The summer months unquestionably come with many perks–longer, warmer days, visits with family and friends at the beach or by the pool, and time off to curl up with a book that you’ve been waiting to crack open all school year. Maybe your students or your own children are the same, eager to spend their days working through a fantasy series, or maybe they need a little push away from their devices and towards new releases that will battle for their attention during summer vacation. Keeping kids engaged in reading during breaks is crucial to their academic success. Use these 9 amazing summer reading lists for kids that your family will enjoy below.

  1. Penguin Young Readers Summer Reading Guide –

This list, from one of the most successful publishers of children’s books, can be sorted by age (from 0-teen) and category (beach reads, comics, sci-fi, new favorites, and classics, to name a few.)  Fine-tune a personalized selection by tapping the heart next to title that your child finds intriguing, which quickly creates a running list online for your convenience. The “Buy this Book” button links you to a variety of on- and off-line locations such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound, where you can purchase your picks.

  1. HarperStacks from Harper Collins –

This reading guide, geared towards educators, presents titles for middle-grade readers. It includes guiding questions for each selection as well as a list of tips for parents to get kids engaged during the summer months, such as encouraging your child to record what they read in a scrapbook, as well as visiting libraries and listening to audiobooks. Selections include Nuts to You, The Graveyard Book, and Ungifted.

  1. We Are Teachers Summer Reading List for Kids

We are Teachers has curated a list of 26 titles for students K-8. The site also includes a “Color-as-You-Go Summer Reading Challenge” which has printable bookmarks and lists that serve as rewards for accomplishments like reading under a blanket fort, reading a book that you’re unsure of, or reading before breakfast. With both of these resources, you will be well-equipped to start your child off on the right foot this summer.

  1. 2018 ALSC Summer Reading Lists –

The Association for Library Service to Children provides four separate printable pamphlets for different age groups (birth to preschool, K-2, 3-5, 6-8). Each pamphlet includes more than twenty titles from the past few years and short descriptions of the stories, making your next trip to the bookstore a breeze.

  1. Brightly  –

This Webby-nominated website features book recommendations from all publishers for every age and stage, reading tips and insights, seasonal inspirations, author essays, contests, gift guides, and more. Their summer reading list for tweens provides a list of titles for ages 9-12 and includes descriptions as well as links to buy the books. As a bonus, you can read Brightly’s tips for tackingling required reading ( or download their “Summer Reading Pack” ( which includes tips for parents and activities for kids.

  1. The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge –

Once again, Scholastic presents the Summer Reading Challenge, “an online reading program designed to help students turn the ‘summer slide’—the learning loss which can occur over the summer months—into a “summer leap” by discovering the joy and magic of reading for fun.” This year’s theme is “A Magical Summer of Reading,” which coincides with the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  Students must be registered by an educator, librarian, or other public leader, after which they will receive login information. On the site, kids can track their reading minutes and receive digital prizes each week. The site provides reading lists for kids of all ages, from 0 to young adult. This is a great way to engage with a community of readers and incentivize summer learning.

  1. Visit a local library!

Librarians are great resources for kids who need recommendations. Have your child talk to your local librarian about their interests and reading level and you are sure to find great books right in your neighborhood. Libraries also often have reading challenges and other events throughout the summer.

  1. Penguin Summer Reading For Kids That You’ll Love

Want to share in the joy of a new book with your kids? Penguin offers a list of novels that are so good you want to take them from your kid’s bookshelf–or better yet, read the book out loud together! All of the recommended books have excerpts available so you can test drive the titles before purchasing.

  1. NPR’s Summer Reading For Your Woke Kid

NPR’s Summer Reading list focuses on books by writers of color or activists who write about injustice from their own perspective. These books convey difficult topics in a manner appropriate for young readers.

Whatever list you use, the role you play in making summer reading a lifelong habit is of enormous value. Best of luck to you, and here’s to a quiet summer day, a warm breeze and a book that takes you on an amazing adventure!

-Megan West'

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