Summer Reads For Kids

From My Bookworms to Yours

book stack.cropped

Our family reads a lot.  In fact, I’m pretty sure we spend more money on books in this house than almost anything else that isn’t a total necessity.  Actually, scratch that… books ARE a necessity in our world. I would rather buy books than just about anything…except maybe food.  We do buy a lot of our books because there are certain ones we like to own for re-reading, or we pass them on to family and friends.  Sometimes, when we run out of shelf space, we do a bit of a de-cluttering and donate books to the library or other places so other folks can enjoy them.  But really, there’s no need to spend oodles of cash on books.  You can find tons of great reads at your local library and we do that sometimes too.

I love that our kids are bookworms.  I think it’s because they’ve grown up in a house full of books, where it’s been our routine since they were born, to read to them at night.  Sean and I alternate between kids.  One night he reads to Evan and I read to Marley, the next night we switch.  Very few things interfere with that routine except sometimes weekends, special occasions, or a rare night out.  If one of us is away for the evening, the remaining parent and two kids will crawl into bed and read together.  Then everyone goes off to their own rooms and reads some more.  When it’s time for lights out, we often hear appeals of, 'Just one more chapter, pleeeeeaaase" Or, "But I HAVE to know what happens next!" There have even been tears when we finish a particularly good book or series, because as Evan says, “When it’s over, you kinda feel like you’re losing people you care about.”

Nightly reading has become such a part of our family routine, that I can’t even imagine how I’ll cope when the day comes that they decide they no longer want mom or dad to read to them.  I had no trouble sending them off to kindergarten, and I suspect I’ll deal with the transition to high school just fine too…but the thought of them not wanting me to read to them anymore, gets me a little choked up. Sniff.

It’s a running joke around here that that we often have to bark at our kids to “Put the book down!” when we need them to do something that requires some attention and both hands. I mean, it’s awesome that they love reading so much, but sometimes stuff needs to get done!

We ventured out the other day to get a few new books for our upcoming holidays…. which both kids purchased with their own cash.  They just couldn’t resist cracking into their new reads when they got home, so the new books will be mostly finished before we even start holidays.

Yesterday, we had a conversation about some of their favourite reads to date.  Then we thought, why not share them with you, in case you’re looking for some summer reading suggestions for your own kiddos.  After much deliberating (they found it very hard to narrow their list down to five top picks), they each made a list and some notes on their choices.  Marley handed me hers on paper and Evan sent me his via Google Docs.  Seriously.

Here they are…. Evan and Marley’s summer reading recommendations (in their own words):

(Mom’s note:  Evan is almost 12 and Marley almost 9.  We DO monitor their choices and sometimes say no to books that we feel they aren’t quite ready for yet.  However, some of what they read may be considered too mature for their age by some parents.  But, think about what kids are seeing in video games, watching on TV, the internet or social media (if you allow them access to it).  I guarantee you most of it is much worse than letting your kid read a book that is slightly above their age category.  Having said that - You know your own kids, you decide what they can handle.

Marley’s Recommendations:

Marley books.cropped

The Thea Stilton Series - Although the series credits its title character (Thea) as the author, the books are actually written by Elisabetta Dami.  Age category: 7-10 years

“It’s about how five girls (The Thea Sisters) and their favourite teacher (Thea Stilton) solve mysteries.  The books are sometimes funny, sometimes a little bit scary, and sometimes there’s even some romance.”

“I LOVE Thea Stilton.  I think if you like adventure stories, you will too!”

Rainbow Magic Series by Daisy Meadows.  Age category: 5-9 years

"These books are all about fairies.  There are a bunch of different sets like, ‘The Jewel Fairies’, ‘The Sweet Treats Fairies’, “The Green Fairies”, etc.  In every book, it’s the same two girls, Kirsty and Rachel, who help the fairies find whatever the lost magic item is.  Jack Frost and his Goblins are the bad guys who always steal the magic item and hide it in the human world.”

“This series is really fun and there are always surprises.  They are super easy to read on your own and there is an adventure in every book!”

