Summertime is almost here in the United States. Both kids and parents will be enjoying a break from the usual routine. While we do some schooling through the summer (especially math!), I also encourage the boys to do a lot of reading. After all, there will be rainy days or times when we are traveling in the RV and need something to entertain our minds. What better way than with a book! Talking with my boys who are middle school and up, I gathered this short elementary reading list for summertime. (I shared a similar list for high school summer reading last year.)
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Elementary Reading List for Summertime: Books for Early Readers
Whether you have boys or girls who are early readers, I really love the Amelia Bedelia I Can Read series. When you are struggling to learn a new skill, seeing someone flounder can be a boost.
Fly Guy is a series which my third son found as an emerging reader. He enjoyed a lot and it was perfect since he wasn’t quite ready for a longer chapter book. There were only a few books out at the time, but they have added quite a few.
Product lines like Step Into Reading offer quite a variety of options, including familiar characters and even a few super heroes. When my early readers ‘caught’ the reading bug, I’d usually just take them to the library and go to town picking books from that shelf of the children’s section.
Elementary Reading List for Summertime: Chapter Books
I still remember going to our local library (in Kent, Ohio) when P was in 1st grade. He wanted to get some “Jack and Annie” books like his teacher had been reading in the classroom. I had NO idea what he was talking about. Thankfully, the children’s librarian knew what he really meant was The Magic Treehouse series. This series merges fantasy with learning a bit about historical times or people. It is one that all of the boys have loved as chapter books and we have many of them on our bookshelf now.
I do hear criticism from some Christian homeschoolers that this book includes magic and therefore should be avoided. Personally, I don’t have an issue with the magic as my boys have all chatted with me on the topic and know that (1) the books are make believe and (2) we don’t practice anything resembling ‘magic’ as that kind of power comes from forces to which we do not want to have any kind of tie.
Flat Stanley is a fun series for kids to read. After reading the books, the kids just might want to make flat images of themselves to send in the mail or use in photos of travels.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid has some attitudes that I don’t endorse. However, I know that my boys have enjoyed reading the (mis)adventures of Greg as he enters middle school and those poor attitudes or behaviors end up becoming talking points. Even though the main character is just outside the elementary age range, the target audience for these books written with a more comic style is upper elementary.
Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past NoonThe Flat Stanley Collection Box Set: Flat Stanley, Invisible Stanley, Stanley in Space, and Stanley, Flat Again!Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of Books 1-4 Revised
Elementary Reading List for Summertime: Books for Older Elementary OR to Read Aloud as a Family
I’ll confess that I have always loved doing audiobooks with the boys when we traveled. There are so many stories that are too challenging for an early reader to read on their own, yet the stories draw them in. Most of the titles listed are actually series. If you have a struggling reader, I’ve heard a few educators offer the suggestion of giving them the book to follow along as they listen to the audio book.
Artemis Fowl, Fablehaven, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson & the Olympians are all in the fantasy category of books. If the book is a little past your child’s ability to read independently, then do it as a read aloud. I have found that having THEM read a story aloud can show stumbling points for either the physical act of reading or comprehension.
Artemis Fowl Box Set (Artemis Fowl / The Arctic Incident / The Eternity’s Code / The Opal Deception / The Lost Colony)Fablehaven Complete Set (Boxed Set): Fablehaven; Rise of the Evening Star; Grip of the Shadow Plague; Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary; Keys to the Demon PrisonHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1)Percy Jackson and the Olympians 5 Book Paperback Boxed Set (new covers w/poster) (Percy Jackson & the Olympians)
Judy Moody is one that offers plenty of humor. If you’ve only seen the movie based loosely on the series, then you are missing out on some real fun. We have also enjoyed series by Beverly Cleary, including books featuring Ramona and Henry Huggins.
What are some titles you remember reading with your elementary-aged child?
What books are YOUR elementary students reading this summer?
Looking for more suggestions? Take a look at other posts by Schoolhouse Review Crew members sharing their own elementary reading list.