If the phrase “summer reading” jostles memories of “MUST read” summer reading lists where selections are demanded only to be read in preparation for the coming school year and impending lessons and personal preference and choice are not options, then yes, that dread is rightfully felt! As a mother and former ELA teacher this connotation of summer reading gives even me, a life-long reader, an overwhelming sense of dread and an immediate resistance to complying!

Let’s Make Summer Reading Fun with Better Summer Reading Lists! 

But we can make strides toward giving dear ol’ summer reading a fresh, new reputation by highlighting some of the best options! Yes, there are tens of thousands of books out there, many of them engaging, excellent material–so, how will these kids EVER pick some out? Well, fellow champions of the “Developing Life-Long Readers” cause, I may not be a multi-millionaire, double-breasted-suit-wearing, famous late-night talk show host, but I DO just so happen to have some mighty fine top 10 summer reading lists!

Having four kids of my own, whom I am constantly supplying an endless stream of “cool” books to, I know all too well that kids, like adults, have a vast array of interests, hobbies, curiosities and topics that capture their attention. I took great care and time to come up with lists that I believe are universally intriguing for most kids in the age ranges indicated.

My Top 10 Summer Reading List for Kindergarten and 1st Grade

1. The Boy Who Cried Ninja (Grades: P-3; Level L; Lexile AD740)
2. Captain Awesome and the Missing Elephants (Grades: K-2; Lexile NC710)
3. Dory Fantasmagory (Grades: 1-3; Lexile 550)
4. How to Train a Train (Grades: P-3)
5. I’d Really Like to Eat a Child (Grades: P-1)
6. I’m Bored (Grades: P-2; Lexile AD250)
7. Interrupting Chicken (Grades: P-2; Lexile AD300)
8. Laika: Astronaut Dog (Grades: K-3)
9. Pirates Vs. Cowboys (Grades: K-3)
10. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great (Grades: P-1; Lexile AD400)

Summer Reading Lists: The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex Latimer Summer Reading Lists: Captain Awesome by Stan Kirby Summer Reading Lists: Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon Summer Reading Lists: How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton Summer Reading Lists: I'd Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio
Summer Reading Lists: I'm Bored by Michael Ian Black Summer Reading Lists: Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein Summer Reading Lists: Laika Astronaut Dog by Owen Davey Summer Reading Lists: Pirates vs Cowboys by Aaron Reynolds Summer Reading Lists: Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea

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My Top 10 Summer Reading List for 2nd and 3rd Grades

1. Crankee Doodle (Grades: P-3)
2. How Do You Pee in Space? (Grades: 2-4)
3. The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle (Grades: 3-6; Lexile 1070)
4. Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Grades: 1-3; Level K; Lexile 450)
5. Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (Grades: 1-4; Lexile AD990)
6. The Princess in Black (Grades: K-2; Level L; Lexile 400)
7. Robot Frenzy (Grades: 2-5)
8. The Seven Treasure Hunts (Grades: 2-5; Level M; Lexile 380)
9. Summer of the Sea Serpent (Grades: 2-5; Level N; Lexile 550)
10. The Trouble with Chickens (Grades: 2-5; Lexile 570)

Summer Reading Lists: Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger Summer Reading Lists: How Do You Pee in Space? by George Brown Summer Reading Lists: The Kid Who Invented The Popsicle and Other Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things Grades 2-3 Summer Reading List: Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo Summer Reading Lists: Moonshot by Brian Floca
Grades 2-3 Summer Reading List: The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale Grades 2-3 Summer Reading List: Robot Frenzy by Erik Craddock Grades 2-3 Summer Reading List: The Seven Treasure Hunts by Betsy Byars Summer Reading List: Summer of the Sea Serpent by Mary Pope Osborne Summer Reading Lists: The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin

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My Top 10 Summer Reading List for 4th and 5th Grades

1. Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet (Grades: 3-6; Level R; Lexile NC1240)
2. Guys Read: Funny Business (Grades: 3-7; Lexile 840)
3. I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 (Grades: 2-5; Level R; Lexile 610)
4. Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom (Grades: 2-4; Level O)
5. Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost-True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka (Grades: 4-6; Level R; Lexile 750)
6. The Lemonade War (Grades: 3-6; Level S; Lexile 630)
7. Mistakes That Worked (Grades: 3-6; Level T; Lexile 1040)
8. Seriously, Norman! (Grades: 5-9; Lexile 880)
9. Stranded (Grades: 4-7; Level T; Lexile 610)
10. Summer Reading Is Killing Me (Grades: 2-5; Level P; Lexile 610)

Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: Cars on Mars by Alexandra Siy Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: Guys Read Funny Business by Jon Scieszka I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: Justin Case by Rachel Vail Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: Knucklehead Featuring Jon Scieska
Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: Mistakes that Worked by Charlotte Foltz Jones Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: Seriously, Norman! by Christopher Raschka Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: Stranded by Ben Mikaelsen Grades 4-5 Summer Reading List: Summer Reading is Killing Me by Jon Scieszka

 

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My Top 10 Summer Reading List for 6th Through 8th Grades

1. Al Capone Does My Shirts (Grades: 5-9; Level X; Lexile 600)
2. Dead End in Norvelt (Grades: 5-9; Level Y; Lexile 920)
3. Deep and Dark and Dangerous (Grades: 4-7; Level U; Lexile 650)
4. Fortunately, the Milk (Grades: 3-7; Lexile 680)
5. How Do You Burp in Space? (Grades: 3-7)
6. I Represent Sean Rosen (Grades: 5-9; Lexile 660)
7. Olive’s Ocean (Grades: 5-9; Level V; Lexile 680)
8. Summer Ball (Grades: 5-9; Level V; Lexile 910)
9. Sure Signs of Crazy (Grades: 5-8; Lexile 750)
10. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (Grades: 4-7; Lexile 790)

Summer Reading Lists: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko Summer Reading Lists: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos Summer Reading Lists: Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn Summer Reading Lists: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman Summer Reading Lists: How Do You Burp in Space by Susan E. Goodman
Summer Reading Lists: I Represent Sean Rosen by Jeff Baron Summer Reading Lists: Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes Summer Reading Lists: Summer Ball by Mike Lupica Summer Reading Lists: Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington Summer Reading Lists: Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

 

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What books are on your grade level summer reading lists? Check out Booksource’s Summer Reading Program to see more summer book recommendations, or call 800.444.0435 for title suggestions based on your budget, the interests of your students—whatever you need!