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Summer is here, and it’s time to read! Reading over the summer has many benefits for children, including inspiring new interests, reducing stress, boosting imagination and concentration, and developing critical thinking. It’s also very effective in helping to prevent the “summer slide,” where students lose a significant amount of knowledge – up to three months’ worth – over the break if they don’t engage in academic activities. A study by the National Summer Learning Association found that students who read four or more books over the summer performed far better on reading comprehension tests in the fall compared to their peers who did not read.  

With so many choices, finding good books for your children to read over the summer can be overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some great reading options for children of all ages.  

Ages 3-7

Built to Last by Minh Lê

In this playful story about collaboration and perseverance, two friends use their imaginations to build bigger and better creations. With Built to Last, Author Minh Lê and Artist Dan Santat have produced an inventive story that is a tribute to imagination and friendship. 

The Octopus Escapes by Maile Meloy

Unhappy with being stuck in an aquarium, a clever octopus plans his daring escape back into the wild. With just the right amount of drama for little ones, this entertaining read will have children curious to know more about these brilliant creatures.  

Something, Someday by Amanda Gorman

Empower children to make a difference in this inspiring story from award-winning creators Amanda Gorman and Christian Robinson. When a young boy notices a problem in his neighbourhood, he works with a friend to improve the situation, demonstrating the limitless potential within every individual to create positive change. 

Ages 6-8

Words Are Magic! by Zaila Avant-garde,

The “Step into Reading” series is a good choice if you have a newly independent reader. This levelled reading program has simple text, colourful illustrations, and familiar characters. Words Are Magic! by National Spelling Bee winner, Zaila Avant-garde, celebrates the magic of words and invites young readers to mix, match, and even rap them. It’s a fun and interactive book for new readers. 

The Best Worst Camp Out Ever by Joe Cepeda

Join a father-son duo on a journey filled with unexpected mishaps and lots of laughs. Everything seems to go differently than planned, from a crowded camping ground to everything different than intended. This humorous story teaches us that sometimes, the biggest adventures are the ones that don’t go as expected. 

The Fantastic Bureau of Imagination by Brad Montague

Children have a lot of time to fill during the summer, and a little creativity can keep them entertained. In The Fantastic Bureau of Imagination, we meet a character who works with the mail at the bureau, Sparky. Along with a dragon named Brenda, Sparky encourages the reader to get out there and express themselves. After reading, children are invited to join the bureau and become special agents using their creativity and imagination. 

Ready or Not! #1 by Megan E. Bryant

So much is changing in nine-year-old Abby’s world. Her best friend moved away, her mom started working full-time, she had to do the dreaded after-school running program, and her body was changing without her permission. Being stuck between being a little kid and a full-blown teenager is hard. This book is a positive exploration of growing up and navigating the big and small changes for preteens. 

Would You Rather? Summer Edition by Lindsey Daly

Get some funny discussions going with this Would You Rather? book on a family road trip, sitting around the campfire, or hanging out in the backyard. It’s laugh-out-loud fun for the whole family. Would You Rather? is an entertaining and challenging companion to all your summer activities and will encourage your children to think creatively. 

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

In this compelling and exciting book for young readers, Sai works for the most famous mapmaker in the world but is constantly on edge because she fears they will find out she doesn’t have the proper rank. When she joins an expedition to chart the southern seas, the excitement and suspense begin. This tale is full of fast-paced adventure, unexpected twists and turns (and dragons). 

Ages 13+

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This captivating novel contains puzzles, secrets, and unexpected twists. The story follows Avery Grambs, a high school student struggling to get by who unexpectedly inherits the vast fortune of Tobias Hawthorne, a reclusive billionaire she has never met. The inheritance comes with one condition: Avery must move into the Hawthorne House, where every room has riddles, secret passages, and mysterious codes. This book will keep young readers on the edge as they try to solve mysteries alongside Avery. 

A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo

This coming-of-age story follows Aria as she experiences an unexpected change of plans for the summer. Instead of spending her last summer before college with her friends, she is sent to spend her time with her artist grandmother. During her stay, Aria finds herself in a charming community that challenges her to reflect on her identity and aspirations. She meets Steph Nicholas, her grandmother’s gardener, who changes her perspective on who she is and who she will become forever. 

Spin of Fate by A. A. Vora

If your child is interested in fantasy stories, add this debut novel to their summer reading list. In a world that divides society into “uppers” and “lowers,” Aina is a lower who managed to get promoted and become an upper. But life in the higher realms isn’t the paradise she was promised, and Aina joins a movement to fight against the corrupt system. It’s an energetic, immersive read that is an excellent introduction to fantasy novels for teen readers. 


The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth by Rachel Ignotofsky

This book is an illustrated guide that makes learning about ecosystems fun and engaging. It makes earth science accessible through maps, art, and infographics. Science and nature lovers of all ages will love learning with this fantastic guide to our amazing planet. 

Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani

Girls Who Code is an empowering book that introduces young readers to the basics of coding. By using dynamic artwork, simple explanations of how coding works, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Disney and NASA, this book looks to inspire girls to become interested in computer science and STEM.  

Summer reading is a vital activity that supports your child’s academic achievement, cognitive development, and personal growth. We hope this list of recommendations provides you with a diverse range of options to keep your children engaged, entertained, and learning throughout the summer.


The Scholars Team


June 25, 2024