Books Your Children Will Love: Summer Reading List 2016
“Summer setback” and “summer learning loss” are real terms that affect students every summer break. Despite the other activities that children participate in, a good gauge of whether or not a child will experience learning loss is whether or not books are in the home and/or how frequently a child visits the library. According to onlinecollege.org, more than 90 percent of summer school programs mainly target students not performing at their current grade level. Summer reading can be a helpful way for students to advance their reading skills. This summer, be a proactive parent and incorporate a reading list into your child’s daily summer routine. Check out the latest releases and develop your list based on your child’s interests.
Ages three to seven years old (Grades: Pre-K to second) Douglas, You Need Glasses!
Little Douglas is a pretty happy-go-lucky dog. He enjoys chasing squirrels, watching television really close to the screen, and being out and about in the neighborhood. But in reality, Douglas’s squirrels are falling leaves, he watches TV up close because he can’t see things far away, and his poor eyesight has even led him right into someone else’s house. All of this results in a trip to the eye doctor, where one pair of stylish glasses gives Douglas a whole new view of the world—a clear view.
Both of these books are hilarious and will keep your kid’s attention. The illustrations are engaging and the dramatic eyes featured on each animal will have your child laughing out loud.
Ages three to seven years old (Grades: Pre-K to second) What Pet Should I Get?
This previously never-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one’s mind is the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can’t choose just one! The tale captures a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it.
Ages three to seven years old (Grades Pre-K to second) Three Magic Balloons
Saturdays at the Children’s Zoo with their father always end the same way for Ariel, Miranda, and Jane. He offers them money for a treat, but they instead choose to buy food for the animals. On this particular Saturday, a mysterious balloon man gives them a small reward for their kindness—one balloon each, to be tied to their bedposts that night. Soon they find that the balloons bring them more magic than they could have ever imagined.
Ages four to eight years old (Grades: Pre-K to second) Baby Wren and the Great Gift
Baby Wren and the Great Gift is about the world surrounding us and all of the beautiful elements that nature has to offer. The story follows the tiny wren as she observes and encounters the other creatures around her. Throughout the journey, she discovers a talent that she has had all along.
Kate loves flying in Never Land, and Kate loves playing soccer. But when she accidentally takes a flying leap during soccer practice, Kate realizes that there may be lots of fun ways to use fairy dust in the real world and mischievous fast-flyer Vidia is just the fairy to help her. Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies star in a magical early chapter book series—The Never Girls!
The Never Girls series is where adventure happens every day and anything is possible. The story focuses on four real girls that came to the fairy world of Never Land—Kate, Mia, Lainey, and Gabby.
(Grades: third to seventh) Change Up
The New York Times bestseller Change Up is the third book of the middle-grade series by Derek Jeter. The story is inspired by Jeter’s life and, therefore, the lead character is notably named after the New York Yankee.
Derek’s father keeps his promise to coach his son’s youth baseball team. Derek is sure this will be the best season yet! He has it all planned—his dad will have him start at shortstop, and the team will cruise to a championship. But sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan. The book focuses on one of life’s key lessons, which deals with the element of growing pains and how we all must come face-to-face with them.
(Grades: fourth to sixth) Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics
Welcome, boys and girls, readers of all ages, to the first-ever Library Olympics! Kyle and his teammates are back, and the world-famous game maker Luigi Lemoncello is at it again.
This time, Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first-ever Library Olympics. But something suspicious is going on—books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. Is someone trying to censor what the kids are reading? Now it’s not just a game—can Mr. Lemoncello find the real defenders of books and champions of libraries? In between figuring out mind-boggling challenges, the kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of this mystery.
(Grades: fifth to eighth) That’s Not Hay in May Hair
New York City life had crammed sidewalks, gasoline-filled puddles, and angry taxi drivers, but Juliette enjoyed the towering skyscrapers, the half-block walk to school, and the restaurant smells wafting into her bedroom. She had never cared for a horse, let alone a long-horn, when her mother announced their imminent move to a 300-acre ranch in Texas, where they would be caring for three horses, five dogs, twenty-five longhorns, and a cat … all by themselves.
Juliette couldn’t help feeling excited, even though she’d have to climb a hill to get a bar of cell-phone service. Soon she was running from bats and snakes, rescuing a calf from a twenty-foot ditch, medicating ponies, and having adventures so crazy it’s hard to believe they’re for real—but it all happened exactly as it’s written.
Get ready for side-splitting laughs, heart-wrenching tears, and surprising life lessons learned down on the farm and shared by 14-year-old Juliette Turner.
(High School / Teen & Young Adult) One Paris Summer
Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren’t betrayal enough, he’s about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.
Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn’t support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.
Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become the best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.
(High School / Teen & Young Adult) The Gilded Years
Karin Tanabe’s The Gilded Years” is based on the true story of Anita Hemmings. Since childhood, Anita longed to attend the country’s most exclusive school for women, Vassar College. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission: Anita is the only African-American student ever to attend Vassar. With her olive complexion and dark hair, this daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise “Lottie” Taylor, the scion of one of New York’s most prominent families.
Though Anita has kept herself at a distance from her classmates, Lottie’s sphere of influence is inescapable, her energy irresistible, and the two become fast friends. Pulled into her elite world, Anita learns what it’s like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman—the person everyone believes her to be—and even finds herself in a heady romance with a moneyed Harvard student. It’s only when Lottie becomes infatuated with Anita’s brother, Frederick, whose skin is almost as light as his sister’s, that the situation becomes particularly perilous. And as Anita’s college graduation looms, those closest to her will be the ones to dangerously threaten her secret.
(High School / Teen & Young Adult) Remember to Forget
In Remember to Forget from Watty Award-winning author Ashley Royer, Levi has refused to speak since the tragic death of his girlfriend, Delia, and can’t seem to come out of his depression and hindering self-doubt. Desperate to make some positive change in Levi’s life, his mother sends him to live with his father in Maine. Though the idea of moving from Australia to America seems completely daunting, Levi passively accepts his fate, but once he lands, he faces personal struggles and self-doubt at the same time he and his dad battle through resentment and misunderstanding. And then, while at therapy, Levi meets Delilah, a girl who eerily reminds him of someone he lost.
(High School / Teen & Young Adult) The Game of Lives
Michael used to live to game, but the games he was playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, sinking into “the Sleep” was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s passion. But now every time Michael sinks, he risks life.
The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine—Kaine’s master plan—has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box—if Michael can figure out who his friends really are.
All book descriptions are courtesy of the affiliated publishing houses. For more in-depth title descriptions, visit the associated book link enclosed in the article.
Angela Guzman is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. She has interviewed notable celebs such as Reese Witherspoon, Dwyane Wade, and Hugh Jackman. With a degree in journalism from Old Dominion University, she strives to inspire others through her writing. She enjoys long walks at Target with a Starbucks drink in hand. When she’s not busy writing, she loves spending time with her husband and their two daughters.