If I Were Making the Summer Reading List for Upper Elementary and Middle School, my list would be very different from most. For one, I think parents should never stop reading to their children no matter their ages, so it would be a parent reading list too. And I think we need to be reading picture books to our kids no matter their ages.
So I've made my list. And it includes books with varying reading levels and book lengths because some kids get discouraged by the longer books. When you are struggling on page 3 of a 462 page book, it can seem impossible—so why try?
I encourage you to get both a print copy of the book and the book on CD from the library if they are available. Encourage your child to read along with the CD. Or listen to it as a family at meals. Our kids enjoy it. And I've seen them reading the books on their own later.
I've included some of the older award winning books as well as newer books. I've also include some books from various genres. I tried to include a genre with each book on my list, but honestly I’m not that great at determining genres so feel free to leave a comment.
Later I am going to do a reading list of Christian books.
My summer reading list for upper elementary and middle school is below. I know I’m missing some good books, but this is a start. I’ve also left off books that I know have lots of swearing or objectionable values.
* means there is a movie based on the book.
* means there is a movie based on the book.
Sometimes the movies stay true to the book, other times not. Reading the book and then watching the movie allows your child to use his compare and contrast skills. Talk about the time, setting, character ages, details etc. How are they the same in the book and movie, and how are they different?
Blueberries for Sal Robert McCloskey picture book
*The Cat in the Hat Dr. Seuss picture book
Drummer Hoff Barbara Emberley picture book
The Elf and the Shoemaker Grimm picture book
there are many versions available, choose your favorite
Green Eggs and Ham Dr. Seuss picture book
Grandfather’s Journey Allen Say picture book
*The Lorax Dr Seuss picture book
*Madeline (any) Ludwig Bemelman picture book
Make Way for Duckling Robert McCloskey picture book
Oh, the Places You'll Go Dr Seuss picture book
Song and Dance Man Karen Ackerman picture book
All-of-a-Kind Family Sydney Taylor historical fiction
*Because of Winn Dixie Kate DiCamillo realistic fiction
Behind the Bedroom Wall Laura Williams historical fiction
|This is a newer cover than the one I have|
The Birchbark House Louise Erdrich fiction
*The Black Stallion Walter Farley fiction
*The Bridge to Terabithia Katherine Patterson realistic fiction
Bud, Not Buddy Christopher Paul Curtis historical fiction
Bunnicula James Howe rabbit mystery?
By the Shores of Silver Lake Laura Ingalls Wilder historical fiction
(And the rest of the series if you have time)
Caddie Woodlawn Carol Brink historical fiction
*Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl fantasy
*Charlotte’s Web EB White fiction
*City of Ember Jeanne Du Prau early dystopian
Counting by 7’s Holly Sloan realistic fiction
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank diary/non fiction
Dr. Mr. Henshaw Beverly Cleary realistic fiction
Eight Keys Suzanne LaFleur realistic fiction
Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery Russell Freedman biography
*Ella Enchanted Gail Levin fantasy
*Escape to Witch Mountain Alexander Key fantasy
*The Giver Lois Lowry early dystopian
The Horse and His Boy CS Lewis fantasy
*Inkheart Cornelia Funke fantasy
*The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe CS Lewis fantasy
A Long Walk to Water Linda Sue Park based on a true story
Maniac Magee Jerry Spinelli realistic fiction
The Naked Mole Rat Letters Mary Amato realistic fiction
Number the Stars Lois Lowry historical fiction
Over Sea, Under Stone Susan Cooper fantasy
The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster fantasy?
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mildred Taylor historical fiction?
*Sarah, Plain and Tall Patricia MacLachlan fiction
Touching Spirit Bear Ben Mikaelsen fiction
The True Confessions of Charlottte Doyle Avi fiction
*The Voyage of the Dawn Treader CS Lewis fantasy
Wringer Jerry Spinelli fiction
A Wrinkle In Time Madeleine L’Engle sci fi
Mature Middle School Readers
*The Book Thief Markus Zusak fiction
*The Boy in Striped Pajamas John Boyne historical fiction
Chasing Lincoln’s Killer James Swanson non fiction
*Divergent Veronica Roth dystopian
*Eragon Christopher Paolini fantasy
*The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins dystopian
*To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee fiction
*Percy Jackson series Rick Riordan mythopia
The Illustrated Classics series is a good way to introduce children to the classics without boring them. Here are some of the many available.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain
Black Beauty Anna Sewell
Call of the Wild Jack London
Heidi Johanna Spyri
Journey to the Center of the Earth Jules Verne
Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
Peter Pan JM Barrie
The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane
Robin Hood Howard Pyle
Swiss Family Robinson Johann Wyss
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson
White Fang Jack London
Please leave me a comment and let me know if your favorite books are on the list or not. Which book related movies have you watched? Did you prefer the book or movie?
Do you read to your children? Your teens?