The Pet War by Allan Woodrow.  Age category: 8-12 years

“This is about a brother (Otto) and sister (Lexi) who both really want a pet.  Otto wants a dog and Lexi wants a cat.  Their mom says that whoever is able to raise enough money will decide which pet the family gets.”

“This book is really funny and full of surprises!” 

The Yeti Files, ‘Attack of the Kraken’ (a graphic novel) by: Kevin Sherry.  Age category: 7-10 years

“This book is all about adventure and it has sooo many crazy characters!  It’s fun and easy to read and I can’t wait to read more in the Yeti Files series!”

Evan’s Recommendations:

Evan in a book

Stars by Eric Walters (a Canadian author).  Age category:  Teen/Young Adult

“This book is about a 14 year old kid named Joseph who is raised in a less than happy situation (but that’s not what the book focusses on).  He gets wrapped up in organized crime – stealing cars for a mob boss.  After getting in an accident and getting caught, he ends up on a camping trip with two social workers and a group of young offenders.  He doesn’t trust people, but in the end he forms some bonds and ends up playing an important role in the lives of everyone on the trip.”

“This is an AWESOME story that anyone in the pre-teen/teen age group would like.  I don’t want to spoil the story, but I can tell you the cheeky smart*** humour will make you crack up.”

(Mom’s note:  I almost edited that last sentence but since he didn’t actually spell it out, I cut him some slack.  Also, I read this book too and LOVED it.)

The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg.  Age category: Teen/Young Adult

“This book is about Carson, a teenage kid whose therapist mom, moves them from New York City to Billings Montana, to take care of his alcoholic father.  When he gets there is meets Aisha, who is a lesbian raised in a conservative Christian family.  The two end up going on a road trip to find Carson’s long lost grandfather who may hold the key to saving his dad.  Along the way they learn about coming to terms with strained families and try to figure out how there can be a ‘higher power’ when so many bad things happen in the world every day. 

“This book is intense but funny.  It has a really hilarious plot but deals with some super serious issues, including LGBT rights.  I think everyone can get something out of it.  I will warn you that there’s some crude humour and strong language too.”

(Moms’ note:  I WILL be reading this when Evan is finished with it)

Mr. Stink by David Walliams.  Age category: Children/Pre-teen

“This story is about a girl named Chloe (age 12) who has friend issues and a snobby family. and a homeless man (Mr. Stink) with an ‘interesting’ background.  Mr. Stink helps Chloe figure out that she is more important than she thinks.

“I love this book because of the hilarious but touching plot.  I strongly recommend this book…but only if you are o.k. with crying a little bit too.”

The Seven Wonders Series by Peter Lerangis.  Age category:  Young Adult (But good for Pre-teen/Teen)

“This is a fantasy series about four kids (ages 12-13) who travel around the world to locate a series of mysterious objects that posses Atlantean magic and the power to keep them alive.  It takes place in various locations around the world and is largely based around Greek Mythology and stories of Atlantis.”

“It is a must read!  I love how the author put together so many different cultures and myths.  This series is adventurous, funny and full of plot twists.  The characters are awesome too.  After you read the first book in the series, you are definitely going to want to read the rest of them!”

(Dad also read this series and loved it)

E&M Both Recommend:

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This book is about Auggie, who is entering mainstream school for the very first time… in fifth grade!  On the outside, he looks a little different, but on the inside, he’s just like everyone else.  The problem is that some people never learned you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Marley – “I think Wonder is a GREAT book.  It was really sweet and gave me a lot of emotions.  I think it can teach people not to judge people by what you see on the outside.”

Evan – “Wonder is a great book all over.  I don’t want to sound like a cheesy family movie critic, but it was heart warming and dealt with the topic in a very real way.  It’s one of those books that ‘tells it like it is’.  This would be one of my favourite books on this list.”

(Mom & Dad read it too.  They both thought it was an AMAZING book that everyone should read)

So there you have it.  Some summer reading picks from my bookworms to yours.  We plan on having a boring summer.  Hopefully that means lots of time for reading.  If you have suggestions to share, please tell us in the comments below.  We’re ALWAYS looking for something new to read!

we lose ourselves in books

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