Reading opens the universe to children, so even if they stay close to home this summer, books can fire up their imaginations and take them far away.
We encourage summer reading because it’s fun and because we know that the more kids practice the stronger readers they become. They expand their vocabulary, build knowledge about the world, and become more fluent. Summer is an especially perfect time to read, free of the constraints of “school.” Children can engage in a relaxed way with books that will end up supporting them when they dive into classes next fall.
Reading aloud is a great way to bring books to life for kids (for all of us, really!). You might suggest families read a novel aloud together over a week or two. Reading together is another form of practice and gives everyone an opportunity to hear a good story and talk about their thoughts and feelings.
What follows is a short list of titles to get your students and families started on their summer reading adventures. These are books we love that’ll spark curiosity, laughter, reflection, recognition, and surprise. You’ll find fiction and nonfiction, old and new favorites, mostly selected from our Individualized Daily Reading (IDR) Libraries, and arranged in roughly reading level order (kindergarten to sixth grade).
Summer Reading List
Rain by Robert Kalan and illustrated by Donald Crews (HarperCollins)
A Kipper’s A to Z by Mick Inkpen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (Charlesbridge Books)
Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel (Groundwood Books)
Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt (Kids Can Press)
Oscar and the Bird: A Book About Electricity by Geoff Waring (Candlewick Press)
Rafi and Rosi by Lulu Delacre (Lee & Low Books)
The Slug by Elise Gravel (Tundra Books)
King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dori Hillestad Butler and illustrated by Nancy Meyers (Peach Tree)
Art Panels, Bam! Speech Bubbles Pow!: Writing Your Own Graphic Novel by Trisha Speed Shaskan and illustrated by Stephen Shaskan (Picture Window Books)
Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look and pictures by LeUyen Pham (Random House)
Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom by Rachel Vail and illustrated by Matthew Cordell (Square Fish)
Palindromania by Jon Agee (Square Fish)
It Ain’t so Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner and photographs by Andy Comins (Sandpiper)
George by Alex Gino (Scholastic
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Scholastic)
The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)