Each year, I love putting together a reading list for my kids. I love letting them choose books they love, and summer is a great time for us to introduce a few new titles that they wouldn’t have considered otherwise. My kids love to read so it’s never felt pushy, and it’s super fun for me to find some new titles in genres that they love.
It’s also a chance for me to ensure they’re getting some diverse perspectives in their reading. Of course, I want reading to be fun and fulfilling for them. I also want it to be an opportunity for “windows” as well as “mirrors.” Since they do so much reading over the summer, anyway, it’s nice to include a few titles that either might not have crossed their radar or may be just a bit outside their comfort zones.
Here are the books I’ve chosen for our 2021 diverse summer reading list!
Family Read Alouds
In addition to individual books, we always have a few family read alouds. They’re perfect for family book club discussions, to listen to in the car, or as bedtime reading. Here’s what’s on the docket for this summer!
3 Global Children’s Book Club Chapter Books
We’ve truly loved every single chapter book we’ve read so far this year for the Global Children’s Book Club. If you haven’t yet read some of them, summer is the perfect time to pick them up, whether or not you’re interested in the accompanying activities.
For the 3 months of summer, we’ll be reading the following:
- The Great Cake Mystery. We actually just finished this one (it’s very short) and it was darling!
- It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel. My oldest ended up reading this with his school class and everyone really enjoyed it. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time.
- Sadiq and the Desert Star. I know very little about this one, but I have a feeling my younger kiddos will really love it!
- Front Desk. This has been on my list for ages, so I’m excited to finally read it together!
- When You Trap A Tiger. This book has gotten so much praise recently. We just started it a couple days ago and it’s already so fun!
10 Year Old Summer Reading List: Rising 5th Grade Summer Reading
My 10 year old is an absolutely voracious reader who adores fantasy and light sci-fi. He also enjoys some historical fiction, but often prefers well-written nonfiction history instead. Here’s what I chose for him!
- A Strong Right Arm. Perfect for my baseball lover.
- The Hunger Games. I’ve been debating when he’d be ready for these. He doesn’t scare easily and I think he’ll love them.
- Shooting Kabul. This has been on my to-read list for years so I’ll read it along with him.
- Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team He really loved Bomb, so I’m hoping this one is a hit, too.
- Keeper of the Lost Cities. This one has been highly recommended in the fantasy realm.
- The Only Road. We’ve read a few books highlighting refugees and this one seems intense but powerful.
- Stamped For Kids: Racism, Antiracism, and You An important work and I’m so glad there’s a kids’ version.
- At least 3 books of his choosing
8 Year Old Summer Reading List: Rising 3rd Grade Summer Reading
My 8 year old also always has her nose in a book, and especially loves Harry Potter. I’m excited to share some new-to-her titles that I think she’ll really enjoy.
- Half Magic. This one’s been on the list for a little while, and I think she’ll love the fantastical aspects of it.
- Prairie Lotus. This one has come highly recommended, and Linda Sue Park is a masterful writer.
- The Wednesday Wars. I adore this book, and my now-10 year old loved it a couple years ago. I’m hoping my daughter will, too.
- Wings of Fire. Another in the fantasy realm.
- The War That Saved My Life. My daughter has enjoyed a few other historical fiction books lately and I think she’ll love this one.
- Number the Stars. An important classic.
- Stamped For Kids: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Again, I’m so glad there’s a version for kids available.
- At least 3 books of her choosing
6 Year Old Summer Reading List: Rising 1st Grade Summer Reading
My 6 year old is my more reluctant reader. He’s been a capable reader for a couple years now, but didn’t often choose it on his own. However, his reading really took off in terms of enjoyment and confidence when he started Savvy Reading a few months ago. Since then, he’s read tons of early chapter books of his own volition. It couldn’t make me happier! (Here’s more about our experience with Savvy.)
Still, he struggles with getting started with new books, so I’m planning to read the first few pages or chapter of these to get him going. He typically takes off reading after he’s hooked and I think these are ones he’ll really love.
- Fantastic Mr. Fox. He Loved The Enormous Crocodile (which we gave him for Easter), so I think he’ll be delighted by this one, too.
- Anna Hibiscus. I’ve heard super cute things about this early chapter book.
- Secret Agent Jack Stalwart Book 1: The Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur. It has a spy and is about dinosaurs. Perfect for my dino-loving kiddo.
- Who Was Jackie Robinson? My son loved playing t-ball this year so I think he’ll enjoy this biography.
- At least 1 book of his choosing
3 Year Old Summer Reading List: Preschool Summer Reading
To me, preschool summer reading is all about having fun and enjoying reading, even if it means reading certain books over and over and over. My 3 year old truly could be read to all day long so I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to join in with his siblings.
- Juana and Lucas. We read this for the Global Children’s Book Club last year and we all LOVED it. I think my 3 year old will find it even funnier now (and probably doesn’t remember much from before.)
- 100 Picture Books. We’re practicing counting to 100, so this will be perfect!
I’d love to hear – do you put together summer reading lists? Do you make suggestions or do your kids take the lead on all their reading? Or is it a mix like in our family? I’d love to hear (and please share any book titles you’ve loved recently!)!