and Squirrel on Ice by James Burks. This book is about a bird and a squirrel that land in the South Pole during a snowstorm. A penguin that lives in the South Pole thinks that Bird and Squirrel has come to save the day from this huge hungry killer whale. Will they be able to save the day or will they become food for the hungry whale?
Galaxy Zack Hello Nebulon is by Ray O’Ryan and Colin Jack. This book is perfect for any kids that love learning about space because it is about a little boy that moves to space from Earth. He meets all kinds of aliens at his new school. On his first day of school he meets a new boy from space that loves adventure as much as he does and they quickly become best friends. There are a lot of differences between space and earth but Zack is learning to love space. This book is full of simple vocabulary and exciting illustrations.
Dragon Slayers Academy: The New Kid at School is by Kate McMullan. Wiglaf is told that he will become a hero so he sets out to fulfill his destiny. In order to do that he enrolls in the Slayers’ Academy. There is just one small problem, he hates blood. How can you become a hero dragon slayer when you hate the sight of blood? This book will show your children that they can make their dreams come true if they work hard enough.
Recipe for Adventure: Naples! Is by the popular chef Giada De Laurentiis. This book is about a girl named Zia Donatella who goes to live with a family in Naples. Zia loves to cook and she wants to show the family that home-cooked meals are better than eating fast food. Zia believes that food can transport you to new parts of the world, like Naples. These characters go on all kinds of crazy adventures to find the perfect ingredients to cook an amazing meal.
5. Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark
The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark is the first book in the series by Mary Pope Osborne. Jack and Annie find this magic tree house and before they can find out where it came from they find themselves on a prehistoric journey. They got transported to a land full of huge dinosaurs. They have to find a way to get home from this magical adventure before dinner time. This book is perfect for kids that love adventure and learning about dinosaurs.
The critter club is by Callie Barkley. This is a cute little book that is perfect for level 2 readers. This book takes place during spring break. Amy is the only one not doing anything exciting during her free time. She just gets to go to work with her mom. Her mom is a vet and gets to help sick animals get better. Amy is really excited to be around animals all day, Amy quickly learns that something strange happened to one of the dogs in her neighborhood so she creates the critter club to help all of the lost pets that are in her neighborhood.
Tuesdays at the Castle is by Jessica Day George. This book is about a princess named Celie. She is faced with an interesting challenge involving her castle. Every Tuesday her castle comes to life and starts magically getting rid of rooms in the castle. One day her parents and brother go missing and Celie is the only one that can save them. This book is perfect for level 2 readers that love reading about magic and princesses.
Zeke Meeks vs The Putrid Puppet Pals is about a third grade boy named Zeke Meeks. He is the only one in his whole class that is not into the newest trend. Zeke loves playing basketball but everyone else would rather play with finger puppets instead of playing with him. Even his best friend Hector would rather play with puppets than play basketball. What’s with these puppets anyway? Zeke gives it a try and finds out that the puppets are just as boring as he feared. Will Zeke be able to find someone to shoot hoops with him or will he have to play with the putrid puppet pets.
Lost! A Dog Called Bear is by Wendy Orr. Logan and his family are moving from the country to the city and he will miss everything that he has to leave behind. When he gets to the city he meets a new friend named Hannah. She has always lived in the city and has always wanted a dog of her very own. Logan has a dog named Bear that he loved very much. Your kids will love going on this journey with Logan and his new friend Hannah. They go to the Rainbow Street Shelter and run into lots of entertaining animals. This book is perfect for the little animal lovers in your life.
The Lonely Lake Monster is by Suzanne Selfors. This book is about two kids that go to Dr. Woos imaginary creatures. They get to interact with so many crazy creatures. They were told to stay inside the building but being the curious kids they are they do not listen. Pearl finds a monster in peril on an island. She has to come up with a way to save the monster before it is too late. This is a really fun book that will have your children’s imagination running wild.
Fourth and Fifth Grade
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is by J.K. Rowling. This is the first book in the Harry Potter series. In this book Harry Potter is introduced to the fact that he is a wizard like his parents. Harry goes to a magical school where he will learn more about his magic. He meets two new friends and they go on many different adventures during their first year of school. Harry Potter learns about his strong connection to the wizarding world and what lies ahead in his future.
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) is by Rick Riordan. This book will follow Percy Jackson on the most dangerous journey of his life. He has to get back the most powerful weapon of mass destruction. To do this he will have to travel across the country and fight a bunch of mystical creatures that are trying to get in his way. To top it all off he has to watch out for the people that he trusts the most because he was warned that one of his friends would betray him along the way. This book is full of adventure that your kids are sure to love.
The Land of Stories is by Chris Colfer. This book is very unique because it mixes the present day with a fairy tale land. The main characters are twins named Alex and Conner. They get to enter the stories that they were always reading about when they were growing up. They get to go on so many adventures in this magical world the only problem is they need to get home. They come across many roadblocks that make their journey home a lot harder than they ever imagined.
The Tail of Emily Windsnap is by Liz Kessler. This book is about a 12-year-old girl that discovers that she is half half human and half mermaid. She has always loved the water but her mother always tried to keep her away from it. Emily wants to find her dad so she can learn more about the mysterious life that she has been missing out on. Emily encounters many obstacles on her way to find her father. This book is perfect for any children that love mermaids and learning about the ocean.
Amulet: The Stone Keeper is the first book in the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi. This is a graphic novel that your children are sure to love. The main characters are Emily and Navin who have been sent to live with their mother after their father tragically dies. The house that they moved into seems to have crazy creatures living in it. They are forced to go into a creepy door in the basement when their mother is sucked in by a crazy monster. They do not want to lose her too so they have to be brave and save the day.
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat is by Lynne Jonell. This book is about Emmy who was an extremely good girl that always does what she is told. She even does chores without being asked. Sometimes she likes to sit by the rat because he likes to get into mischief. The incredible shrinking rat takes her one journeys that she would not go on alone. Your kids will love reading about this unusual pair of friends that get in trouble together.
Flora & Ulysses is by New York Times Best-selling author Kate DiCamillo. This book is hilarious and your children will love laughing along with the zany characters. Flora loves to read comic books because they make her laugh and forget the pain from her parents’ divorce. One day she hears a strange noise outside her window. It was the neighbor who had just hit a squirrel when he was cleaning with the vacuum cleaner. The squirrel now has super powers and oddly enough he can write poetry. This book is heartwarming and will show the true power of love. This book will help kids understand divorce while it makes them laugh at the same time.
The Secret Zoo is one of many books in the series by Bryan Chick. This book is perfect for kids that love animals. The main characters in this book are Noah and his sister Megan. They live next door to a zoo and they have noticed that something crazy happens at night. The animals leave the zoo and wander around the neighborhood. Noah notices that his sister goes missing so he has to enlist the help of his friends Richie and Ella to find her. All they have to go by are some random clues that lead them into the mysterious zoo.
9. Spy School
Spy School is about a middle school boy named Ben Ripley. He is a very smart kid that hopes he can become a C.I.A Agent when he grows up. The only problem is he doesn’t exactly seem like the secret agent type. He is a little bit awkward and nerdy. Ben is enrolled in a school that is focused on science which is perfect for him. He soon learns that this is a secret school for C.I.A agents in the making.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is one of many books in the series by Jeff Kinney. Greg Heffley is going to middle school and he is very nervous about sharing the halls with kids that are way bigger and tougher than him. The style of this book is unique because you feel like you are really reading someone's diary. Your kids will be able to go along with Greg as he tries to make it through middle school. This is a short chapter book and is geared towards 4th and 5th grade kids that are getting ready to transition into middle school.