2021 Summer Reading Lists For Kids of All Ages

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Get your kids ages 5 to 18, reading with book recommendations from these up-to-date summer reading lists. They’re at every grade level from elementary to middle school to high school!!

Over the summer, choose books on the grade level they will be going into. (Unless you know that your child needs modifications up or down.)

Reading–lots and lots of reading–is the only way to keep kids growing as readers. But kids need lots of good books. That’s why I’ve made these book lists.

You’ll find both familiar favorites and newly published books as well as a variety of genres and subjects from which to choose. Not only that,  many of these recommendations are books in series. (Because aren’t book series the best!?)

2021 Summer Reading Lists for Kids

Picture Book List for Pre-Readers

1st Grade Reading List (age 6 – 7)

2nd Grade Reading List (age 7 – 8)

3rd Grade Reading List (age 8 – 9)

4th Grade Reading List (age 9 – 10)

5th Grade Reading List (age 10 – 11)

6th Grade Reading List (age 11 – 12)

7th Grade Reading List (age 12 – 13)

8th Grade Reading List (age 13 and up / teen)

P.S. Are you doing a summer reading program? Maybe through your library, Scholastic, or Barnes and Noble? Click here to see free summer reading programs for 2021.

Tips to Make Summer Reading Happen

1. CHOICE: Let your kids choose the books that they read. Kids Need to Pick Out Books.

2. BOUNTY: Fill your house with lots of books. More books = more chances for your children to find a fantastic, amazing, very good book that they can’t put down.

Recently, we set a new money-spent-record at the bookstore. Gulp. I shouldn’t even tell you but it was well over $300. There’s something magical about mom taking you to the bookstore where you can pick all the books you want to read. (Magically expensive. But worth it.)

Of course, we do visit the library weekly, and it’s much more economical.

3. LIBRARY: Use your library. Let your kids go WILD and check out lots of books!

4. TIME: Kids need opportunities for reading. So, make sure they’re not filling all their time with TV, video games, and iPad time.

5. TECHNOLOGY: Don’t forget about audiobooks, Kindles, iPads, and Nook reading. Ebooks and audiobooks count as reading, too. (See: audiobooks for tweens & audiobooks for teens.)

6. READABILITY: Make sure your child is reading books that he or she can actually comprehend. When choosing a book, use the 5 finger test to decide if it’s a just-right book. During and after reading, ask your child to tell you a little bit about the story. If you haven’t read the story, read the back and ask questions pertaining to that summary. Make sure your child is understanding what he reads — and that he KNOWS IF HE DOESN’T. For more clarity about reading comprehension, visit this post.

7. COZY READING SPACE: Kids LOVE a Cozy Book Nook. It doesn’t have to be fancy but it does need to involve the kids. Find a corner – those work best. Let your child add pillows, lamps, books, stuffed animals, a headlamp or flashlight, and create a special space.

Read more tips on how to make an enticing book nook.

8. DOWNTIME: Kids Need Margins Just Like We Do. We all need unscheduled time to rest and relax. Kids especially. Remember to make time during the day for rest and reading.


Download a Reading Bingo Challenge

free printables for summer reading and learning
Get FREE printables to track summer learning here.

Try this Reading Bucket List. Add more ideas in the notes section.

Or download a blank reading bucket list to fill in yourself.

MORE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Adventure Books for Kids

Fantasy Books for Kids

Funny Books for Kids

Graphic Novels for Kids

Kindle Chapter Books for Kids

Magazines for Kids

Mystery Books for Kids

Nonfiction Books for Kids

Science Fiction Books for Kids

Summer Vacation Themed Chapter Books 

2021 Summer Reading Lists for Kids of All Ages

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22 Responses

  1. I love your point about downtime! Each day, when the baby sleeps, my big kids go down for “Read and Rest.” My daughter spends the entire two hours DAILY reading chapter books! I have to check out about 20 books a week from the library for her! My little three year old boy rests in his bed, listening to Winnie the Pooh on his Yoto player and turning pages of picture books. They all stay in their rooms for about 2 hours – giving me the time I need to recharge and do chores!

    1. That sounds WONDERFUL, Whitney! Good for you for building up your children’s love of books…and stamina. 🙂

  2. I have twin boys that have recently really taken off with their reading. This list will come in handy as I try to keep up with having new books on hand for them to read.

  3. So many great books! Pinning this for my kids this summer 🙂

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  • WELCOME

    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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