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14 Must-Read Titles for Your Child's Summer Reading List

5:04 PM

Do you know why I love summer? It's when we get most of our reading done! And while the Veritas Press homeschool programs we use and love require a lot of reading, summer is our time to pick books for fun, to explore our horizons, and try something new!

We get a lot of titles to review throughout the year here at the Knerl house. Some are good. Others are great. Here is my list of picks for intriguing, exciting, and adorable childhood reading.

See our must-read list of titles for children this summer!


Best Summer Books for Babies and Toddlers




Books of love and affirmation are popular among children at this age.  That's why we recommend these two titles, which happen to be board books and can handle the rough handling of the smallest literary fans!

1. Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar  by Steven Wilson and Lucy Tapper
2. Love you Always by Roger Priddy

In addition to having messages of acceptance and family, the Love You Always book has shiny pages! Little ones will be fascinated by the finish on the heart cut-outs.



Best Summer Books for Preschoolers and Elementary



Even more words of love can be found in these picture books for kids of the lower grades!

3. All Kinds of Kisses by Heather Swain
4. Hug It Out! by Louis Thomas

When kids fight, what's the best way to smooth things over? Hug It Out! explores one mom's method of making up after an argument. All Kinds of Kisses is a fun exploration of animals and how they show affection.


5. XO, OX: A Love Story by Adam Rex

Older kids (and adults) will get a kick out of this love story about a smitten Ox and the gazelle who is way out of his league. Expect a chuckle or two.


6. Mommies are Amazing by Meredith Costain
7. Daddies are Awesome by Meredith Costain (not pictured)
8. Bloom by Deborah Diesen

The relationship between a mother is strong -- and special! In Mommies are Amazing, cats are featured in a variety of lovable illustrations that display the devotion mommies really do have for their little ones! See how the other half loves in Daddies are Awesome, a similar tale -- but with dogs! Bloom may be an ode to spring, but it's tender message of growing up lasts the whole year through! Share this adorable take on motherhood with your little one; they'll learn much about flowers, too.

Best Summer Books for Middle Graders



9. Tuttle Twins and the Road to Surfdom by Connor Boyack

Liberty lovers will enjoy how this book uses simply story method to explain Constitutional freedoms and how government central planning and oversight can have a chilling effect on our economy and our world.


This is a highly political read, but a good choice for Libertarians or liberty-leaning patriots on either side of the aisle.


10. Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet: Counting Sheep by Jacqueline Kelly

Both boys and girls who love animals will fall in love with Calpurnia Tate! Follow along as she helps out her furry friends and shows that good stewardship can be rewarding. The second book in the Girl Vet series, it's a delightful read that will teach kids about the fundamentals of all kinds of animals!

11. Horse Play! by Deanna F. Cook and Katie Craig

Do your kids love horses? Engage them in over 25 crafts, activities, and projects with this book. It comes with ideas and extras for weeks of fun, including stickers, pop-out pieces, and a poster to color! It's spiral bound for easy use.


Best Summer Books for High Schoolers



12. Momotaro: Xander and the Dream Thief by Margaret Dilloway
13. Dream Magic by Joshua Khan

Both of these books are the next in a series that my teenager loves so much! In Xander and the Dream Thief, we find Xander dealing with terrible nightmares -- even after defeating the monsters who were after him. And in Dream Magic, Queen Lilith is getting blamed for her people's problems, including zombie and a troll army! What can she do to help?


14. Ages of Oz: A Fiery Friendship by Lisa Fieldler

In this imaginative retake on a classic Oz tale, we follow Glinda, the good witch as a teenager. She joins three friends to save her mother (and the kindgom) from evil. It's a spirited journey, and a fun summer reading romp that all kids ages 12 and up will love!

Seen anything on the list you think your kids will like? Happy reading!

*Samples or some titles received to review. Opinions are my own. 

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