Reading throughout the year is important for children of all ages, but summer reading is especially important, as kids (and sometimes parents), tend to take time off from school activities. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic found many advantages to reading: ”Reading with your children builds warm and happy associations with books, increasing the likelihood that kids will find reading enjoyable in the future. Reading at home boosts school performance later on. It also increases vocabulary, raises self-esteem, builds good communication skills, and strengthens the prediction engine that is the human brain.”

And it doesn’t matter if your children read novels, short stories, magazines, comics or even use interactive online reading programs. They are all beneficial and can positively impact your children’s life in many ways, including:

  • Strengthening the brain
  • Increasing empathy
  • Building vocabulary
  • Preventing cognitive decline
  • Reducing stress
  • Aiding in sleep
  • Alleviating depression
  • Lengthening lifespan

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some fun summer reads for your kids.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Reading List

The earlier your child starts reading, the better off they’ll be as they progress through their academics. Picture books are a great place to start — and don’t worry if your children don’t understand every word that you read together. This is all about the reading experience with you as their teacher. A few books you can read together include:

  • Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman
  • The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino
  • I am the Rain by John Paterson

Elementary School Reading List

Elementary school years usually include first grade through fifth grade. During those years, third grade reading level is a strong indicator of future success because it is the final year children are “learning to read.” Once they progress past that point, they should be “reading to learn.” Some great books at this level include:

First Grade Reading List

  • Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh
  • Bowwow Powwow by Brenda Child
  • At the Beach– National Geographic Reader

Second Grade Reading List

  • Saturday is Swimming Day by Hyewon Yum
  • Ocean Meets Sky by Eric Fan and the Fan Brothers
  • The Secret Cat by Katarina Stromgard

Third Grade Reading List

  • Happy Paws by Vicky Fang
  • Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee
  • Wolfie Monster and the Big Bad Pizza Battle by Joey Ellis

Fourth Grade Reading List

  • The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs by Kate Messner
  • If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams
  • A Whale of the Wild by Roseanne Parry

Fifth Grade Reading List

  • Coral Reefs: Cities of the Oceans by Maris Wicks
  • The Tornado Scientist by Mary Kay Carson
  • Nature Ninjas: Animals with Spectacular Skills by Rebecca L. Johnson

Middle School Reading List

The middle school years usually include sixth grade through eighth grade. By this time, your children should be competent readers who are eagerly building their vocabulary prowess and communication skills. Books for middle schoolers include:

  • A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus
  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Fonds

High School Reading List

Many high school students will read classics such as Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby and Shakespeare plays among other works. But for summer reading, have your children choose a few books that aren’t as familiar. This may pique their interest and it will also empower them to make their own choices. Here are a few ideas for your review:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

These books are just suggestions. You can find these titles, and others, on our free downloadable reading list for students. Some parents build their own reading lists with their children’s help, which is a great idea. The principal objective is to keep your children reading throughout the summer. It’s a magnificent source for discovering diverse and interesting topics and expanding their imagination.
Time4Learning’s PreK-12th multi-subject curriculum includes language arts, in addition to math, science and social studies. Students are taught everything from the alphabet and phonics in the early grades to spelling, writing, comprehension and everything in between all the way through high school. Additionally, members have access to spelling lists and reading lists for elementary and middle school.